Labels of Love

Labels of Love

Posted by Robyn Thomas on 3rd Jun 2024

Label your quilts. Share as much information as you can. Your quilts are a labor of love and a precious gift to everyone you give them to. 

I recently went looking through a box of old photos with my mother. We found a series of photos that all had the date 1915 written on the back. On two of them, someone had written "Mr. Jones, Mr. Bruce and me." Interesting. But my mother and I do not know who "me" is. Could be my great grandfather, or it could be a friend or relative of his, and these photos were sent to him. The quick note on the back made perfect sense back in 1915. How could he have imagined that this image would make it's way into a box and that people would be wondering who his is in 2024? But here we are.

This thought springboards me into an amazing story of a quilt that was displayed in the Bollinger County Quilt Show recently. The highlight of the show turned out to be a quilt that my stepmother found in the back of her closet. And it ended up garnering local media attention. 

The Bollinger County (Missouri) Quilt Show started as an idea to get people to come out to the new community building that had been acquired and restored in Marble Hill, MO. The organizer, Becky Wiginton, hoped to get 15 people in the community to donate a quilt for display. My stepmom, Alice, always looking to help in every way she can, thought of the quilts she had been given when her brother-in-law cleaned out his mom's house. He had hoped she might be able to clean the quilts up and donate them to someone in need. She graciously took those quilts and put them in a closet. When the call came for quilt donations for the show, Alice remembered those quilts and she pulled them out. What she found was a hand-sewn and community quilted gem. And each participant had embroidered their name into a block.

Not knowing the origin of the quilt, Alice listed all of the names on the blocks in hopes that viewers might recognize a name or two, and find out more. She took the quilt in on drop-off day to Becky. When Alice showed Becky the quilt and the name list, Becky immediately started to tear up. Her grandmother and great-grandmother were listed. 

All I can say about that is the universe certainly works in mysterious ways. 

And although her grandmothers are no longer with us, there was a name on the quilt of a living contributor, Mildred Bess, 104. And, it was determined that the quilt had to have been sewn together at least 90 years ago, as one name on the quilt is of a community member who passed away in 1935, thus making this quilt sewn prior to 1935.

You can view the details of the entire story right here: Marble Hill Quilt

How many quilts have you sewn together? And how many do you give away as gifts? We don't always think about the impact such a personal gift may have on the recipient, or where that quilt might end up decades from now. Your work is important and means so much to the people who will enjoy it. 

Here is Becky and her mom showing off the quilt, now back in the family.

Make sure to take the time to leave your mark on your beautiful quilts. Believe me, future generations will want to know where it came from.

Be sure and check out our fun quilty themed labels here.