The Clearmont Women’s Club is keeping an old tradition alive with annual quilting bees, making colorful, warm quilts for many different charities. At one time, every farm wife knew how to quilt, and made colorful quilts for the family beds for warmth. Today, quilts are becoming an art form as well as very usable bedroom accessory.
On Saturday, Jan. 23, around 15 people, 12 Women’s Club members and five other quilters, joined in the fun at the Clearmont Community Center. A large table and frame was set up, and the quilters brought colorful material be sewed into quilts. A pot luck lunch was served at noon.
Many members made the tops, or the colorful collection of squares sewed together, and brought them to the Clearmont Community Center. Fran Felz and Addie Cook made many of the tops to be used.
A quilt is sort of a sandwich, consisting of a top, usually made my sewing together squares of colorful material, or using a printed material; the batting, or the filler to make the quilt warm, and the backing, a large piece of material sewed on the backside of the quilt. The batting is usually cotton and polyester, and is purchased in large rolls. Historically, batting could be wool or cotton. Silk can also be used as batting, anything that helps to make the quilt warm.
The backing is laid out on a large table, and the batting laid on the backing, and the top is then sewed onto the backing, with the batting in the middle. The backing is usually at least 8” longer and wider than the pieced top, to allow the quilt to be sewed together.
After the backing is tacked on to the top, the quilts are then placed on a frame, a large structure that holds all three parts of the quilt: the quilt top, the batting, and the backing. The frame acts as a pair of helping hands, keeping the quilt taut as you work, sewing it together and doing the ties, colorful yard knots that add texture and help to hold the quilt together.
According to Cheryl Roebling, president of the Women’s Club, “In past years we have and donated quilts to the Veteran’s Home in Buffalo, to the VOA, and the homeless shelter.” She added that the VOA, and the Sheridan Foster Parent Exchange gives quilts to those foster children who are leaving the program to join a new family. “Each kid who gets a new home, takes home their own quilt.” The size of the quilts vary, with most being twin or full sizes.
“We are not sure where we are going to donate these,” Roebling said. “The Club membership has to vote on where we are going to donate the quilts. Each year we make between 6 and 15 quilts to donate.”
“They are all thrilled to get our quilts.” Roebling said.