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Stitches in time
Karen La Pierre
B1 purple quilt
This purple quilt was made with feed sacks and was a neighborhood quilt made in 1937 by the Stitch and Chatter Club at the home of Grace Jennings. During the 1800s, cotton feed sacks replaced barrels as food containers, which were initially unbleached white cotton. Around 1925, manufacturers began using color. In the late 1930s, manufacuturers began competing to produce attractive prints. Artists were hired to design them because women chose products by the color. By the 1950s, companies switched over to paper bags. A standard feed sack was about 37 by 43 inches.

eedlework has long been a past time of women of the prairie. It provided a creative outlet and beauty during the harsh life in the Great Plains and still today, is the hobby of choice for many.
The quilts, many sewn with fabric from worn out clothing or flour sacks, provided warmth during bitterly cold winters.
The Santa Fe Trail Center in Larned, 1349 K-156 Hwy, is having a quilt show of antique and modern quilts, which provide an unwritten record of life of historic and modern times. The exhibit runs until July 8, and the cost of admittance is $4.
“All of the quilts in the exhibit were made by local people,” said Anna Bassford, director of the Santa Fe Trail Center. The display was designed in relation to the Santa Fe Trail Days celebration.
She added, “We have  a large quilting community (in Larned).”
Bassford said that has been a resurgence in quilting in recent years.
One type of quilting used in the past is called a crazy quilt.  A crazy quilt, is a type of quilting with repeating patterns, were popular in the 1880s. Crazy quilts were made using up odd shaped fabric scraps in order to waste not or want not. Crazy quilts to not have batting, but often included embroidery. They were show pieces made of silk, wool or brocade. The Santa Fe Trail museum has several on display.
Quilting was often a communal activity, involving women and girls in a family, or in a larger community. The tops were prepared in advance, and a “quilting bee” was arranged, during which the actual quilting was completed by multiple people. “Quilting frames” were often used to stretch the quilt layers, and maintain even tension to produce high quality quilting stitches, and to allow many individual quilters to work on a single quilt at one time. Quilting bees were important social events in many communities, and were typically held between periods of high demand for farm labor. Quilts were frequently made to commemorate major life events, such as marriages.