Tag Archives: quilting

What Some People Do With Fabric

I would have to ask my sister-in-law how many tiny pieces of fabric went into the making of the quilt in the picture above.  When some people go into a fabric store they envision clothing for themselves or their loved ones.  Some think of curtains or upholstery.  And there are a large number of people who see fabric on the bolt and see it becoming a part of an intricate design like the one above.

When fabric comes off the bolt at the store it is cut in a large rectangle.  No matter what you plan to do with it, it is likely to be cut.  If you are making a table-cloth or a sheet you might just trim off the selvage edge in preparation for hemming.  If you are making a dress you lay out pattern pieces and may cut all kinds of oddly shaped little pieces that will go together to make the dress.  I don’t think anyone cuts that 45″ or 60″ wide fabric any smaller than a quilter (oops, just thought of people who make Barbie clothes).

You know the saying about breaking eggs to make an omelette?  Well, for the most part, you don’t get a quilt top without cutting up and then reassembling the pieces.  Originally quilts were made this way because they were made of the remaining good parts of material left from clothing that had worn out, been outgrown, etc.  It was not cheap to buy fabric and every last scrap was used for something.  People who piece quilt tops have a special kind of talent for putting together patterns and colours.  It is quite amazing to see the combinations they come up with and how beautiful they can be.

So each tiny piece of material has its own place in the greater design, much like we each have our own place in God’s design.  Some of us are the people with the vision and colour sense to plan the quilt top.  Some of us are the ones with the patience to sew all those little seams.  Some of us are the warm batting layer that gives the quilt its lift and makes it cozy.  After the layers are put together there is another group needed.  If you were to wash this fabric sandwich of plain cloth, batting, and quilt top, you would find the batting up in a ball at one end or the other.  The last people in the process are the ones who spend hours meticulously quilting the three layers together.  With tiny, even stitches through the three layers and following patterns from block grids, tea-cup sized circles, to outlining the quilt pattern itself they make it so the resulting piece will remain evenly warm throughout its use.

No matter what role you play in God’s design, without you it wouldn’t come together, nor stay together as well without you.  Remember that the next time you are feeling unneeded.  There is an unfinished quilt there just waiting for your particular pattern or talent to make it complete.

End of an Era: Lower Kingsclear WI Branch Disbands


This past Saturday at lunch time I was seated in a living room with some women who have been very important in my life for almost twenty years, the members of my Women’s Institute branch.  At forty-six years old I am the youngest by ten years, our oldest member at ninety-three was not able to attend that day.  Most members are retired, one lives on a working farm, three of us live in the city.  Some are knitters, some are quilters, we have some prize-winning bakers etc.  What do we have in common?  We are all women, most have or have had husbands and children, most have worked hard either at home or outside our homes.  We have experienced life as women and all that entails and we all wanted to help our community and keep on learning. 


We were gathered together for a luncheon and the final meeting of our branch.  After ninety years our branch has disbanded.  We will no longer be meeting together on the first Saturday of each month to plan community service and learn something new.  No more lucky cup and napkin prizes, no more pots of tea and sharing our stories.


In case you don’t know what Women’s Institute is, it is an organization which began in Canada when a farm wife Adelaide Hoodless learned about pasteurization after her son had died from drinking unpasteurized milk.  Horrified that her son’s death had been preventable she felt she needed to share this information with other women.  The motto for the organization is For Home and Country.  Do you remember the movie Calendar Girls?  The group they belonged to was Women’s Institute.   


I will miss the group.  When we talked about it at the luncheon we agreed that given the internet available everywhere for education that role of our group is now covered, especially for people living in cities.  I believe that the work we do in the community will be missed.  Our final work as a group was to give our remaining funds from the sale of  our hall to a number of charities in our area.  In the end we can be proud of the work that was done by our group over the ninety years.