Kate Dudding: Every Quilt They Make

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(tune = This Little Light of Mine)

I think every quilt is an artistic masterpiece. Its creation involves so many steps. First the quilt is designed and the fabrics are selecting. Then the quilt top is assembled by cutting the pieces, sewing the pieces into blocks and sewing the blocks together.

That's just the top of the quilt. A quilt has 3 layers: the top, the puffy middle and the back of the quilt. The actual quilting is the stitches which start on the quilt top, go through the puffy middle of the quilt, and come out on the quilt back, then return through the puffy middle to the quilt top. The quilting literally adds a new dimension to the quilt top, transforming it from two dimensional to three dimensional and enhancing the design on the quilt top.

To accomplish the quilting, the top is marked with washable chalk wherever the quilting stitches will be. Then those 3 layers, top, middle and back, are basted together, sewn with large temporary stitches. Then, at last, the actual quilting is done. The best quilters try to make 10 stiches or more per inch. Finally the edges of the quilt are finished by a binding, another piece of cloth which covers the rough edges of the three layers.

All those steps are needed to create each quilt.

With so many steps, it's not surprising that making a quilt often involves many people. This song is dedicated to all the quilting groups who donated their artistry, their time and their fabrics as they created quilts for The Quilt: A Celebration of Survivors.

Some of their quilts and their stories are listed in between the verses of this song.

Every quilt they make,
They always make with love.
Every quilt they make,
They always make with love.
Every quilt they make,
They always make with love,
Make with love, make with love, make with love.

It Could Be the Girl Next Door, Quilt #47, 2000

"We have several women in our group who are breast cancer survivors or have family members who have had cancer. A hundred members made blocks for this project in honour of these people."

Donor: Brant Heritage Quilters Guild, Brantford, Ontario.


Every piece they cut,
They always cut with love.
Every piece they cut,
They always cut with love.
Every piece they cut,
They always cut with love,
Cut with love, cut with love, cut with love.

Windmill Scrap Quilt, Quilt #138, 2001

"In February 2000, a group of women answered an ad asking for people to come together to make simple tied quilts for victims of accidents, sexual abuse, fires, domestic situations, etc. All the women are still in the group and have become friends. In its first year, this group accomplished 70 quilts. We are all hooked on quilting.

This quilt was taken from a recent magazine and it proved to be a good one for our group. One of our members has serious eye problems that make it difficult to judge a quarter-inch seam. With this pattern, we can draw pencil lines for her. She was the first one to complete a block and she has made several more. All fabrics in this quilt have been donated, with the exception of the batting and the muslin in the squares.

We give this quilt because one of our members lost her sister to breast cancer. Another of our members went through a series of lengthy breast cancer scares this past year. The final diagnosis was negative and we like to think our support and prayers helped.

May this quilt bring comfort and warmth to someone who needs it."

Donor: The Caring Quilters of Lambton Shores, Port Franks, Ontario.


Every block they piece,
They always piece with love.
Every block they piece,
They always piece with love.
Every block they piece,
They always piece with love,
Piece with love, piece with love, piece with love.

Seasons of Life II, Quilt #15, 2000

"We've lost 3 very special ladies within 3 months in 1999. The call for quilts gave us a way to do something in memory of them. We are a small group of only 6. We know 3 other friends and neighbours who have survived breast cancer and hope to see more survivors. We are all so proud of the money we will earn for the cause. Thanks for the chance."

Donor: Cherryville Quilt Group, Lumby, British, Columbia


Every seam they press,
They always press with love.
Every seam they press,
They always press with love.
Every seam they press,
They always press with love.
Press with love, press with love, press with love.

Petals From Heaven, Quilt #10, 2000

"Our guild now has 42 members in it and each year we undertake a couple of projects to give to the community, quilts for the hospital, the women's shelter, etc. Last year four of us decided to make a quilt for the "Celebration of Survivors." We had such a good time doing it, working together, sharing progress and mistakes and getting closer personally, that we wanted to take part in your project again this year. We've had fun planning our quilt. We will applique again as we did last time and we're finding our skills are growing with each step. This time though we are five not only four. The new member is VERY good at applique so our quilt will be really special. As you can see, we are getting a lot more out of this than the satisfaction of helping women with breast cancer.

The other reason we are taking part in the project is your constant contact with us. We didn't send our quilt off to the distant east never to hear from it again. I'm sure that the steady flow of information must take time and energy but we really do appreciate it. We are very happy to be a part of something that will benefit women everywhere."

Donor: Rivervalley Quilters Guild, Kamloops, British Columbia.


Every line they mark,
They always mark with love.
Every line they mark,
They always mark with love.
Every line they mark,
They always mark with love.
Mark with love, mark with love, mark with love.

Favorite Things, Quilts #152 and #153, 2001

"These quilts are donated as a memorial not only to those who have suffered from cancer, but for the nurses who have taken care of them during their illnesses. The fabrics are remnants from the making of scrubs for nurses in Alberta. The fabrics were donated by Mary Ann and June Sparling. Research is important to them, as their daughter and granddaughter has been diagnosed with cancer."


Donor: Bluewater Quilters Guild, Owen Sound, Ontario.



Every stitch they baste,
They always baste with love.
Every stitch they baste,
They always baste with love.
Every stitch they baste,
They always baste with love.
Baste with love, baste with love, baste with love.

Precious Bits of Blue, Quilt #127, 2001

"Nearly all member of this group have had contact with cancer in its many forms. One of our members, a breast cancer survivor for 6 1/2 years, worked on this quilt, but passed away in January 2001 in her 79th year. This was the last quilt she worked on. We dedicate our quilt in memory of our friend June Hare 1922 - 2001."

Donor: Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild (Wednesday Group)


Every stitch they quilt,
They always quilt with love.
Every stitch they quilt,
They always quilt with love.
Every stitch they quilt,
They always quilt with love.
Quilt with love, quilt with love, quilt with love.

Irish Star, Quilt #84, 2000

"On Valentine's Day, a group of twelve (shop owner, staff and teachers) volunteered their time and talents in a quilting bee. After nourishing bodies with homemade soup, we nourished our spirits by working together to create a quilt for a good cause. Teams were organized to cut, to sew and to press, allowing everyone to do a job that they were comfortable with and to contribute to the whole effort.

Twelve people can make some interesting variations in seam allowances and colour choices but, in the end, it worked out beautifully. The quilt was set up in a frame at the shop where staff and customers could quilt whenever time permitted.

Many hands volunteered many stitches over the course of this quilting project. The Irish Star design seemed appropriate for several reasons. The many colours and patterns in the squares of the Irish Chain show that many people working together can create something strong and lovely. The small pieces that fit together so well challenge us to blend our diversities. The stars remind us to look up and to dream. "

Donor: Quilters' Supply, London, Ontario.


Every quilt they bind,
They always bind with love.
Every quilt they bind,
They always bind with love.
Every quilt they bind,
They always bind with love.
Bind with love, bind with love, bind with love.

Nothing But Blue Skies, Quilt #266, 2001

"We're a group of ten women who met when we all volunteered to quilt on a local charity effort. We're all members of the Erie Shores Quilters' Guild, but hadn't known each other personally. We meet on alternate Thursdays to stitch and visit. This quilt is our first large project. Although we're not all hand quilters, we did on this occasion so that all could work together. Our quilt is truly a joint effort.

We all brought in our blue fabrics, we stitched (and unstitched) together and had a great time putting it together. And we learned a lot about quilting and each other.

This project is close to our hearts. Each of us has been touched by cancer in some way. Our wish for all cancer survivors is this: Nothing But Blue Skies From Now On."

Donor: The Uptown Girls, Wheatley, Ontario.


Every quilt they make,
They always make with love.
Every quilt they make,
They always make with love.
Every quilt they make,
They always make with love,
Make with love, make with love, make with love.
Make with love, make with love, make with love.


Copyright 2001 by Kathryn Eike Dudding and The Quilt Project 2000. All Rights Reserved.


Here's another story about The Quilt: A Celebration of Survivors.

 


Kate Dudding (518) 383-4620
8 Sandalwood Drive kate@katedudding.com
Clifton Park, NY 12065-2700 USA
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