Progress Club learns about history of quilting


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The Progress Club met on Nov. 7 at the Cape May Campus Center. Hostesses for the afternoon were Mary Ellen Krisher and Becky Miller.

Krisher presented an interesting and informative program about the history of quilting.

Quilting was used as long ago as 6,000 years to make warm clothing. She told how quilting made its way to Europe when the Christian Crusaders returned in the 12th century.

Only wealthy women had leisure time to quilt in Colonial America. By the 1840s, women began to make quilts by sewing together scraps of fabric left over from making clothing for their family. These were what we call pieced or patchwork quilts. Many of the quilt patterns used today date from the 1840s.

Quilts were made by women for their dowries, for gifts and to raise funds for the Abolition Movement. During the wars, quilts were made to send to soldiers or to raise funds for the Red Cross. During the Great Depression, quilts were made of old woolen clothing with old blankets as fillers.

Today, quilting is a popular hobby and art form. Quilt shows and competitions are held at many county and state fairs. The old surviving hand-stitched quilts made by family ancestors are treasured memorials to our past.

Krisher brought several of her heirloom quilts as examples of quilting in the 19th and 20th centuries and told interesting stories about them. Members shared their quilts and experiences quilting as well.

A short business meeting followed. Hesperia Bevan read a letter from Connie Patrick, executive director of Stillwater Stables, thanking the club for sponsoring a child at Stillwater Stables. Children at risk come to the stables to work with Connie and the horses. She told of the progress and the transformations the children make as a result of learning to trust and communicate with the horses. Connie shared pictures of the children as well.

After the business meeting, all present enjoyed light refreshments and a time of conversation.

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