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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Family Accidentally Sells Treasured Heirloom After Grandmother's Death, Now Pleading with Public to Help Find It

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When Rae Kellgren of St. Paul, Minnesota, passed away in August last year, she left behind many memories for her family to cherish.

One of the more artistic pieces she left behind was an intricate cross-stitch piece, roughly 2 feet by 3 feet, of the United States. Each state is carefully placed and adorned with state-appropriate images.

The piece took her a year to complete, from 1989 to 1990, and she had originally planned to enter it in the state fair as it was one of her greatest works.

“Anyone who does cross stitch knows you start in one corner and if you make a mistake you have to re-start,” Kellgren’s grandson Tyler Redden told KSTP-TV.

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“So she started this 3-foot by 2 feet tall piece from the East Coast, because she knew that was going to be the hardest part.

“If she was going to mess up, it was going to be over there. So she started stitching it from the top right and kept going down, knowing that it would get easier as she went.”

But then she noticed something was missing: Kansas’ capital.

The artwork never made it to the fair, but became a cherished family heirloom that hung in Kellgren’s living room. It was also something her family hoped to hold on to, but after some sort of mix-up, the labor of love was sold at an estate sale for $10.

Ever since then, Redden has been working to get it back.

“Just had an ad hoc interview with KSTP 5 Eyewitness News to hopefully recover my Grandma Rae Kellgren’s magnificent ‘America the Beautiful’ cross-stitch piece,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “The item was sold in error at the Estate Sale Oct 16/17 in Saint Anthony Park of St Paul, MN. Look for the story airing on Saturday!”

“Feel free to repost this, any help finding it is much appreciated. To contact me with any information, my cell is 6514971611.”

The family thinks the buyer was a woman in her 50s with a short, blonde pixie cut.

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“This cross stitch is so important to my family,” Redden told KSTP. “It was the piece that, you know, the centerpiece in her living room for the three decades before she passed after she had made it.”

Not only would they like to hold on to the cross-stitch, but they were also hoping to display it at her burial at Fort Snelling, which is planned to take place in the next few months.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of the piece, you can contact Redden at 651-497-1611 or

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking