Tuesday, January 20, 2015
GRANDMOTHER OLIVE ANSWERS YOUR QUILTING QUESTIONS
Quilting bees are held in someone's house. I or Jean can hold a quilting bee in our house or someone else holds one and invites us. At a quilting bee there is usually a reason for the quilt. It could be someone's son or daughters wedding quilt, a baby quilt, someone lost their house quilt, quilt for a coming auction, a payment quilt, etc.
How many ladies usually get together at once? As many as we can get. Usually, we get between five to ten ladies. On the other hand, sometimes we work with less. If we get more than ten, we don't turn them down either. Sometimes if we are working on more than one quilt, like say for the Haiti auction, we have some working on one quilt and some working on another. We usually let the ladies know a week or so ahead before we hold the quilting bee. Sometimes all the ladies can come, but sometimes, as life goes, some have other plans or commitments that they have to take care of on that day. We try to hold quilting bees after harvesting season in the fall and before planting season in the spring. Like right now, we are making quilts for the Haiti auction. The auction is in June, but we now have the time to make them.
The pattern is decided before we have a quilting bee. If it is for say the Haiti Auction, we ladies usually talk after church and decide what we want. If we are making for us to personally sell or for ourselves we have to make up our minds. Sometimes it is something we have made before. Maybe a pattern that has been passed down for years. Sometimes we look at the material we have and figure out what kind of a pattern would look well. Maybe is a pattern that we think up.
Some patterns we make to sell, we wouldn't make for ourselves. Like the wedding ring quilt, for example. We don't wear rings or jewelry so we wouldn't put it in a quilt for us. But we make them because they are a great seller to Englishers. I made a quilt for someone once, they wanted a car in it. So I worked up a pattern with a car in it.
Do we purchase fabric specifically for a pattern or does everyone bring their extra fabric and we decide on a pattern from what we have? Today, we usually purchase fabric for a specific pattern. Back when I was a little girl, we use to go to the store to buy material for a quilt and all you could get was white. You had to take it home and dye it to the colors you needed. My Grandmother told me, when she was little girl, they use to make the fabric - then color it. So I am glad we can go to the store and buy it today.
Notice I said usually, because sometimes we do bring our extra fabric and decide what the pattern will be or maybe make a patchwork quilt. It is fun to put all the materials together and see what colors go with what - and what don't. It is sort of a mix and match. Then we decide if a specific pattern comes to someone. Sometimes we just cut the material into squares and mix and match. We don't want good material to go to waste.
Is everything hand done or do you use a sewing machine? Well, now, in most cases, the pattern is done by sewing machine. Not all, but most. At the quilting bee, we sew the batting, the bottom and pattern together. Some people still do the pattern by hand, but most are done by machine.
Do we put the quilt on a frame to quilt the layers together? If we do use a big frame where is it stored before visits to work on? Yes, we usually put the quilt in a frame to quilt the layers together. Where do I keep my quilt frame? When Jean and David added on the addition for Albert and I, they put on a sewing room for me which made Albert very happy. Albert didn't care to see all my sewing materials all over the kitchen table. So I keep my frame in the sewing room. Jean has her frame in her and David's bedroom, but David is thinking in his third remodeling of finding a room for Jean's frame and other sewing materials. Jean would like it so she, Susan and maybe Katie, too, could all be working there sewing. I have been in homes where they are set up in the living room. .
I hope this has told your more about our Old Order Mennonite quilting. If you have more questions, just ask.
Be With God,