I've been receiving requests to provide an update on the status of the 1790 Marriage Coverlet Quilt. Some of you wondered if my silence on this topic indicated that I was preparing to travel and see the quilt, or had some other exciting development going on. The answer is no; I know as much as you do. I have been silent about the quilt because I haven’t had anything to add, other than what we already know and I respect the current owner’s wishes to be left alone.
Jan Allston has been our quilt researcher on the ground in the UK and here’s her update:
"Unfortunately the owners of the quilt have categorically stated that they wish no publicity whatsoever and have not allowed us to see the coverlet. Perhaps at some time in the future they may relent, but for the time being, we are not allowed to see it. Esther and I would be grateful if we could all leave it at that. If anything happens and there is a change of heart, you will all be the first to hear about it" Jan.
I really appreciate the time Jan has taken, in the UK, to do as much for this quilt as possible and thank her for reporting back to us. All I can say here, once again, is that it’s my hope for the new year that the current owners come to appreciate that the eagerness we have for this quilt comes from a place of love and earnestness to see it take up its place in quilting history and that our intensity to see it is borne of that historic interest and welfare for its preservation.
Can you imagine what a treasure it would be to just once have the opportunity to see this quilt in person? In an exhibition? It would be wonderful and I continue to hope that one day it might be possible.
Whilst this news is somewhat disappointing because like you, I really want to see the quilt exhibited, I don't want to lose track of what has been achieved – because it’s a significant accomplishment:
This quilt was ‘lost’ to quilting, we didn't know where it was or if it still existed and this was a concern because it is a historically important textile and documents an extraordinary example of work in Georgian female and British history. It’s too important to forget or allow to be lost to time. And we found it.
We know it has survived to the present day and we know that the owners now know that they are holding onto an item of significant historic worth. This is staggering achievement and one I don't want to lose sight of.
I know many of you have felt called to make this quilt and I understand completely, it’s how I feel too. I had hoped that we would be able to discover something of the woman who originally made this quilt – we would need some serious quilt detectives on the case to uncover any such information. But this has not happened as it is not something that can be willed – it requires the active participation of the current owners.
I am focusing on the wonderful and positive energy this quilt continues to inspire in us – that certain something which seen so many quilters start the challenge which is Love Entwined.
Now, if you’re a member of my Yahoo BOM Group, you already know just how varied the Love Entwined quilts are so far – there’s a Love Entwined being made in almost every colour combination you can think of and each quilter is really making the pattern their own through pattern tweaks and embellishments, it is a real delight to see these quilts being made and to know that in the future there will be hundreds of Love Entwined quilts out in the world, shining and reminding us of the original – what a tribute to the forgotten woman who made the original coverlet.
I hope one day to know more of her story. Until then, I respect the current owner’s desire for anonymity and invite you, if you are so inspired, to take up the challenge to make this grand quilt yourself.
This stunning block above is made by Jane Newble and is just one example of how beautifully and individually Love Entwined is being made and shared over in my Yahoo BOM Group. Jane has incorporated broderie perse in her block and I think it’s just stunning. As well as being an accomplished quilter, Jane is also a Moderator in the Group.
In fact all our Moderators are highly skilled quilters and their work is simply breathtaking. We are so lucky, as a group, to have such inspirational and talented women give their time to help us out. They’re an inspiration in themselves.
I'm moving forward with Love Entwined and I trust that when the time is right, something special will happen which will allow all of us to see or know more of the original coverlet and it's maker.