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Quilt Art
by Debi Smith

I have to admit right at the start that I am not and never will be any sort of seamstress. My favourite joke is that the minute I sit down before a sewing machine, it either lights on fire or runs out of gas.

When I approached the Cut Loose Quilting Guild (CLQG) in Houston to do a story, I was given a very broad smile after asking, "What exactly IS quilting?"

Cut Loose Quilter's recent display at the Houston Library
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Quilting is the practise of making a fabric sandwich - where two pieces of material are fastened together with some type of stuffing in the middle. Quilts were used solely as bedcovers in 13th century England. They were made of a single top sheet and a single bottom sheet with crests or images stitched on their surface for decoration.

Fast track to North America where cloth became scarce in years of strife and political upheaval. Women living in the western states and provinces were the hardest hit and began the practise of piecing blocks or squares of well-worn materials together to make one quilt. This could be used to pad seats, welcome new neighbors, wrap precious keepsakes in, or bury the dead. They have been used as doors, curtains, swings and tents.

Two hands are better than one
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Women often lived far apart in the northern part of North America, and quilting became a way of socializing, and for some the only creative outlet afforded to them in their busy lives. Quilting "bees" were popular and not to be missed.

Many of the Cut Loose Quilters feel the same way today. Meetings held every third Thursday of the month between September and June usually have a high attendance rate.

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