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05 Aug

In the twenty-first century, quilts are frequently displayed as non-utilitarian works of art There are many traditions regarding the uses of quilts.Quilts may be made or given to mark important life events such as marriage, the birth of a child, a family member leaving home, or graduations.The tops were prepared in advance, and a quilting bee was arranged, during which the actual quilting was completed by multiple people.Quilting frames were often used to stretch the quilt layers and maintain even tension to produce high-quality quilting stitches and to allow many individual quilters to work on a single quilt at one time.A logical extension of this tradition led quilts being made to raise money for other community projects, such as recovery from a flood or natural disaster, and later, for fundraising for war.Subscription quilts were made for all of America’s wars.Modern quilts are not always intended for use as bedding, and may be used as wall hangings, table runners, or tablecloths.Quilting techniques are often incorporated into garment design as well.

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Small pieces of fabric were joined together to make larger pieces, in units called “blocks.” Creativity could be expressed in the block designs, or simple “utility quilts,” with minimal decorative value, could be produced.There are many traditions regarding the number of quilts a young woman (and her family) was expected to have made prior to her wedding, for the establishment of her new home.Given the demands on a new wife, and the learning curve in her new role, it was prudent to provide her some reserve time with quilts already completed. Wedding ring quilts, which have a patchwork design of interlocking rings, have been made since the 1930s.Quilts were often made for other events as well, such as graduations, or when individuals left their homes for other communities.One example of this is the quilts made as farewell gifts for pastors; some of these gifts were subscription quilts.