In my experience, one very sweet hallmark of the quilting community is the strong bonds of friendship among quilters! Honestly, my quilting journey has taken me to exciting places because of the great friends I have made at the various stages of the journey.
This snippet is from quilt.com about quilting bee:
The quilting bee was an important means of socializing for colonial and pioneer women (and men). Through the winter months, the women would piece their quilt tops. Since there was no central heating in these homes, there was usually only one main heated room that was too crowded during the winter months for a quilt frame to be assembled. When the weather became warmer, an invitation was sent to the surrounding neighbors for the quilting bee.
On the day of the quilting bee, the quilters would arrive early and begin marking the quilt top which had been put into the quilt frame by the hostess. Very often, plates, thimbles and tea cups were used to mark the quilting patterns. (Did you read that?! TEACUPS!!! You who collect fabrics and china — you are SO justified in your
obsessions collections! I simply have to insert a china picture here.)
The quilters would then being to quilt the top while exchanging conversation. The quilt had to finished before the husbands and beaus showed up in the late afternoon when dinner was served to all, the hostess being given a chance to show off her cooking skills. After dinner, there was very often a square dance or country dance with fiddles accompanying the dancers. The quilting bee was an important part of the social life of these people surpassed only by religious gatherings.
My summary on things: FRIENDSHIPS
So, it is with “scrappy” friendships and block exchanges in mind that I design a couple of my book projects: namely Oh! Happy Stars and Feathery Formation. These two projects are conducive for an activity within a guild or quilting group. Members can get together to learn to make the blocks using fabrics with theme selected by the group (for example, ugliest fabric, fabrics of certain color shades, Christmas fabrics, Spring fabrics etc – you get the idea!). Members make multiple blocks for exchange — and the result is a scrappy quilt that holds memories of your quilting friends.
An additional “friendship” note on Feathery Formation. Of course you can quilt to your heart’s content (like I did) on the white patches. :) But I also thought it might be nice for a friendship quilt to have the white patches be printed recipes from participating quilters on fabric squares and pieced into the quilt, or even words of encouragement for a going-away quilt.
My Floral Fancy (you can see more pictures here) and Ivory Baltimore projects are projects that have possibilities of expanding friendships. By that I mean, the blocks can easily be adapted as the center blocks for round robin projects within a quilting group of friends. Or the same block can be made multiple times in by friends in different colorways to make more scrappy quilts. I am re-making my Ivory Baltimore in a fun way – stay tuned for details.
I hope this post will give you further ideas on how to use Recreating Antique Quilts, and not merely have the book tucked away on a shelf. And more importantly, I hope this book will play a small part in your friendships – whether you make a project from the book as a gift, or being a part of a quilting activity.
And speaking of friends, do stop by tomorrow for details on a blog hop participated by some of my special friends!
You may read ALL about Recreating Antique Quilts here.