Lucy Weeks Kendail - Roman Stripe (detail) circa 1880
from the collection of Joyce Gross, Petaluma, California, USA

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My husband was an avid fisherman and had a collection of old fishing rods. He was delighted to add to his collection. One Sunday, instead of the usual flea market trip, he suggested we go to an estate sale where he heard they might have some old rods.

The sale was in what was once a wealthy section of Oakland, California. The former occupant had no family and had left the entire estate to the two women who had taken care of her. They were in the process of the estate sale.

Ed was interested in fishing rods, so I stayed in the car while he looked. Soon he came out and said he thought there were things of interest to me. There were piles and piles of linens, so I ventured, "Are there any quilts?" The reply came quickly, "Yes, there is one, if you will come with me."

I followed quickly and was taken through a bedroom to the bathroom and stopped at the toilet. Much to my surprise and astonishment, she put her hand behind the toilet tank and pulled out this quilt. All I could see was the lovely gold satin backing, which had been up against the tank of the toilet. Heaven knows how long it had been there or why it was there.

I was sorely tempted to purchase, but refrained. Imagine my surprise at my next wedding anniversary; my husband presented me with a box that held this gorgeous quilt!