The Uncle Donald Quilt goes to the Ohio History Museum, along with my grandmother’s.
What? Holy Cow.
Several weeks ago, a lady form the Ohio History Museum spoke at our guild meeting. She talked about quilts up to about 1950. I was not looking forward to this speaker, but it turned out that she was very knowledgeable about quilting and historical quilts. In her presentation, she showed many lovely old quilts. She explained that most of their quilts were donated and cam with the history attached to them.
When it was question time, I asked if they had any early quilts that were made by men. She told me no they had never came across anything like that. Once she was done speaking I showed her a photo of Uncle Donald’s quilt. Right away she asked me if I would consider donating it. I would. SO, she asked me to send her an email with any information I had.
That was easy. I knew Uncle Donald, and he was one of my favorite people. After he died I continued to visit Aunt Helen a couple for times a year. We would go to lunch and talk about all sorts of things. I often took her something I made when I visited. Once time when I was there she gave me the “Uncle Donald Quilt”.
I had no idea if he was illiterate. My dad thought he was a pretty smart man, and I image her was, even if he was not educated. I know my grandmother was, she was actually a school teacher at one point in her life, but boys became valuable farm hands and were often not educated past the 8th grade.
Uncle Donald had 8 sisters (one of them being my grandmother). Since he was the youngest, he wound up joining in on the quilting. He made his own quilt. Aunt Helen thought I should have it, since he was my family.
So I had all the provenance and sent her the information I knew. She emailed me back information about my family after she researched them. I had guessed the quilt was from about 1920, but was unsure. I knew when my grandmother was born, but did not know that until Donald was born in 1907. She thought that 1920 was pretty close because the 1920 census had listed him as an illiterate farmer. He would have been 13 then and become a valuable farm worker and likely not had time for quilting after that.
So, my Uncle Donald Quilt will be part of the Ohio History Museum’s quilt collection, along with one of my grandmother’s. Uncle Donald’s quilt will be the only one made by a man in the collection.
It feels very good to know that items from my family will be forever saved as part of a historical collection.
It takes about a year for things to be officially added to the collection along with filling out paperwork, but I am thrilled it will be forever saved.