Happy New Year to all my quilting friends. On a Christmas road trip to Kansas we encountered multiple stores displaying Native American made goods. I did not see any quilts which made me wonder, “Did Native Americans quilt?” When we got home I did some research that I wanted to share. This is a very, very small bit of what I found but if you are interested please check it out and get more details.
Yes, Native Americans do quilt. Quilting was introduced to Native Americans by early missionaries who were teaching traditional European homemaking skills. The Native Americans found creative ways to incorporate their cultural designs into their quilts. These quilts functioned as both ritual and as practical replacements for the Plains Indians’ buffalo robes; as the bison were becoming scarce by the late 1800s. This is when the Morning Star design was adapted from the traditional Lone Star pattern. This is still a popular pattern used today for gifts on special occasions. For the Native Americans it was not so much the kinds of quilts they made as the use of quilts as gifts that reflects on their culture. Gifts are given at baby-naming events, pow-wows, graduations, funerals, as well as to honor veterans. Native Americans have demonstrated to all that the gift of a quilt is indeed the perfect gift.
Our Guild has a similar tradition of giving the Comfort quilts to those in need and the Quilts of Valor to veterans who have served our country. On January 30 we will have our Bolt to Bed meeting where I hope to see many of you on this all day sew-a-long. While we are enjoying the company of our quilting friends, we will be making as many quilts as we can for our Guild to gift. Those of you who attended in August know how much fun we had doing this same thing. You’ll also remember that there was so much good food to eat you did not need to leave for lunch or supper. We are having the potluck again since it was such a tasty success.
I want to encourage the evening members to come even if you can only come for an hour or two. It would be great if you just pop in, say hello and cheer us on!
Every quilter has a masterpiece within. Come share yours with us.
See you soon.
Randi Roten, PM President