When I took my first quilting class well over a year ago, I learned how to quilt in the contemporary way—choosing from a bounty of beautiful fabrics, cutting with a rotary blade, sewing together many, many pieces, using store- bought batting and yards of fabric for backing, and then machine quilting...and quilting... and quilting. It took me about a month of fairly focused effort to produce most of the quilts I have finished thus far (I have three still remaining in stages of pieces).
I decided that in my retirement spare time, I ought to join the ladies sewing circle at our church. I like ladies. I like sewing. I love my church so the combo made sense .
I went to my first meeting on Tuesday and I learned a lot. I went prepared, because that is how I have learned to appear for my quilting classes/gatherings. I brought my mother's Singer Featherweight, 48 patches I had precut from my stash (plus few extra yards I picked up) and a copy of the Lutheran World Relief quilt pattern because I knew our sewing group made mission quilts and I did my reading!
When I arrived, Judy, the head of the circle, was setting up the room, arranging long tables for hooking up sewing machines and for unfurling quilts to be pinned or tied. These ladies quilt old school, piecing together the remnants of donated fabric, using long spools of batting and backing quilts with donated sheets. They pin backing, batting, and front of quilt, stitch and turn. No binding. I am learning other ways. Good!
So I pieced while others pinned, sewed batting on, and tied quilts together. I took my pieces home, finished the top, tied it together and made my binding by turning the backing onto the front (I read about that from the LWR website).
Simple. Easy. Quick. And most all durable, functional, and lovely. This time, I made one all by myself, because I wanted to go through the process completely on my own. Next time, I will be a better team player, assuming whatever position is needed to contribute to the whole effort.
The 2013 Lutheran World Relief Quilt Campaign has set a goal of making and donating 500, 000 quilts this year to send around the world to people in need. Half a million quilts is an ambitious goal. On the LWR Quilt Campaign website, it says:
"When you make and send a Quilt, you are not only comforting someone you have never met, but providing an object that is useful in ways you probably never imagined. In addition to being a cozy, clean new bed cover, it can be:
• a baby carrier, tied around a mother’s back;
• a market display, spread on the ground and piled with vegetables;
• a sack for transporting those goods to market;
• a sunshade;
• a shawl; and most importantly
• a constant reminder that someone, far away, cares a lot."
When I was tying my quilt the other night, I began imagining where this quilt might end up and I said a prayer for the woman whose hands will hold it, this quilt traveling from my hearth to hers.