Last summer Cheryl and Jim Roush of Fort Wayne visited Born Again Quilts. They brought with them the baby quilt made by Cheryl’s Aunt Effie for her first-born child Josh. Aunt Effie’s hobby was sewing and she was quite gifted at it. The quilt she made was two whole pieces of fabric batted and tied with red yarn.
Cheryl relates how Josh grew up with this quilt: “slept with it, played with it and used it to comfort himself when he was sad. It literally stayed on his bed until he was older and it was so tattered he had to put it in his closet so it wouldn’t be ripped into shreds.
When he was an older teen he asked if it could be fixed. I took it to my sister-in-law who is a talented seamstress. She handed it back to me and said she couldn’t do anything with it as it was so tattered and worn. Since it was in such sad shape, I thought about just throwing it away, but Josh had been so attached to it I couldn’t do it.
Then in Autumn 2016, Josh’s youngest brother Zach was doing some landscaping work for a very nice retired couple. They gave him a tour of their home and the wife had a huge quilting table. When Zach told us about this couple I was hoping this lady could perhaps restore Josh’s quilt. I contacted her and she was very kind when she told me she only makes new quilts – BUT, she did know of someone who restores old quilts. This is how I found out about Born Again Quilts!
My husband Jim and I went to Born Again Quilts. There was not a lot of quilt left to work with but Lois did not seem to see it as a lost cause. We found a beautiful fabric in her shop to restore the backside of the quilt. She took it from there detaching the three layers, adding new cotton batting, a stabilizer was added to give it more strength and keep the rips from ripping further. She would send us photos as the work progressed and allowed us to choose the new color of crochet thread for the ties. She had cautioned us that the original yarn ties were too thick and if similar yarn was used it could do damage to the fragile top fabric. In about 5-6 months later she had it done! The quilt had been restored and it was beautiful! We wanted this to be a Christmas gift so we had to wait another six months to reunite Josh with his quilt!”
“Christmas morning arrives, and Josh is handed the present and is told it is a very special gift and we ask him to guess what’s inside. After Josh makes some wrong guesses we tell him to open it. Josh is kind of puzzled as to why Jim is videoing this moment and mom is making a fuss. Josh takes off the lid and peels back the tissue paper. The stunned look on his face is priceless! He tears up a bit: he is so overwhelmed. He later said, “If I had my entire life to guess what this special gift was I would have never guessed it was my quilt.”
“To help display his quilt, his younger brother Zach refurbished an old paint ladder as a quilt rack where it is now displayed in Josh’s bedroom in Indianapolis. His hope is to someday pass this special quilt down to his first-born child.
The love Josh had for his baby quilt never died no matter how tattered and forlorn it became. We will always be grateful to Lois for reuniting Josh with his quilt on Christmas Morning!”
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