the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

19
March

National Quilting Day

Posted by Brittany

National Quilting DayThe earliest evidence of quilting dates back to the 1st century. Ancient egyptians and Europeans continued the custom in order to create cold-weather garments and bedding materials, and by the time the American colonies were booming, quilts were being produced by women from wealthy families. Today, quilting has become an art form, with many finished pieces adorning walls and appreciated for their beauty rather than functioning as actual covers. There are an abundance of impressive quilts, including those created by hobbyists and entire family trees quilted and lovingly embroidered by family historians. And it’s impossible to forget the powerful message this art form can deliver; I’ll always remember seeing the AIDS quilt back in my days at JMU.

I like to think of myself as crafty — or at least the type of crafter who will try any craft once. But in spite of some semi-succesful attempts at creating pillows and small stuffed animals, I’ve been a little too terrified to try my hand at patchwork quilting. I’ve always been in awe of of the amazing and functional finished product, but when I look at a quilt my brain starts to race as it imagines the countess hours that must have gone into creating it. But with this “unofficial” on the horizon, my neglected sewing machine calling my name, and a book of embroidery projects including a super-cute baby quilt, I knew I would have to venture into this unchartered territory. And yes, I did say baby quilt. No, there’s no news yet, but like the pillows we made for National Tooth Fairy Day, we decided we would make a unisex gift for our as-of-yet non-existent future offspring.

After a wonderful lunch at our favorite Japanese restaurant, Chris and I perused the fabric aisles at our local Jo-Ann Fabrics. We selected six fabrics for our baby quilt project, opting to go with gender-neutral yellows, greens, and oranges instead of the pink called for by the original design. After finding matching thread, a rotary cutter, and other various supplies, we wound up spending a lot more time and money than we’d planned. But we agreed that it was all worth it for aforementioned non-existent Baby E. or L. When we got home we started cutting out all of the pieces. This was a particularly stressful part for me because I’m a bit ‘Type A’, and a big believer in the “measure twice, cut once” principle.

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