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By Lisa Arrell · 3/11/2016
Lancaster County is associated with Amish. And the Amish are associated with quilts. Specifically, quilting bees. That’s where a small group of ladies – moms, daughters, cousins, friends, etc. –all work on a quilt at the same time, sitting around the quilt and chatting or kibitzing while adding their stitches. It’s as much a social gathering as a functional project.
This is the picture most people have of quilting here in Lancaster. But I have come to realize there are many things about quilts I never knew – things my mom never told me (maybe she didn’t know these things, either). Some of these things are just plain fun, while others are important tips if you have a quilt or if you are thinking about buying a quilt.
So, here are some about quilts your mom never told you, but you might want to know:
Not all quilts are the same.
Some are made quickly by many quilters (like the quilting bees mentioned above), while others are made by a single quilter and can take 800 or more hours to complete.
Some quilts are made from common materials, while others are made from pure cotton or even silk.
Quilting has evolved from a necessary art into a creative one.
Quilting originated as a means to keep warm – two layers of scrap material stitched together with padding in-between. The basic quilting patterns – log cabin, wedding ring, etc. – still exist, but today’s quilts also can be landscapes, images, and new shapes in vibrant colors and materials.
Textile art can be used on beds, as wall hangings, purses, jackets, pillows – the uses are limited only by the imagination.
The art of quilting involves a lot of math!
Quilters work in fractions in every part of the design process. They use 1/4-inch seams, but often need to cut to the eighth-inch, half-inch, three-quarter-inch, seven-eighth-inch dimensions.
That’s not to mention figuring out how much fabric is needed for a quilt. Try to figure out what a yard and twenty-two inches equals in decimals. (22 inches equals: .6111 or 39/64 of a yard. I looked that up.)
Quilts can last a long time.
But not all quilts “wear” the same. Washing technique and detergent have a lot to do with the “wearing” of a quilt, but so do the fabric(s) it’s made with, and the uniformity of stitches.
With proper care, a quilt can be passed from generation to generation. Download our How to Store a Quilt Guide.
Buy a quilt you like.
There are so many variables when it comes to quilts: fabric, texture, pattern, colors, price, function, etc. In the end, you should buy the quilt (or multiple quilts) you like and will enjoy.
Village Quilts here at Kitchen Kettle Village offers a wide variety of quilts and quilt products with knowledgeable quilters. Most of them are locally-made, too. Download our Guide on the Top 10 Reasons To Buy a Quilt From Village Quilts.
Want to learn how to make your own quilt? Contact Village Quilts for more information about quilting classes.
After 23 years at Kitchen Kettle Village, Phil & Stephanie Garnett will be hanging up their pottery wheel and ending their time at the Village. Their shop will remain open though the end of October 2021. In March of 2022, the shop will reopen under new ownership.
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