Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 16, 2014

Mystery quilt

Quilt group hopes to track down women's group

by JAMIE NULL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, Va. —  It is a mystery the Patchwork Quilters want help solving, said Bluefield, Va., resident and quilter Betty Kuppusami. The co-chair of the quilt club, Kuppusami was given a quilt pieced together by a group of women. Each women embroidered their name and hometown in a square.

“We believe it is from the early 1900s,” Kuppusami said.

Based on the stitching and the fabric, the quilt could date anywhere up until the 1940s.

“It is made with feedsack material and when washed, it gets softer,” Kuppusami added.

The colors, rather subdue in shades of blue, green, yellow, cream, light pink and white, are reminiscent of the ’30s.

Also embroidered on the quilt is the initials “MLL.” Kuppusami believes the initials refer to a women’s group, possible the Women’s Methodist League. The club has attempted to track down the original owners of the quilt. They have hung the quilt at various shows. A few bystanders in Richlands, Va., recognized family members names, but could not tell Kuppusami anything else about the quilt or the women’s group.

“We would like to track down the owners,” she said.

Some of the names on the quilt include Myrtle Mathena, Laura Raine and Gladys Lockhart. The towns range from North Tazewell to Cincinnati, Ohio. Kuppusami believes the quilt could be a round-robin quilt. Women would add a block then send it to the next person.

The quilt is in perfect condition, Kuppusami said. She said many priceless quilts have been found in dog houses, attics and more. People are not aware that old quilts can be sold in antique shops around the country.

The mystery quilt will be formally dated at the July quilt show in Bluefield,Va.  

For more information on the quilt, email patchworkquilters@gmail.com.