Gentleman tatter, Chester Ross Bentz Sr.
The bedspread of gentleman tatter, Chester Ross Bentz Sr.
I have been on a trip to Iowa and I was able to visit the Madison County Historical Complex, 815 S. 2nd Avenue, Winterset Iowa. Tel: 515-462-2134. Website: www.historyonthehill.com. Winterset is also the birthplace of actor John Wayne and the location where the movie, "The Bridges of Madison County" was filmed. This museum was also mentioned in the May/June 2012 PIECEWORK magazine.
PIECEWORK magazine had an article about a bedspread tatted by gentleman tatter, Chester Ross Bentz Sr. The story told how he learned to tat while awaiting transportation Stateside after the end of World War I. Chester then enjoyed a life-long love affair with tatting. The bespread is on display at the county museum.
I had to go see it.
Here is just a little of what is displayed there:
The docent (middle photo) was so helpful and allowed me to get great close up photos of all the tatted pieces. This is the bedspread that Mr. Bentz Sr. made for his son Chester Ross Bentz, Jr. He made each of his four sons a bedspread.
The bedspread was made in heavy duty large thread in ecru. It is a traditional style pattern. These photos should help you recreate it.
The museum has converted the Victorian style residence of local resident, Doc Bevington, into a display area for many furnishings and among them I found lots of tatting. It does not say if Mr. Bentz Sr. tatted them but it is a good guess.
Also in the main museum was a table cloth which I suspect is actually an unfinished bedspread as it is the same thread and same pattern. Unjoined motifs found use as doilies in different parts of the museum.
When traveling in Iowa take time to visit the Museum. And, remember, men are tatters, too. Happy Tatting All!
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