The time revered art of quilting continues to bring joy and satisfaction, perhaps even more so now as a slower paced activity in a hurry-up, harried world. The precision of piecing, where all the pieces fit together and form a beautiful pattern, is a satisfying experience when so much in our lives seems ill fitting and disjointed. Quilting is a tangible link to our past as in the present we create an heirloom (perhaps using patterns that could be a hundred and fifty years old) that will be enjoyed by future generations. How wonderful to spend time creating a legacy of beauty and quality to be passed down and enjoyed by family and friends!
Quilting crosses all age gaps as skills and techniques are shared with daughters and granddaughters. In my case I was taught to quilt by my Aunt Mary Whitehead, quilter extraordinaire. And many times I have in my classes kids as young as eight and ladies in their eighties. Different generations learn that they can enjoy each other’s company and communicate after all!
Quilting is an activity that can be enjoyed socially in the company of others-remember those old timey quilting bees when it was one of the few times the women could get together for a gab-fest (go to see the wonderful little musical The Quilters if you ever have the opportunity), or it can be enjoyed in the tranquility of your home where you can learn skills and techniques at your own pace via videos or computer downloads.
With the incredible selection of beautiful fabrics these days, quilters are easily able to find ones they love, which express their own unique individuality. They can be contemporary, spritely, cottagey, sports oriented, etc etc etc..in my classes I love seeing how very different the quilt tops are despite the fact that all students are using the same pattern! I do always suggest when it comes to fabric selection that students choose the best quality fabrics, ones that feel as good as they are beautiful. After all, with all the time, effort and love being devoted to a quilting project, it’s only right to start out with the best quality fabric. Quality quilting deserves quality fabrics for a beautiful result!
There are so many lovely patterns available to quilters these days, some very old and time honored, some new and innovative. My Aunt Mary, being a mathematician besides quilting, was always designing new patterns which I now love to teach and share with others. She also taught me some very fun skills and techniques that save loads of time and are easy to learn. I’ve taught quilting to some who had never sewed before and who have since become addicted to the art (about the only wonderful addiction I can think of!)
Quilts add grace and individual expression to a home, and can range in size from the cutest crib quilt to an elegant king sized coverlet. They can be wall hangings or table runners or place mats. Quilting techniques can be used in clothing designs. So many possibilities! Quilts have come a long ways from their humble beginnings when they consisted of scraps from cast-off clothing and were only used for warmth. Now they’re individual expressions of art that provide cozy comfort or lovely decor, depending on their purpose. Quilting is indeed pure joy!