Sunday, 6 January 2013

A Man Came Into My Shop...

So... This guy came into my shop carrying quite a large, yellow, bedraggled looking carrier bag, not by the handles, but in that 'guy' way, you know how they do it... with the top scrunched up in his hand...
"Hello" said I
"Hello" said he, looking a little uncomfortable as he gazed at my classroom full of ladies who had been chattering and laughing as he entered... but were now looking on quietly excited and eager to see... well, we could see through the bag that there were a lot of Hexagons in it.
He said "Stephanie Iceland send me to show you this..." I thought straight away that it was a bag full of Hexagons that someone didn't want and remembered immediately about a talk we had had at SPQ, quite a while ago, when Ann Germey was the guest speaker and she had told us that she was involved in a rescue group for unwanted Hexagon projects and, when the guy leaves them with me, I would send them to her some how... but oh no... look what came out of the bag...

It's a quilt top and it's enormous, no musty smell at all, in fantastic condition. All the papers have been removed. No stitching coming apart or any signs of wear and tear on the fabrics... nothing that made it look old at all... there's needle cord and thicker cotton in it along with thinner cottons... it felt lovely.
"We've had a think" said the guy, "it was done by The Wife's great grandmother and the wife is in her 70's, so I'm reckoning it's at least 150 years old", now beaming with pride... "I want to sleep under it but The Wife doesn't want it on the bed like this, so I want to get it finished"... well... the discussion, questions and ideas just flowed from our mouths... you can imagine can't you.
All the time I'm thinking...'please, please-please don't ask me to do it for you!!!!' 
I headed it off by telling him that the best idea would be for me to make a few enquiries, take a picture and blog about the quilt to see if we can't find someone who would be able to help him... 
"That's great" he said, packing the lovely quilt top back into the carrier bag 
"I live next door to Stephanie Iceland, that's how to contact me." and he was gone...
So, that's what I am doing now. Asking if anyone can help... 
I've asked him to write down everything he knows about the quilt, even about one of their relations who had used it as a dust cover while she was decorating and left it with a few tiny blobs of paint!! and anything he knows about the lady that made it, he says he will.
The guy would like to know, as the family always lived in Tean, Stoke-O-Trent, whether any of the fabrics could have been produced by Tean Hall Mill?
Does anyone know what would be the best thing to do with the top in order to finish it so that 'The Wife' will let 'The Guy' put it on their bed to be slept under.
I told him about Ann Germey and her expertise with Hexagon quilts, does anyone know whether she rescues quilts, finishes them and allows them to go back to their owners? If not... do you know of anyone else that could help?
Let's see what happens... angiequilts@gmail.com  

3 comments:

Sally said...

what a treasure! We don't get finds like this in the UK often, I'll bet. I do hope he gets this finished.

Gloria said...

Something similar happened to a friend except the quilt had had the edges turnes under to produce a straight edge.

After unpicking the (tacking) stitches that were holding the edges under, checking for 'popped' seams and removing some odd uncut lengths of thread, it was obvious that the job of hand-quilting was too time consuming.

Her solution was to tell the 'client' what needed to be done and suggest that the simplest way would be to ask a long-arm quilter to quilt an overall design from edge to edge.

The quilt was quilted at Bramble Patch and the result was absolutely wonderful.
My friend bound the quilt - having cut straight edges - with a plain red binding and fitted a hanging sleeve.
The owner was overjoyed and the quilt has pride of place in her home

Ladkyis said...

You could contact The Quilters Guild of the British Isles - their HQ is in Yorkshhire - explain the situation and I am sure there will be some suggestions forthcoming. You can then give them to "The Guy" and he can make up his own mind.