Archive for Thursday, February 9, 2006

Quilts: a little history

February 9, 2006

Quilts are works of art. Originally, the main purpose of quilts was to use parts of worn-out clothing to give it new life. It was also practical to warm our bodies in a cold bedroom that was closed off to save the woodstove heating for the rest of the house.

They are also a labor of love for quilters and a wonderful gift to be handed down through the generations.

Sewing circles were very active in Lansing's early history.

I remember my Grandma Young sewing quilt pieces in the 1930s when she was more than 80 years old. She had been making quilts since before 1900 in Lansing. She was either sewing on a quilt or praying.

I asked her why she prayed so much, and she said, "I pray for those that don't." From that, I figured quilting could also be a spiritual exercise.

Quilts reflect the social, political and economic times in our history. The designs go from abstract to realistic and are changing constantly. There are many popular designs that are used over and over, such as the Wedding Ring, Sunbonnet Sue, Patches of Love, or original designs using clothing that have many memories and cannot be thrown away. They are a way of passing down fabric history.

My brother Art and his wife, Ruth, made two of my favorite quilts. They used the fabric from my old work pants that were covered with paint splatters from painting signs. The more the splatters, the better I liked them.

During Lansing DAZE, the Lansing Historical Society has sponsored a quilt show for many years. The beautiful quilts, either antique or new, are always a great attraction, and visitors get to vote on their favorite.

Again this year at Lansing Daze, the second weekend of June, a quilt show is being planned. If you have a quilt you would like to display, regardless of its age, please consider showing.

The contact persons for this event are Eva Wayman, 727-3605, or Helen Bennett, 727-6500. They ask that you contact them by the end of May.

Quilts warm our bodies and our hearts.

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