Searching for a study quilt from the Civil War era, I happened on an eBay offering from the estate of Judy Kelius (1943-2013), a long-time Pennsylvania quilt dealer and herself an eBay seller. The quilt appeared to be sadly eroded, and I wondered why it had found a home with Judy.
Once in my hands, the quilt showed its redeeming features: crisp red and green “Oak Leaf” blocks, dense quilting, and a delightfully quirky vining border. As I worked on my replica, I thought not only of the unknown quiltmaker, but of the previous owner, a woman with whom I shared an interest in quilt history. Judy was a generous and giving dealer, always providing extensive historical background on the quilts she offered for sale, recommending the blogs and websites of others for additional information, directing interested buyers to AQSG, the Quilt History List, and other sources of information to collectors and historians. Her previous ownership of my study quilt seemed to extend a personal connection begun through our occasional correspondence.
I followed the work ethic of the quiltmaker, constructing my small tribute entirely by hand, but I confess to using one non-traditional tool: to remove the tiny paper diamonds over which I pieced the red flowers in the border, I used needle-nosed pliers!