'Course, one cool night June must ask her [his sister, Edith, who was visiting] if she had plenty of covers and she asked me for another and I had no more, or thought I hadn’t, but there was a woolen one folded on the springs at the head, but I’d forgotten it. Bertha Dobson, June 2, 1936
Quilt Experts, I need your advice.
These are pictures of the only old "Dobson" quilt I have. Mike found it in the shed and asked what I wanted to do with it. We agreed it shouldn't be in the shed, but I really don't know how to clean or store it.
I'm afraid it's been years since this quilt has been treated with respect. Fact is, we originally found it between the mattress and springs on one of the beds. I had another such quilt, perhaps a little more appealing than this one, which had also been placed between mattress and springs,but it was stolen from the farmhouse before we started the re-model project.
So, this is the only quilt I have that Grandma Ina might have made. From her letters I know that Ina was a sewist. She made dresses and aprons, altered and mended, turned shirt collars, made quilt tops, and even created some fun items, such as a doll to muffle the sound of a ticking clock -- all on a treadle sewing machine.
As you can see by the pictures, this patchwork quilt is embellished with hand embroidery and tied rather than quilted. Perhaps some of the fabric was re-purposed. Only one piece is a deviation from the rough homespun type, and it's a lovely black velvet. It's hard to distinguish it from the other black pieces.
The other quilt -- the one that was stolen -- looked to have been made from men's suiting. The pieces were dark --drab even -- but again the hand stitches were a dressy touch. And, in the midst of all that "drabbery," one small bright red velvet piece made an elegant statement.
So, should I have the old quilt cleaned and use it? Or, should I have it cleaned and display it on a bed or a quilt stand? Or, maybe I should forgo cleaning in deference to its age. I could store it if I knew how, but I think there's something to be said for seeing the things one treasures. What do you think? KW