They are your target market. As you plan your quilting kits, keep in mind some of the obstacles a beginning quilter would face and strive to overcome them. For instance, a beginning quilter might be daunted by all the patterns out there from which to choose. If a beginner selects a difficult pattern, chances are that the project will never be finished and the beginner might never try quilting again! To avoid that, select simple quilt patterns for your quilting kits. Another obstacle beginning quilters face is fabric selection.
Your quilting kit will have the fabric pieces with it, taking the guess work out of color coordinating and fabric selection. Go ahead and cut the pattern pieces for your quilting kits, too. Beginners will especially love this!
You could offer intermediate level quilters with another option. For the slightly more advanced quilter, you could print or trace the patterns onto fabric and allow the quilter to cut them out. Take into consideration how much time this might take, however. Don't forget to include threads and even a needle for hand stitching! There are many different levels at which you could offer quilting kits. You could make kits for quilt block pillows, wall hangings, lap quilts or full size quilts.
You could also compile kits for quilted toys and dolls. Another niche market for quilting kits could revolve around holiday themes. Offer kits that will make ornaments and other decorations. How will you sell your quilting kits? Many have dreams of mass market production, but you can sell your quilting kits without a contract from a large chain store! The result was a hodgepodge of color, and a quilt with a story behind each scrap.
Making utilitarian quilts fell out of favor in the late 's and early 's as America became more industrialized and technology brought improvements to the home. The Crazy quilts or throws of this era featured rich colors and textures and were used to decorate the parlor. Skill in fine embroidery was emphasized. Victorian quilters filled their quilts with bits and pieces of their personal past; a piece of father's vest, a husband's tie, lace from a wedding veil, or ribbons commemorating political events.
One of the oldest applique quilt patterns is the Rose of Sharon. The Rose of Sharon, mentioned in the Bible, might actually refer to a wild tulip that grows today on the plains of Sharon in Palestine. When the Bible was translated into English, the word rose was used in place of the word tulip. During the s, there was a custom for a young girl to make a baker's dozen of quilt tops before she became engaged.
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This collection consisted of 12 utility quilts, and one great quilt, which was pieced or appliqued, as a show piece for a bed. The Rose of Sharon was often used for the great quilt. Many young women traveled West as brides, their great quilt folded safely in a trunk. The Whig Rose is another name for this pattern. It is thought the name came from the Presidential election. The newly formed Whig party hoped to beat out Democrat, Andrew Jackson. The Whig party dissolved in the mid 's, but the pattern name lived on.
The quilts the homesteaders brought with them were a comfort to these women who traded their home, family and friends in the East, for the uncertainty of traveling through vast prairies in the West. A quilt that held special value to the pioneer women was the Friendship Quilt. Often it was done is secret, and then given to the woman as a going away gift. It usually was a group effort, with each block being sewn by a friend or relative with their name embroidered in the center.
Putting a Friendship quilt on the bed, gave a woman a sense of connection with her former way of life. It kept alive the memory of family and friends, providing comfort and company during the difficult days of homesteading. One woman homesteader said, "When I get lonely, I read the names on my quilt.
God's Eye America was founded on the principle of religious free-dom, so quilts that reminded the homesteaders of their devotion to God were especially meaningful. The trip to new land was filled with danger and daily challenges which tested even the strongest men and women. It was a rare person who did not lose a family member, often a child, along the trail. The practice of using quilts as burial shrouds was fairly common among westward travelers. Wood was often scarce for coffins, so families used what was available and appropriate. Wrapping a loved one in a quilt was a way of not only preparing the body for burial, but of giving reassurance to the living that the decreased person was still linked to his or her family.
A quilt that carried a Biblical name was a source of comfort, and with their enduring faith, kept the family going. Wild Goose Chase Nature was an obvious and rich source for quilt patterns. There are numerous patterns named for trees, flowers, animals and birds. The homesteaders watched the migration of flocks of geese and created quilts with that in mind. Although the triangle shape is used in hundreds of other quilt designs, in this quilt block, triangles represent the geese.
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Pioneer women expressed their artistic abilities and creativity in the way they arranged the triangles or geese, and in the colors they used. That may be one reason why the Wild Goose Chase pattern has at least 14 variations. Quilting was not just a woman's activity. Over the years, men have also been quilters.
In fact, when they were boys, at least two presidents, Calvin Coolidge and Dwight D. Eisenhower, helped their mothers piece quilts. Corn and Beans Quilt patterns reflected our country's agricultural society and the family's dependence on the crops they harvested, the fruit and vegetables they grew, and the foods they preserved.
Up until , most people lived on farms.
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A quilt pattern that reflects this agricultural influence is Corn and Beans, both of which were essential to the homesteaders. Quilting allowed women to escape from the hard work, rigors and drabness of their everyday routines.
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With women gathered around the quilt frame, a quilting bee, offered an excellent way to socialize. Churn Dash The homesteader's life and their daily activities contributed names to many quilt blocks. Nineteenth century quilts reflect what women saw around them, and what was important in their lives, such as the churn, a common household item. A quilt historian says that quilts had characteristics so localized that they could be classified geographically almost as easily as the Yankee twang or the southern drawl.
But as the homesteaders traveled West, blending together on the trail and in the new territories, the patterns became intermingled and renamed. The Churn Dash pattern, for example, has 21 different variations and names. But, whatever the name, one can be certain it was meaningful to the maker, for even the simplest quilt represented a considerable investment of time and energy.
And when the cold winter winds blew snow through the chinked cracks of the log cabin, a quilt was a welcome cover, whatever its name. Schoolhouse Settlers went West for a better life, and part of that better life was education.
It was natural then, that the schoolhouse was often one of the first public buildings constructed in many communities. The Schoolhouse block was often a variation of a house or church pattern. Most featured a side view of the building and were either pieced or appliqued. Depending on the skill of the quilter and time available to her, crosses in the windowpanes and outlines of the doors could be added.
The Signature Quilt was especially popular. Business people, store owners, and community citizens paid a small fee to have their names embroidered on quilt blocks. The finished quilt was raffled off with all proceeds going to the Red Cross. These quilts now serve as fascinating community records. It is easy to imagine the origin of this name. The meandering diagonals resemble a drunkard's staggering walk. Sewing for a cause is an old tradition. Women made quilts to raise money and consciousness, both to promote the abolition of slavery and to promote women's rights. Women across the country were also involved in the Temperance Movement.
Prohibited from voting, the Drunkard's Path was a popular way for a woman to express her opinion on alcohol and its use. It appears that more quilts were made for this cause than for any other. Although other colors were used, blue and white became the Temperance Union colors: white for purity and blue for water, the purest beverage available. Basket Naturalistic motifs, such as flowers, leaves and vines, have been favorite textile designs for centuries, and American quilts share this tradition.
Many of these quilts are appliqued because this method is best suited to the curved shapes of the flowers and vines. This same theme is possible to create in a pieced quilt. Baskets, with flower designs, were a popular motif among quilt makers from approximately on, as they could be easily adapted to suit individual tastes, fabrics and color combinations. The variety of patterns seems almost endless, from baskets with handles to those without, to those with appliqued fruit and flowers added to the pieced basket, to pattern variations including Broken Sugar Bowl, Cake Stand, Flower Pot and May Basket.
Anvil Not only did quilt patterns reflect the daily work of the women who helped to homestead the prairie, they told the story of the challenging work of the men.
When I was a little girl, I had an insatiable desire to make things. Luckily, I come from a family that understood me all too well. My roots have been firmly planted by a talented, loving, generous European family that always put family first and strongly encouraged freedom of artistic expression. I have inherited the good fortune of learning from generations of artists, silversmiths, sculptors, poets, weavers, stained glass artisans, and writers.
My maternal grandmother let me work the treadle part of the sewing machine while she sewed. My grandmother was a smart cookie. She found a way of giving an energetic little girl a way to have fun and participate. Soon, she propped me on her lap and showed me how to sew.
I had my own needles, scissors, and threads before kindergarten and was taught to respect my tools. I remember my mother teaching me to crochet, knit, and embroider. My father took me on adventures. I always had my little Instamatic camera in tow. My Christmas gifts were always about art, sewing, and creating.
As an adult looking back, I am thankful for the thought and time my parents gave to nurturing my curiosity and love for art. My whole life has always revolved around photography, writing, painting, and sewing.
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These interests have fueled my passion for travel, teaching, and sharing my experiences with people around the world. I believe language is never a barrier in the translation of quilts. Let the things you see in my book be a springboard for your imagination. Linda Poole lives with her husband, Ray Williams, and Corgi pup, Zoie, near Milford, Pennsylvania, a beautiful region in the northeastern part of the state.
Together they share the passion of discovering the gifts of nature while hiking trails that lead to creeks, brooks, rivers, and lakes. Ray can be found with his fishing pole in hand with Linda by his side, clicking away with her camera. Donna became a Home Economics teacher, a needlework storeowner, a lecturer, and an author of quilt books.
Along the way she has taught at national quilt shows and even been on TV!
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