7.28.2012

Quilts Are Meant to Be Used

In the hot summer I try to find time to mend all of the socks and quilts. I know it is easy to keep that precious quilt in storage and save it. I do have some packed up, but for the most part I like to use them.

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Quilts are made by someone who has put a great deal of themselves into them. Picking out fabric and the pattern. Whether it is a scrappy quilt, made out of necessity with bits and pieces of leftover fabric. Or a special quilt, with new fabric picked out just for that project, they tell a great deal about the person that made them.

I made this quilt with random plaids and solids, with white strips in-between, I like that I didn’t have any rules to follow. I just cut and sewed. I almost never put all white or light color on the back of a quilt. If making it for a gift I tend to, but for myself, I love to use prints on the back, I didn’t take a photo of the back of this one, but it is a red, yellow thin stripe. I thought I looked good with the front.

012Scrappy strip quilt, fun to make, no rules

I haven’t made too many quilts, but I tend to really enjoy the scrappy ones. It allows me to make more decisions. Solid fabric, prints, checks, dots, flowers, and pattern also. Placement of the colors and design. With a few changes a fugly quilt can be made beautiful. This maybe due to the fact that my first attempt at a quilt was a crazy quilt, growing up in the 60’s and 70’s was a time when hand work was experiencing a revival. Getting together with friends, listening to rock music often was accompanied by several women working on a groovy crazy quilt, or granny squares. Crazy quilts, originally popular in Victorian times experienced a new popularity among the peace and love crowd. We made our crazy quilts with an assortment of velvets, blue jeans and vintage anything that we could cut up and use. Then used embroidery, buttons, lace, ribbon and just about anything else that struck our fancy for the seams, often no one had a sewing machine, and we just hand sewed them together, because, hey what was the hurry?

crazy quilt

I had a love affair with Amish Quilts and their lovely simplicity. I loved the black against the distinct colors. This magical combo allowed the women to showcase their hand quilting skills

BetsyLydia2.6Modern Day Amish Quilter Betsy Lydia who makes quilts in the old way to sell.http://www.amishhandquilting.com/

Then I saw a special on PBS about the Quilts of Gee’s Bend, I fell in love with the earthy quilts

Gee's Bend is located in southwest Alabama on a sliver of land five miles long and eight miles wide, a virtual island surrounded by a bend in the Alabama River. Without a ferry service for decades, the residents were confined by the river unless they made the hour-long drive to the county seat of Camden, directly across the river from Gee's Bend

This small, remote, black community in Alabama, where works have been found by three and sometimes four generations of women in the same family, are quite unique. Few other places can boast the extent of such artistic achievement, the result of both geographical isolation and an unusual degree of cultural continuity.

They have a special beauty to them.

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Lola Pettway (b. 1941). "Housetop" variation. 1970s. Corduroy. 89 X 74 in (on left)

Jessie T. Pettway (b. 1929) Bars and string-pieced columns. 1950s. Cotton. 95 X 76 in.(on right)

No matter if you quilt is a simple pattern, ornate, applique or scrappy, it is equally loved and beautiful. Made with the same amount of care and love, take you quilt and give it a big hug.

Interested in learning more about quilts and making quilts? Check out Quiltville, it is the Ravelry of quilters.

2 comments:

  1. Good post! I have a fascination with quilts, especially the Gee's bend quilts. If you're ever in Lancaster, PA, you should go to the quilt museum. You'd love it :)
    http://quiltandtextilemuseum.com/qt/

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for the info! I would love to visit it!
    Vicki

    ReplyDelete

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