Friday, September 08, 2006

Quilts in the Home

These quilts are from , where you can order online or get a paper catalog for your home. The catalog is a delight to look at and full of other little tidbits besides their beautiful, homey merchandise.

Quilts don't have to be left in the blanket trunk or the linen closet, or buried beneath other blankets on the bed. They can now be used in any part of the hosue to give it a bit of color and a feeling of history. Originally, some quilts were made with old scraps of clothing, as a frugal way of using up every available piece of material.

A sleeve can be attached with self-stick velcro to the back of a quilt, and a curtain rod run through it for hanging on a dining room wall. They can be laid gently across the back of a couch or draped on the top of a piano, to display the beautiful colors. Some people use them as table cloths for afternoon tea parties, but put clear plastic over them to protect them. It does not seem to damage them to leave them under the clear plastic--the heavier grade--for awhile. Small, pieced quilts can also be used for curtain toppers, or runners for coffee tables and mantel tops.

Another way to display quilts if you have any and don't know where to put them, is folded up and stacked in an open shelf. Just be sure they are re-folded a different way every now and then, to avoid permanent creases or wearing or being faded by the light in only one area.

You don't have to be an expert quilter to make a quilt. Just get out your sewing machine and start putting leftover pieces together, joining them in a sturdy one-fourth inch seam, using a mark on the bed of your sewing machine, as a guide. Hand-sewing pieces together can be a quiet evening activity. Sewing one square to another every day of the month will yield thirty squares that may be a nice quilt top that you can call your own. While it is nice to have the art form all figured out and the colors coordinated, most people agree that a quilt made by the hands of a relative or a friend, is precious, no matter how it looks. Some people would rather have a quilt than money in the bank or jewels in a chest.

Throughout the world, quilts take on different forms. The Welsh quilts of the previous centuries were not pieced. They were made with huge yardages of cloth which were just sewn to a padding and a backing, stitching a design with the thread. Hawaiian quilts are usually only two contrasting colors such as blue and white and take on a floral look. Quilts in India are bright an colorful and sometimes have bits of sparkly gold threads in them.

It is a pity that so many of the mothers and grandmothers of today had to spend so many hours away from home working, and did not have the time to make such quilts that could be handed down to the next generation.

This is one more reason to try to stay out of debt and protect a woman's privilege of being at home, seeing to the welfare of the family and the house. In the end, most children would rather have a quilt that their mothers made them. I heard a lady who ran a daycare for 20 years say that the children always wanted their mothers and always wanted to be home. They did not want to be there.

The parents loaded them with toys and gifts, but the children always told the daycare lady that they would rather their mothers stay home and sew and cook and just be with them.

Quilts certainly represent a lot of time spent by the creators. Children love looking at the tiny little prints in each square, no matter if it is color coordinated or properly themed. A simple quilt can be made in a weekend, using large squares of fabric and a sewing machine. Even a one-foot square quilt is a charming addition for a lamp to set on or to use as a placemat.

If you didn't have quilts in your family and feel you've missed out on something, you can always purchase them somewhere. There are people who make quilts especially to sell, and many new quilts available at craft fairs. Baby quilts are especially popular and do not have to be used in baby beds, but make great lap quilts and warm blankets to wrap your shoulders in on cool days.

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