Quilting, Needlework & Sewing

by Barbara Floyd

Twenty-five years ago I was not aware of any quilting shop in the city of Phoenix, Arizona or in the whole state of Arizona where I have lived for fifty years. But, once the quilting industry bloomed it just kept growing and the same revival of the needle arts began. What an exciting era we live in with the creative options and organizations and events that have been created for quilters, sewers and needlework enthusiasts. This industry has its share of men joining in. This is not happening just in the USA and Canada but it brings together people from all over the world. Going into a quilt shop can be an enjoyable and memorable occasion for quilters and non-quilters. Many of them have gift shops in addition to all the quilting supplies and classes. Quilting is so popular there is a National Quilting Day in March. In 2013 it was celebrated on March 19th.

Shop hops are also the rage. Shops co-join their efforts for a tour of shops in a certain area and give away prizes, have special offerings, special hours and lots of fun.

In Lincoln, Nebraska there is a marvelous International Quilt Museum. My visit there was a real eye opener. First of all the building is stunning. The treasures within it amazing. The displays and history it contains are something that will leave lasting impressions.

The 44th Annual National Quilting Association Show is on June 27-29, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. Quilt shows are held in every state and province. Quilt guilds bring people together for learning and sharing. The shops become gathering places with many of them offering classes and spaces to come and work on projects. Numerous quilters donate materials and time to worthwhile charities and special projects.

On my coffee table is a book, "Old Swedish Quilts" by Asa Wettre. It is of special interest to me because it came my way via a life long friend in Minnesota who is a professional seamstress. The book was actually sent to me to give to my granddaughter who loves to create and sew and whose dad was born in Sweden. From this book, accounts from the early 1900's told that patchwork quilts were associated with "simple folk" in Sweden and Holland and they were spoken of as "poverty covers" and "beggars' covers." The oldest preserved example of patchwork comes from the Shang Dynasty in China, 1600-1027 B. C. The Amish are known for patchwork quilts with simple, geometrical patterns and distinctive colors.

Hooking rugs, weaving, needlepoint, spinning, knitting, tatting, crocheting, and numerous other handcrafts are being enjoyed again in todays fast paced lifestyle.

The Country Register enjoys promoting not only the quilting and needlework shops and events but all crafts. There is a lot of overlap in these areas with stamping, scrapbooking, paper arts and beading, all of which we also promote.

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