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Candace Hoffacker’s embroidered state birds quilt created by her maternal grandmother Martha Black in 1957.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is back on “regular TV on Channel 15.2. I always enjoyed watching the show because it uses science and observation to uncover who committed a crime and how. When people bring quilts to me to be restored, I need to carefully examine them to determine what caused the damage and the best practice to restore it. So, what I was doing was a QCI: A Quilt Crime Investigation. Some investigations proved the damage was done by sunlight, bedsprings, unstable fabric dyes, low quality fabric and my favorite perpetrator: puppies.

Recently I received a call from Candace Hoffacker about a quilt her grandmother made her when she was born. I tend to ask people how they learned about Born Again Quilts and her answer was quite interesting:
“Too Funny! The way I found your website was when a doctor friend and I were watching CSI and we were unsure of their tissue sampling technique for forensic identification. So, we Googled “autopsy” and “tissue sampling” and came across your website and its quilt autopsy videos that we projected onto the big TV so we could watch them better and found them fascinating.”

Candace brought her quilt into Born Again Quilts for me to see. As we looked it over she told me, “My quilt was made for me by my grandmother Martha Black, my mother’s mother. She grew up during the Depression and from there she learned to sew. She didn’t like to it. So, a hand-sewn quilt was a labor of love. She did enjoy embroidery and crochet. It’s from her that I learned these skills. I don’t think she ever taught me a stitch of sewing. The quilt she made for me was made of embroidered blocks of the state birds on white backgrounds alternating with a light green block quilted with a feather wreath design.

She also made a quilt for each one of my three brothers when they were born. Mom realized these quilts were precious: She kept them in a chest at the head of the stairs. We were not to mess with them. Often we would look into the chest with awe at our quilts, they were folded so the center panel with our names showed. Whatever the rest of the quilt looked like: we could only guess. When my parents moved to another home all the quilts but one went missing. Mom had looked the house over and could never find the other three quilts. After her death I asked dad if I could snoop around his home for them.

I found one in the bottom of that same old chest covered up with grandma’s afghans. The other two were found behind another quilt on a high shelf in a walk-in closet. My mom was only five feet tall, she probably had my dad put them up there decades ago when they first moved in.

Though my grandmother did not like sewing, her quilt gave me a desire to learn to quilt. It wasn’t until my 50s that I finally started. Mostly I make quilts for the “Linus project.” This organization gives new handmade blankets to children in trauma. Their website is:

That wonderful quilt that I looked and touched a hundred times as a child is now in its rightful place on my bed.”

Wow! It looks like Candace had a real “crime” on her hands: the disappearance of the family quilts with a prime suspect in their disappearance GASP! Dear Old Dad!

Every quilt has a story! If you would like me to share your quilt’s history with my Waynedale News readers contact me at 260-515-9446 or bornagainquilts@frontier.com.

If you would like to view a QCI go to www.bornagainquilts.com

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Lois Levihn

She is the author of the "Around the Frame" quilting column. She is a graduate of Wayne HS. Quilts have always been important to her, she loves the stories surrounding them, the techniques used in making them, & restoring them. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer