The Quilt Scout
by Mary Fons
Let’s Bring Back …
A “trend” is defined as “the general direction in which something is developing or changing.” Because people are interested in different things from day to day, year to year, generation to generation, there are “trends.”
There are trends in fashion, literature, cooking, social causes — pretty much everything humans are into will experience change: ergo, trends.
As long as people make quilts, there will be trends in the quilt world. Anyone who has been making quilts for more than five years or so knows that our world is full of “What’s Hot” and “What’s Not.” Thank goodness we don’t do those “Who Wore It Better?” features! Can you imagine: “Who Made Her Dear Jane Better: Nancy or Sue?” (Let’s not go there. Ever.)
In our world, trends take different avenues. Some years, the hottest thing is a totally new, hitherto unknown fabric designer; other years, the fabric everyone has to have comes via a stalwart with her best line so far. Techniques and special tools will suddenly be everywhere; a new Hunter’s Star ruler or a particular kind of fusible will show up in every tutorial you come across. Sometimes a quilt or a block is what everyone’s talking about, e.g., hexies, Farmer’s Daughter, dueling Dear Janes, etc.
Because our world moves so fast, there are some quilt trends that have gone the way of the patchwork dodo. I’ve heard quilters recall a time when everyone was excited about dyeing their own batiks in buckets their bathtub, but, after it was discovered that hand-dyeing inside was hard and messy, that kind of stopped being a thing.
However, there are bygone trends that I believe deserve a second look. These are antiquated practices, sure, but I’ll argue they have something to offer in terms of interest or practicality. These are yours for the taking and trend-making, by the way. I’m not interested in being the person who “brought back [insert trend here].” That’s up to you! Go for it! Any of the below examples could be The Next Big Thing. With a little savvy social media boosting, you could parlay whisker guards into an empire! (See below.)
Don’t let this man anywhere
near my latest quilt. Image: Wikipedia.Do you make quilts? Do you make quilts for people who have beards? (Perhaps you have a beard! What do I know??) If you are concerned about your gorgeous quilts getting all gross because someone’s beard (maybe yours) is rubbing up against it, consider a “beard guard” or a “whisker guard” on the back of your quilt!
A “beard guard” or “whisker guard” is something quilters have used (at various times in history) to help keep the area at the top of a quilt clean. Commonly a strip of muslin, the whisker guard protects the quilt from oil and, I imagine, beard… dirt.
Are there not beards in 2018? Do people not still have oily faces and hands? This is my point! Bring back the whisker guards! #whiskerguard
CUT OUT THE CORNERS OF THE QUILT FOR THE BEDPOSTS
If you’ve ever made a bed with a quilt on it — this is likely — you know what a pain it is to get the corners of that quilt tucked in near the posts. You can do it so-so, but if you’re particular about making beds, you want the bed to look really good, right? Wouldn’t it be nice if the quilt just laid flat at the corners?
Those pesky bedposts, right? Who needs corners on our quilts? Image: Wikipedia
There’s one way to make that happen. Just cut out the corners of the quilt entirely! Well, don’t cut them out while you’re making the bed; cut them out when you’re making the
quilt! In the mid-1800s, quilts with chunks cut out of the bottom half, to make room for
the bedposts, this was a thing. It was a trend. People did it because it was a) cool
and b) practical.
Do our beds no longer have posts?? Do we not make beds with quilts upon them?? Bring back the cut-out-bedpost thing! #cutoutquilts
FORGET THE FANCY BINDING
How much pain would this quilter have saved herself if she had done the quick-binding method??
Image: WikipediaYou know who taught me about binding? Marianne Fons. And Marianne Fons taught me to do binding the “right” way, which is hard. Marianne taught me how to do a “French fold” binding technique and I hate it. Doing binding makes me cry, even now, when I do it. I will beg, borrow, and steal for someone to do my binding for me. There. I said it.
What’s funny about “French fold binding”
is that not everyone does it, nor have t
hat many people done it over time. A
lot of quilts I’ve seen (both older quilts
and newer ones, too!) have a very simple binding. How simple? Really simple:
The binding is just the back of the
quilt, pulled up over the top, and
Do we have to do everything all Frenchy? Do we have to make our binding good enough to take the blue ribbon at the fair or at the big quilt show? Do we have to listen to our mothers? No! Bring back the quick-n-easy binding technique! #ezbinding