Thursday, April 2, 2009

This is a Story of 2 Dolls and a Quilt

As a young girl growing up in my family home in Idaho, there was a linen closet. In that closet were 2 dolls. One doll was a wedding doll, it belonged to my mom. This was the last doll her parents gave her as a young girl. The other doll had red hair and a blue party dress; both dolls were old and well loved.

Whenever I gave thought to the dolls I would carefully take them out and play with them. I would try to fix their hair and I even put polish on the party dolls fingers and toes. (I wont even tell you the color, I think you can guess-- it was the only color my sister had ;O} )
In 1979 my parents decided to move to Oregon. My mom gave the doll in the party dress to me. I thought to myself I will fix her up someday.... But as we settled into a life in Oregon the doll was put away for safe keeping.

Now fast forward a few years to the mid 80's my mom did some spring cleaning and came across her wedding doll and decided she no longer wanted it. And gave her to me, so I found the party doll and put them together again, thinking I will fix them up someday....

Now fast forward a few more years to the early 90's, I got this crazy idea to take my mom's wedding doll and fix her up and give her back as a Christmas gift. So I searched out a pattern for the dress. Bought a wig, shoes and stockings, and began the project. The funny thing is, my mom started asking me about the doll because she wanted her back. I told her I would have to find it, and tried to put her off. But she kept asking, finally I prayed about it asking Heavenly Father to help my mom forget about the doll so I could get it ready to give back to her for Christmas.

The project moved on and the doll was done. The problem now was I couldn't wait until Christmas. So on Christmas Eve I gave my gift early. My mom was surprised and very happy to have her doll again. My dad made a stand for the doll and it sits on a table in their bedroom. A happy ending for doll #1....

This is my mom's doll.

With that project done I thought to myself I'm ready to re-do the party doll. So once again I searched out a pattern and bought a wig. I bought some blue taffeta and cream satin for the dress. Now this is where the story takes a twist. My Aunt Linda (mom's younger sister) comes for a visit, and she comes into my sewing room and sees the doll and says "That's my doll!" I didn't know how to respond to her, because as far as I knew the doll was mine at least for the last 16 years. The funny thing was when Linda returned home she called her daughter Lisa on the phone and said, I want my doll I know you have it and I want it. Poor Lisa didn't know anything about the doll. As far as I know Lisa never saw the doll.

Now as life would have it I got busy with work and a baby so the doll project was put away. OK fast forward a few more years to about 2006. We went to Idaho for a family reunion. And while visiting I mentioned I wished I had a quilt that great grandma Kidd had made. And my aunt Linda says, I have one it was a wedding gift. I just about jump out of my chair and said can I have it. (I did control myself and tried to act causal) Linda said it was worn and needed repair. In fact a few years earlier she sent the quilt to the church to help warm some skiers that had been stranded. The Relief Society President at the time saw the quilt, understood what it was and took it back to my aunt. (whew! :o] ) I asked if I could have the quilt. My aunt said she would think about it.

Well to my surprise a few weeks later the UPS man delivered a package to my door. I opened it and inside was the quilt from my aunt. Woo Hoo! I'm so excited I have the quilt and my aunt was right the quilt had been well loved and in need of repair. I started the repair work on it but once again life took over....

Now the story moves to October of 2006 we head back to Idaho to help my sister with a project on the house she is building. And I think to myself. I need to get the party doll out and fix her up and give her back to my aunt. So the process begins. I even remove the polish off her fingers and toes. And find her new stockings and shoes.

Time to go and the doll is ready for the trip back to Idaho. Now here is the funny part, I bring the doll out and tell my aunt about the process and she opens the box the first thing she says is. "That's not my doll." Come to find out the doll originally had a wedding dress, so my aunt was expecting a "wedding doll". I told her I only knew the doll in a blue party dress. (for the last 37 years :o] ) But as we talked and she looked over the doll she said I think this is my doll and took it home and compared it with a picture that had been taken the Christmas she received it.

This is my aunt and her doll....

Also she had one of the shoes from her doll and tried it on and of course it fit. (just like Cinderella).

This is the doll in her new blue dress. A happy ending for doll #2

Now this story is just about done. We move to 2007 and my Aunt is coming for a visit. So I get busy and mend the quilt, it doesn't take long once I get moving. I took it to a friend who knew about older quilts, she helped with some fabric from the 50's and before too long the quilt was done. I put it in a pillow case and washed it. And put a label on it.

Hand and machined pieced ~ hand quilted by:
Vida Valentine Egan Kidd
Given as a wedding gift to
Linda Lee Kidd Armstrong ~ Granddaughter
August 22, 1963
Mended and Restored by:
Regena Lynn Hardy Brennan
Great Granddaughter
May 2007

So my aunt comes and I show her the quilt. She takes a look and says, "so what part did you fix and what part is Grandma's?" I told her if you can't tell which is which I'm not going to tell you. She thought for a moment and said. "A doll for a quilt I guess that's fair." Just like that the quilt was mine.

I still can't believe I have this quilt. I know it's a very ordinary quilt, but it's a family treasure and it's mine. And now we have a happy ending for the quilt.....


Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

I think the quilt is just beautiful and I am glad you have it to enjoy.

Barb said...

I normally do not like long blogs but I tell you this story was wonderful, thanks for sharing it along with photos.

Jodi@SimplyThisThat n.. said...

awesome story regena. ;o) ooxx`jod

Susan said...

Nothing ordinary about this quilt! It's beautiful.

AnnetteE said...

What a great story Regena. Isn't life fun? You never know what turns are coming in the roads.
Annette (Sheri's sister)