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Patches of family history will show up in the quilts made by women throughout Appalachian regions. A quilt is much like a scrapbook of times past. Grandma's old favorite dress, Grandpa's favorite shirt, fabric scraps stuffed in an old box Auntie kept for years, worn curtains, fabric from just about any family garment eventually ended up in a quilt. This was the way of quilting for the early settlers of Appalachia country.

Please click on the following link to read the full article:
Quilting The Appalachian Way

You can learn how to make an Appalachian rag quilt from the article. I hope you enjoy the article. I love feedback, so please feel free to leave any comments. Thank you. smile


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Phyllis Doyle Burns
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One of the beauties of Appalachian quilting is that some of the quilts made give us a sort of local history record. Mittie Barrier finished a quilt in 1920 that gives us a great image of her daily life on her farm in Florida. She made patchwork squares, each 14"X14" and embroidered birds, chickens, geese, horses, , rabbits, and even the alligators from the swamp on the squares. Each square is a lovely barnyard scene of animals or birds with trees and flowers.

Mittie used mostly dark velvets and some silks here and there. Her embroidery is exquisite! I do not have a picture of the quilt, nor can I find it on the internet -- but, there are pictures with details and the complete story of Mittie's quilt in the book 'American Patchwork & Quilting' which you can find the link to at the bottom of my article at: Quilting The Appalachian Way

Last edited by Phyllis - Appalachia; 02/20/12 01:22 AM.

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Phyllis Doyle Burns
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Great article, Phyllis.

I love quilts. I think they are absolutely gorgeous with their various patterns and textures. I don't care for sewing, so I would have to buy a nice quilt if I want one, but it always seems that the ones I like run into the hundreds of dollars. I understand and respect the time and work involved, but I wish they were more affordable so I could own one. Maybe some day.....

Quilting does have a lot of history behind it. Such a fascinating and lovely craft that socially brought together families and friends, and the finished quilts kept everyone warm too. That thought gives me a very nice feeling.


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Thank you, Cassie.

I love quilts, too. I have four I am working on. I have to finish up my brother's quilt this year. It is a Victorian Crazy quilt in dark velvets and some calico here and there to add brightness.

I used to work in a fabric store and purchased bolt ends when they went on sale. With my discount and the sale prices, I ended up with a lot of fabric that is now waiting to be made into quilts.

I can so imagine sitting out front of an old cabin with a group all working on quilts. I bet that was fun for the early settlers.


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Your brother's quilt sounds absolutely gorgeous. You're lucky to have such nice fabrics available to do your craft. I wish I liked sewing, but I just don't, so I won't be trying to make a quilt of my own, unfortunately. I think sewing is probably the only domestic thing I don't care to do. I don't sew except for reattaching an occasional lost button on a garment. I admire anyone who can do such beautiful things with fabrics.

The early settlers took care of their own while enjoying social time catching up, sharing stories, etc. I think some of the best times were when there were simple pleasures in life such as these, instead of all the technology of today that distracts people from the important things in life.


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I have always love doing quilting and patchwork by hand. There is just more put in to a quilt when it is pieced together and sewn by hand. The quilt becomes a family heirloom that is cherished. Draped over my little sofa is my Mother's quilt that took me 14 months to make by hand.

The bottom panel has appliqued kids, seven of them, with big straw hats on. They are out picking apples on the farm. The kids represent my six siblings and I. My Mother loved that quilt so much.

In time, the quilt will go to my daughter.


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Sounds wonderful, Phyllis. What a lovely heirloom to pass down among the generations. A lot of history will be connected to that quilt, and lots of love.


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Thanks, Cassie. What is so wonderful is that every member of the family who visits me will sit on the little sofa just to touch Mama's quilt and feel close in spirit to her. It makes a welcoming place to sit and relax.


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That's beautiful, Phyllis.


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Some day I will have all my quilts finished. I just added some old clothes of great fabric to my "scrap box" today. They will go into a future quilt.

Quilting The Appalachian Way

I think with what I have now in the scrap box will make a really nice rag quilt for someone, or to just toss in one of my rocking chairs for a cuddler on chilly evenings. smile


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Phyllis Doyle Burns
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