Quilting is an old craft. But people are still making quilted blankets and art pieces today!

Quilting is an old craft. But people are still making quilted blankets and art pieces today!

Frank Halden auctions off his quilts to help fund cancer research. (AP/Toby Talbot)

Frank Halden auctions off his quilts to help fund cancer research. (AP/Toby Talbot)

Some quilters get creative with artistic designs. (Gray Whitley/Sun Journal via AP)

Some quilters get creative with artistic designs. (Gray Whitley/Sun Journal via AP)

Artist Sabrina Gschwandtner created a quilt series stitching together 16 mm and 35 mm film strips. Light behind the quilt reveals the patterns. (Sabrina Gschwandtner/Joshua White via AP)

Artist Sabrina Gschwandtner created a quilt series stitching together 16 mm and 35 mm film strips. Light behind the quilt reveals the patterns. (Sabrina Gschwandtner/Joshua White via AP)

Rick Miller and Hajer and Nick Arriaga hold up a quilt made from T-shirts from local restaurants around Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Ioanna Raptis/Portsmouth Herald via AP)

Rick Miller and Hajer and Nick Arriaga hold up a quilt made from T-shirts from local restaurants around Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Ioanna Raptis/Portsmouth Herald via AP)

Quilters Keep Creating

Posted: March 1, 2021

Quilts aren’t just for making beds cozy. Today, people use the patchwork patterns in home décor. Quilters create fabric masterpieces that add color to walls, tables, and couches. Quilted pillows, placemats, table runners, and wall hangings take less time to make than traditional bed quilts. “I like to do a big quilt project, but I have small projects going on in between,” says quilter Pat Capone.

The very first quilts had an essential purpose. They kept people warm. Quilts covered beds, drafty windows, and laps inside chilly carriages.

“It was a necessity, providing warmth for the family during winter. New fabrics were not purchased for quilts. The fabric was what was left from the clothes people wore,” explains Susan Scott. Her grandmother taught her to quilt. “I remember her sitting in her rocking chair hand-sewing quilt squares. I asked her if she would teach me.” Susan was around nine years old at the time. Fifty years later, she carries on the quilting tradition.   

Quilters use fabric patterns to tell stories. The birth of a new baby, a wedding, a reunion—some quilts record life events that are worth remembering. In the Old Testament, God tells His people to pass on stories of His faithfulness to generations. Psalm 78:7 tells us why: “So that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God but keep His commandments.”

Today, some quilters choose vintage fabrics but newer patterns for their projects. Others stick with bold fabrics and traditional geometric designs. And then there are artists who quilt with, well––everyday items.

Modern quilters have made eye-catching quilts with duct tape, leather, t-shirts, and old blue jeans. Artist Sabrina Gschwandtner made a quilt from old film strips. When light shines behind the quilt, patterns appear.

“I don’t want to know how long it takes me to complete a quilt,” laughs Mrs. Capone. It can take hours, months, or sometimes years to finish a single, intricate quilt. But, “It’s a great time for me to be quiet and just enjoy the process,” says Mrs. Scott.

For the last eight years, Mrs. Capone and her friend Mavis Bosch have enjoyed a virtual quilting night once per week. These long-distance friends treasure time together to quilt. “We show each other projects that we’re working on. Sometimes we sew and don’t even talk.”