Recycling came naturally to the early settlers in Upper Canada, including the Loyalists who came to Prince Edward County. “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” is an often quoted description of the way of life in those early years of settling the land.
Quilts were an intimate part of family life. “Good” quilts were made with more complex designs, to put in a Hope Chest or to celebrate a birth or an anniversary, and were stored away for special occasions. “Everyday” quilts were made from scraps of fabric salvaged from worn shirts and dresses, as well as left-overs from other projects……. whatever materials were at hand. The quilts were sewn by hand, and children as young as five years old practiced their stitching skills creating simple but essential bed-coverings for the family.
The filling or batting in early quilts could be sheep’s wool, old blankets, or even newspaper. (Today’s quilters use cotton or polyester) The back of the quilt might have been flour sacking, or other recycled fabric. This quilt has a simple gingham that could have been purchased at the General Store.
Early quilt layers were hand-stitched or tied together with wool yarn. By the 1850’s,the coming of the railway made treadle machines available for rural women to purchase with weekly payments from their “egg money”. This was one of the earliest examples of buying on credit. The impact of the sewing machine on women’s lives, and on the creation of bed-coverings needed to keep a family comfortable in winter, was revolutionary.
This quilt is an example of the utility quilt that was made for everyday use. It promises to offer old-fashioned comfort as you snuggle up with a little bit of Loyalist heritage……and it comes with the ‘warm wishes’ of the quilters who stitched it at the Baxter Arts Centre in Bloomfield.*
* Every Tuesday afternoon the Baxter Arts Centre, at 3 Stanley Street in Bloomfield, welcomes anyone who would like to share a few hours with others who enjoy creating. Knitters, painters, quilters, rug-hookers, crafters,…….all are welcome!
FESTIVAL of TREES to support the PECM Hosptial in Picton
Friday November 24 from 10 am to pm
Saturday November 25 from 10 am to 9 pm
Sunday November 26 from 10 am to 2 pm
At Isaiah Tubbs, West Lake in Prince Edward County