Friday, April 29, 2011

About Those Quilts

Star asked, concerning my Easter party pictures: "Did you make all the quilts yourself? and why do you hang them up on this occasion? Is it significant or just a form of decoration for the walls of the barn?"

The tradition of hanging up quilts at our Easter party began back in the 80's  when our community of friends was in something of a quilt-making frenzy. We were cranking out group-made friendship and wedding and baby quilts for each other at a great pace and the Easter party was a perfect opportunity to show off what we'd been stitching the previous year.

Community Quilts, the book a friend and I co-authored, tells the story of the quilts.

As time went on, the quilt making slowed. Not so many babies and lots more distractions to keep us from quilting. But we'd gotten used to seeing quilts up at Easter -- they're a nostalgia trip and they make the woodworking shop look festive.
Most years there are one or two new quilts on display -- some of the children who once received baby quilts are getting wedding quilts and grandchildren are beginning to arrive -- meaning more baby quilts.

These days, the quilts tend to be a mix of our community quilts -- old and new, antique family quilts, collected quilts, solo quilts I or my friends have made, and even (blush) a few store-bought quilts from China. (There's one in the background of the first picture.)  
Folks say it's like seeing an old friend when we hang a quilt we all worked on twenty or so years ago.

Our friend Bob (the original of Doc Adams in the Elizabeth Goodweather books) always comes over Saturday afternoon to deal with the fiddly job of hanging the quilts.
Quilts at the Easter party -- part of the tradition, just like the barbecued pork and the egg hunt.

These pictures are from several Easters -- not just the most recent.
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Desiree said...

This is fascinating and quite delightful, Vicki. You seem to live in an incredibly connected and loving community, something I can't even begin to imagine, not ever having experienced anything like it myself. It sounds so wonderful and like something from the past as it's fairly rare these days, I think, for people to remain in the same community for years and years and even for families to remain close to each other. Our whole family (both on my and my husband's side) is scattered around the world and we were a small one to begin with! I should imagine that your situation is fairly unique in this day and age?

The quilts are so beautiful and I can completely understand the connection you all have with each one. Again, something so special and rare!

Emille said...

I noticed the quilts at the pics of your Easter party, but when I saw them again of FB today, I smelled "a story" -it's a great tradition to show off the quilts!

Merisi said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate quilting and friendship!

Merisi said...

I notice more and more references to Facebook all over Bloglandia. Only this morning, while prepping the vegetables for lunch (I like to do this before I sit down to work), I realized that Facebook has become an almost obligatory part of life of almost all the people I know in real life. I noticed that more and more I am "left out" of news. Acting surprised at some tidbit of news, I hear with a certain regularity, "but it was on Facebook!".

I still resist, for the simple fact that I am not willing to give more real time to the virtual world.

Alan Burnett said...

We have no tradition of quilts in this country. In these days of douvets and central heating, are they actually used any more or just for decorative purposes.

Pat in east TN said...

What beautiful quilts and what a wonderful way to show them off.

My mother-in-law and her sisters and friends were great quilt makers, and really churned them out years back. They tried to get the younger ladies in their community involved, but they found the work too tedious and stressful. I cherish the quilts I have from her as do both of my sons.

Brian Miller said...

nice...quilting is something my mother did as well...and one of my fav things to snuggle under as it is heavy and tradition and a great way to share with each other...i like

Joan said...

Thank you Vicki I did enjoy hearing about your quilt traditions. they are wonderful. You certainly have a wonderful community life.

Vicki Lane said...

Desiree -- our little community is fairly stable -- there have been departures and arrivals but quite a few use Easter as an opportunity to return and catch up with old friends. We're fortunate to have chosen a really beautiful place to live -- a place that people just gravitate to.

Merisi -- I joined FB mainly so that my blog would show up there as well -- I don't spend a lot of time there but skim through stuff once a day. And some good stuff shows up. I do disable all the silly games -- pernicious timewasters aren't something I need more of.

Alan -- Quilts are still used as bedcovers by many of us. I wouldn't put a quilt that I or my friends had made on our bed as it would be faded by the sun and trodden upon by dogs and cats. Those quilts I reserve to hang on the walls or put in our dimly lit guest room.I did, however, buy an attractive but cheap quilt made in China to use as a bedcover.

Deanna said...

What a lovely tradition. I would love to have a huge old barn where everyone could gather. Those quilts are so pretty and what a wonderful reminder of years gone by.

Star said...

Oh Vicki, how very wonderful! I think that is just so fine. It was and is a great way to make friends, mark those special moments in the history of your community and a fantastical way to bind you all together. I'm sooo glad I asked the question. The quilts are beautiful and look absolutely wonderful hanging in the barn.
Long may your quilt making continue.
Thank you very much for writing about it.
Now I'm going to go back and read the link about the book you co-authored.

Kath said...

How lovely. No way to pick a favorite.

Brenda said...

Wow, what beautiful quilts. And I agree with Desiree - the connectedness and community you describe is something of a rarity these days, and such a gift!


WOW! what beautiful quilts. What a community of quilters in your area. Enjoyed all your photos of the quilts, old and new, over the years -- barbara

Reader Wil said...

An aunt of mine is a dedicated quiltmaker. She would have loved to see yours. I admire everybody who makes quilts or do needle work, for I don't like embroidery to do myself.
In" Art's Blood" you tell a story about a famous quilt. Do you go to exhibitions too?

jennyfreckles said...

What a lovely tradition - shared history that builds community.