Wayne County, IL


Star Quilt

l. to r.: Denise Beehn, Lorna Norton, Joy Coles and Anita Newcomb

Pictures courtesy of Michael J. Von Gebel

Our Reader’s Interest story takes us to Wayne County.  I purchased this Star Quilt in Rossville, Illinois back in 1989.  I went on vacation back home to Illinois and wished to take something that reminded me of home back to California with me.  I purchased this for about $50 or $60 at an antique shop.  I looked past the imperfections and saw that it could be beautiful again.  Little did I know it would have to wait 29 years.

By the time I moved to Florida in 2003, I ran into a group of quilting ladies.  By that time, I had removed the calico material, quilt fill and backing.  Just the quilt top remained.  I showed the ladies and they were aghast that someone had put the baskets of tulips with the star.  They said it was bad luck.  I thought who needs more bad luck, so I sat and carefully removed the baskets of tulips and then only the star remained.

A friend decided that white material should be sewn to the star, so it didn’t fray.  They used a sewing machine.  That proved not to be what I wanted done, and the quilt top was retired to an antique truck where it sat for a decade.  After a brush with cancer this past year I decided to make a list of all the things I wanted to do and get done, as next time I might not be as fortunate.

Well I began looking for someone to finish the quilt.  Here in Missouri a lady wanted to run it through a bedspread machine to stitch it.  So, it wouldn’t be a quilt it would be a bedspread, NO!  Finally, I spoke to my oldest and dearest friend, Betty Beeson a contributor here at Faded and she got me in touch with Joy Coles and the ladies of the Fairfield Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Quilters.  These ladies with over 6,000 hand stitches, new border fabric, fill, backing, and most important the love of their craft took this forlorn quilt and turned it in to a cherished masterpiece whose history and story shall live on.  Thank you, ladies, for making a dream come to life.




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