By Shirley Palmerton
Collecting one-of-a-kind objects seems to be the habit of many. My mother-in-law collected teapots big and small. There were shelves built in the dining room that held many of them side by side. Of all the times I was there, I never had tea made in any of them.
A friend collected unusual cups and saucers. They were beautiful and so fragile. Most of the saucers sat upright in a little holder with the cups placed right in front of them. I often thought I’d hate to have to dust between them. Whenever I was there, I had tea in a mug.
Another person I know collects guns. I saw them standing up on their stocks, all polished. I often wonder why you need so many. You can only shoot one at a time.
There’s someone I know who has collected clocks, large and small. There are several in every room in his house. He knows the history of them all and where he got them. Listening to him tell about them is like hearing a history lesson.
I didn’t know I collected anything until someone saw my quilt cupboard full of quilts. She asked if I would take them to her quilt club meeting and explain where and how I got so many. I didn’t even know they had quilt clubs.
They seemed to enjoy my talk about where I got them and why. The first two I showed came from my husband’s family. They are made of heavy fabric and lined with flannel. In the winter, it must have been wonderful to cover up with them upstairs where there wasn’t any heat.
I bought an old trunk at an auction. When I got home and opened it, there was a beautiful quilt on the bottom, made of satin.
At a church sale, I bought an old quilt made in red fabric. I thought it would look lovely on the dining room table, but I never got around to doing it.
Once, I cut a lot of fabric into triangle shapes to sew together while traveling in our motor home. When we got home, I was so sick of them I took them to an Amish woman to finish. I couldn’t believe how special it looked when it was done. I love it now.
My husband Bill’s aunt was married in 1918 and a friend gave her a quilt as a wedding present. This person had been an accomplished seamstress in France. The family of Czar Nicholas II of Russia came to her to have their wedding outfits made.
The fabrics she used are in the quilt. I have no idea what kind of fabric it is. There are embroidered motifs on most of the pieces. You can find “Ellen 1886” and “Mary 1888” and many others.
She embroidered around each piece in this so-called “crazy quilt.” It is exquisite. I can’t believe she had the patience to do that.
One year, I was asked to show the quilts at the first historical meeting in Eden. There was a wonderful dinner and then I was scheduled to speak. I told the men, “I’m sure you are not here to hear about quilts, but hang in there because you might enjoy it.” Many told me they did.
We all wonder what’s going to happen to the things we love someday. Will our heirs love them the way we do?
People who collect are one of a kind. They find joy in doing that. Are you a collector?
Shirley Palmerton, of Eden, discovered collecting after acquiring a cupboard full of quilts.