• 22Aug

    About a year and a half ago I bought a signature quilt on Ebay.


    I bought it because I was intrigued by the design–and I love signature quilts.


    When I was trying to determine the block pattern I first saw the blue pinwheel in the design, but then the rest of the pattern didn’t really make sense


    Finally I realized that it’s a variation of a Rail Fence with three rails sewn around a red center.


    The seller knew nothing about the quilt.  She had purchased it at an estate sale in California.  I surmised it was a World War II raffle quilt—members of a group like a Ladies Air or Auxiliary solicited people to pay a dime or a quarter to have their name embroidered on the quilt, then the quilt was raffled off.  You could tell by the different writing that many women had participated in creating the embroidered blocks.


    I felt so sad that I didn’t know where this quilt had been made.  BUT, here’s the best part of the story.  My friend Jodi was visiting and I showed her the quilt.  Like me, she loves history and quilts, and she’s a geneologist!  She asked if she could take the quilt home for a bit and do some research, perhaps discover where this quilt was from.


    A few weeks later we met for lunch and so she could return the quilt.  Well, you’ll never believe this.  Not only did she find out where the quilt was from, she had found a book on the history of the area–Pulaski County, Illinois!  She presented me with the quilt and the book.  She had transcribed all the names–all 505 of them!  She had found references to several of the people from the quilt in the history book.  What a treasure.  My first thought was that I should see if there’s a historical museum in the county and send the quilt there, but I remember saying to Jodi, “I’d rather the quilt went to an individual who has a connection with this quilt.”  And that was the end of the story—for awhile.

    ph1                             Photo from Pleasant Home

    Jodi blogged about the quilt and eventually that blog came to the attention of a someone in Pulaski County!  When he read the post, he saw the names of his maternal grandmother and grandfather, his mother, an uncle, a great aunt and uncle, a cousin of his mother’s and his great-grandmother in one of the photos!  What were the chances!?!  Oh, and are you ready for this?  He’s a quilt collector!  I knew this quilt had found it’s home.


    Last week I sent it off and this quilt is now back where it belongs.

20 Responses

  • sarah nickel ellis Says:

    What a wonderful story, and how kind of you to take the time to find the quilt’s home! Thank you for sharing!

  • Robin Says:

    Karen how wonderful

  • BrendaLou Says:

    What are the chances? And what are the chances that the person who bought it was you with your big heart to send it off to the family!!!! Good show Karen.

  • Kathi Miller Says:

    An amazing story, Karen. You and your friend Jodi both deserve kudos.

  • Laura Fadden Says:

    That is amazing…..he owes you a big thanks!!!!

  • Inez. Pedrazzetti Says:

    I am just now reading a story on a quilter who is searching for her grandmothers quilt. I am glad that you tracked down. I know that he will be pleased to get the quilt.

  • Donna Pizzi Says:

    That is a wonderful, quilt-warming story… Indeed, perfectly synchronistic that the quilt became the key to opening up a family’s past… Bless you for returning it to its family home!

  • Judy Anderson McNeal Says:

    I don’t believe in coincedences. I believe God orchestrates all the things in our lives, and when we are in proper alignment with Him, we move in our gifting. Your gifting is obvious Karen. I’m glad you were in the right place at the right time so that the “mission” could be completed ! Well done!

  • Diane Swett Says:

    Wow! quite a story. thanks for sharing it.

  • Sydney Stevens Says:

    Hooray for you and for your friend, Jodi! And also for Mr. Quilt Collector of Pulaski County, Illinois! This is the sort of story I like to repeat when I hear the nay-sayers rant about communication being doomed now that we have the internet.

  • Regan Says:

    This is such a fantastic story! You are the best!

  • Dee Snider Says:

    Karen, that is an incredible story. So nice of you to return that piece of history to the family. Thanks for being who you are.

  • Kasi Says:

    OMG! What an amazing adventure! I’m teary-eyed just reading this thrilling story. And it IS a very striking quilt. What a wonderful project this would be. And OBVIOIUSLY a treasure to a small community…such as Long Beach. (Just saying…)

  • Lydia Says:

    What a great story with happy ending. I think the Internet has made the world much smaller and is a wonderful way to connect with all sorts of people from all over the world.

  • Sheri Says:

    Yay, Karen! You are the best. So grateful to know you.

  • Marsha Says:

    Soooo much more than wonderful!

    Kram, Marsha
    Svenska Flicka

  • Barbara Says:

    Karen, a fantastic story! What a thrill for you, Jodi, Mr. Quilt Collector AND for those of us with whom you shared this incredible story. Truly a one-in-a-million experience.

  • Lonna Says:

    Thank you Karen. There are a few items from my family’s past which I would treasure finding just because it would mean so much to me to see them again. So I can imagine the man from Pulaski will continue to shake his head over receiving such a treasure. Thank you for wanting to share your find.

  • Jodi Says:

    Ditto to what Sheri said! 🙂 Such a fun adventure! Thanks for letting me be a part of it. 🙂 ooxx`jod

  • Beverly Threadgill Robey Says:

    What a wonderful, perfect story! Makes my heart happy to know that an old quilt found its true home. What a fine steward you have been.