Sunday, 13 October 2013

Patchwork and Quilting as a Social Hobby

In the early days of our country, the Quilting Bee was the most common way to socialize. When the weather turned cold and the days grew short, life slowed down and women would quilt. One woman could piece together two or three quilt-tops over a winter. Through the winter and early spring, the women would meet and turn all the quilt-tops into quilts.

The act of joining a quilt-top to backing and padding is very rewarding, but monotonous when done alone. Quilting Bees make the job more interesting by adding conversation and company. It also had the benefit to being faster than doing it alone.

In the early days, large wooden looms were often hung from the ceiling. The quilting loom would be lowered down to the proper height and chairs would be pulled around the loom. This was the way they got together and socialized while still working. Many times they would call together a Quilting Bee for special occasions; engagements or births, for example.

Quilting Bees today are still a great opportunity to socialize. Some groups are purely for the social aspect of it, others have made it a way to raise money for a cause while doing patchwork and quilting with their friends. Some groups enter competitions with the quilts they create.

Today's looms are much smaller. They make it possible to do a Quilting Bee most anywhere. Combined with quilting pattern software and portable sewing machines it's possible quilt, from start to finish, in one day.   

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