Saturday, April 17, 2010
A Kentucky Treasure
Earlier this week, I received an email from a quilter in Australia asking for information about the book; she mentioned that she would just love to create a Courthouse Steps barn quilt. I had already been pondering what to post this week, and I was inspired to share a story of a really beautiful barn quilt that I visited in Hardin County, Kentucky, last summer
For me, there is nothing better than a barn quilt that is a replica of a cloth quilt. And this quilt has quite a bit of history.
The Lincoln Museum located in Hodgenville, Kentucky is about three miles from Abraham Lincoln's birthplace on Sinking Spring Farm in Hardin County. The museum houses memorabilia related to the president and his life, but it also contains artifacts of historical significance to the era in which the president lived. The Courthouse Steps quilt donated to the museum by Hardin County resident Thelma Stewart Ford is one of the treasures of the collection.
The quilt was begun by Thelma’s great-grandmother, Elizabeth Smith, who was born in 1831, and completed by Thelma’s grandmother, Mary Nay Stewart. The heirloom passed to Thelma’s father, Berney, and then to Thelma, who was born in 1918.
Though quilts were made for everyday use, Thelma says, “I never recall seeing this one on a bed. From the time I was a child, we knew that it was a family treasure, and it had its own trunk.” The quilt square now has a prominent place on the barn where Thelma and her husband, Edward, farmed.
Isn't it gorgeous? And it was a perfect day--rare for me--for barn quilt photography!