Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Quilt That Traveled To Arizona

Once upon a time there was a quilt made in 1896 by the women of the Congregational Church in the small town of Almena, Kansas.
Was it a fundraiser? We will never know.
Each block was signed by the women of the area.
Fast forward to 2012 when Lynn Miller (Quilts-Vintage and Antique) entered an antique store in Oregon, and saw this lovely 1896 quilt priced at $35.
Lynn, one who greatly appreciates and collects antique quilts said "I knew I had to buy it and bring it home. I couldn't walk away and leave it sitting there by itself. Sometimes a quilt feels like one of our children who needs to be picked up and held."

Once Lynn returned to her home in Arizona, she had a little more time to study the quilt and investigate it's origins. She felt impressed that she needed to return this 116 year old gem back to Almena, Kansas.

With a search on the Internet, Lynn read that Almena is located in the upper north part of the state of Kansas, in Prairie Dog Valley.
Current population: 408

The original Congregational Church still stands.
Lynn wrote a letter to the Pastor of the church, offering to donate the quilt back to the congregation.
And then she waited, and waited and waited.

Eventually Lynn heard back from the Pastor, who was quite excited to have a bit of the town's legacy returned.
He was raised in Almena, and many of the names signed on the quilt were familiar to him.
Lynn asked the Pastor to tell her a little bit about Almena. With a humorous voice he replied "Well, we are 80 miles from 6 Walmarts."

This is the story of the 1896 quilt that traveled to Oregon (and maybe to other places?) and then to Arizona, and eventually back to Almena, Kansas where it belongs.


Cynthia said...

What a sweet story! That was so nice of Lynn to rescue the quilt and then find its home :)

Patty said...

What a wonderful story and thank you for sharing! It makes you wonder how priceless heirlooms end up in stores for a pittance. I was on FB the other day and a "friend" of mine was having a garage sale and posting pictures of things she had for sale. There were 3 quilts hanging on a line, a double wedding ring, a crazy, and one other. She advertised them for $25.00 apiece. Someone asked her if they were in good shape and she commented, "Oh yes! My grandmother and her sister handmade these quilts in 1910". I assume your reaction is the same as mine....... :(

Crafts4others said...

yay! glad that the quilt made it back home.

Needled Mom said...

What a wonderful story! Glad it made it back home.

lifeinredshoes said...

It just warms your heart to think that this quilt landed not only in the hands of someone that would appreciate it, but would go to the trouble of returning it to it's roots :)

Stephanie said...

What a story! It isn't often quilts find their way back home. Love the pastor's reply about where he lives.

Mimi said...

Wonderful story and pictures.
My daughter lived for a while in a small town that was 60 miles to the closest Walmart and through three states, Texas Ok and then Neb where the Walmart was. We who take stores like Walmart for granted don't appreciate when there is no place to buy most every day needs Walmart has merit. Of course, even Walmart might come up short for quilt fabric, etc.

Jenny said...

What a great story and how thoughtful to return it to the original place it came from. Thanks for sharing..I love history and love antique quilts!

Brenda said...

Wonderful story. It is amazing that you were able to return the quilt to the town it originated in.

Anonymous said...

Bless you for helping the quilt find it's way home. What a treasure you returned to that church family.