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From: KareQuilt@aol.com

Did anyone see the fabric-covered (section of old quilt actually!) book that just sold on eBay? [19th c. Calico Quilt Covered Book - Item #1417962876] Has anyone else ever seen an OLD book covered with a piece of an old quilt? Though I did not grow up in Virginia, my roots are in the Shenandoah Valley on my father's side of the family. Several years ago I came across a distant cousin in my genealogy research and was given a fabric-covered book like some of those that were sold in that eBay lot. The book came from my Great Great Uncle's homeplace near New Market, VA, only it wasn't covered with an old
quilt, just old fabric. Two of the books had handwriting inside the front and back covers. A series of coincidences and some sleuthing brought to light the two childhood sweethearts from the early 1900s that had written in the books. The young man to whom the books had belonged was my "1st cousin thrice removed." <g> 


I accidentally met the granddaughter of the young woman (to whom he had written the love notes) at a meeting of the Shenandoah Folklore Society in 1994. The granddaughter told me the whole story, for her grandmother had once told her about this "favorite young man" when the granddaughter happened across a large photo of a very good looking gentleman while helping Gr'ma clean out her desk. With the granddaughter's consent, I wrote up the "story of the two sweethearts" in 1995 and published it in a genealogy newsletter. Later on I was allowed to pull up floorboards in the attic of the old house the young man had grown up in near New Market. Though the house was no longer in my family, the owners had heard of my research and invited me to come explore before they laid new insulation. I found a number of fun things, among them old cards and magazines, an old song book, an old skirt whose fabric and style looked to be turn of the century and a small stack of nine-patches cut for piecing a quilt!
Karen Alexander
Independent Quilt Historian
Board Member, The Quilters Hall of Fame