It all started back in late March 2013 when a woman visits Born Again Quilts with a quilting conundrum. The woman is Louise “Weezer” Bridges who spent a portion of her childhood growing up on Dale Drive off of Bluffton Road. The ladies group at Nine Mile United Methodist Church had recently rediscovered a stack of quilt squares in a dusty old box in the church basement. A note scrawled on the cover indicated they were made by one of parishioner Phyllis Genth’s grandmothers, most likely Adeline Genth, in the 1940s. The ladies volunteer Weezer to fashion them into a wall hanging to sell at the church’s upcoming harvest dinner.
Weezer confides to me that she lacks the confidence to choose fabrics for the back and sashing and border fabric for the front and asks if I could assist her. The pattern is maple leaf, the leaves are light purple and teal prints, and they appear to be in great condition for their age. Together we find the perfect fabrics: A darker purple fabric to set off the blocks and a “granny’s feedsack” reproduction fabric in teal and purple for the back. Armed with her fabrics, a template for the borders and a new air of confidence Weezer heads home to get started.
Weeks pass and one Saturday Weezer is back with the quilt. She tells me she hasn’t hand quilted in a long time and that her stitches aren’t that great. I look at her stitches and notice they are quite even and evenly spaced – Her beautiful quilting brings out the beauty of the quilt. In the solid purple block she quilts the maple leaf block so it is seen in outline. Each corner sports a maple leaf block adding to the overall effect.
Attending the NMUMC Harvest Dinner I peruse the ladies bazaar and see Weezer’s wall hanging being admired by many but no one takes it home. Dismayed but confident, the church ladies set out to find the right person to fall in love with it. Audrey Willett the church historian knew that former parishioner Helen Gregory is also a granddaughter of Adeline Genth. Ladies Aid President Marilyn Gibson contacts Helen and shows her the quilt. Helen is amazed at the family history behind it and purchases it for her daughter Sharon. Sharon is currently visiting daughter Heather who will be touched when she becomes the quilt’s keeper.
Decades in the making, a box of quilt blocks triggered many memories and rekindled long forgotten family ties. Phyllis’ grandmothers who were both prolific quilters must be smiling down from heaven knowing their work and memory are cherished for generations yet to come.
Lois Eubank, owner of Born Again Quilts has been restoring quilts for over twenty years. She may be contacted at 260-515-9446 or stop by 4005 South Wayne Ave. T-W-TH from 5:30-7 p.m. or Saturdays 9-2 p.m.