The Quilt Treasurer Tells Her Story

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Lori Lee Triplett and Kay Triplett's new book, Pioneer Quilts, joins fictional pioneer Esther Heinzmann as she tells the tales of the prairie settler life…

September 1867

This week, I’ve more than earned my nickname, Quilt Treasurer. The traveling peddler, or seller of quilts as I like to call him, came through our town again. He seems to visit more frequently now that I’ve moved into the boarding house from my homestead. Perhaps he simply visits more frequently since he has discovered my weakness for quilts. I reckon he’s learned I’m an easy sale. Even so, I’m only willing to purchase those truly special ones from him.

After all, there are plenty of ways for me to get me some quilts along my journey. This week I’ve found several quilts deserted by the side of the Oregon Trail. Since it was in a pile of all sorts of supplies, I figure the pioneer travelers needed to lighten their load. I hope they didn’t lighten the load too much, because they’ve still got quite a road ahead of them.

Another couple gave me their family quilt because they could only take what they could carry going back East. It made me sad to realize they were giving up their homestead because of the terrible crop season. I traded them some of my food stuffs to give them a meal for the journey back to family.

Finally, my neighbor and friend made me a quilt this week. She was thanking me for some kindness I’d extended the couple who took over my homestead. She told me, “I made quilts as fast as I could to keep my family warm; I made them as pretty as I could to keep my heart from breaking." She sure made this one as pretty as a picture.

Four quilt opportunities just this week alone! I’m going to have to restrain myself or pretty soon, there won’t be any place left for me. On second thought, maybe I can just rearrange my bed a bit to make room for more. It does make me wonder what will happen to these quilt treasures once I’m gone. God willing the quilts will find a new home with someone who loves them as much as I do.

Until next time,

Esther Heinzmann

For more of Esther’s story and to discover where her quilts ended up, be sure to get the book  Pioneer Quilts!

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  • Lori Lee Triplett
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