Why Do We Quilt?
Why do we quilt…. Quilting has been with us since we first discovered the needle. From the Latin word for ‘A Stuffed Back’ came ‘Culcita’, from there to the French word ‘Cuilte’ and eventually to the English word ‘Quilt’. Quilt – the stitching together of layers dates back as far as 3400 BCE. In Europe, quilting was introduced by Crusaders in the 12th century as a quilted garment that was worn under armour. One of the earliest recorded decorative works was the Tristan Quilt, made about 1360 in Sicily, as well a piece found in a Mongolian cave, dated to between 100 BCE and 200 CE.
The pilgrims brought quilting with them not only for practical warmth and a way to re-use clothes that had worn out but also for the beautiful art. They used quilts for trading and incorporated the native designs with quilting from their own history which took on a new life and flourished.
Fast forward…. Today quilting has taken on an entirely new form, from the traditional to the very modern, the fabrics are so vibrant and beautiful they explode our senses. We use machines and tools that are awesome! To some it is an addiction, but I have it on good authority that quilting cannot be an addiction…so I am safe – for now.
Increasingly we see more men quilting as this steadily transforms to an art form, here in Grant County we have wonderful examples from local artisans – cultural works that are outstanding in beauty, creativity and healing…Healing? Absolutely – the love that goes into a quilt helps to heal a sick child, a wounded warrior, a veteran. It blesses newlyweds, comforts the elderly, it stands as a reminder and testament of where we came from and how much we are loved.
Quilting has so much to offer, the creativity and a way of binding friendships are limitless. Quilts are like friends – a great source of comfort, after all a sewing machine is cheaper than a psychiatrist.
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