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Quiltmaking, and reviving the "Lost Art" of staying warm.

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posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 05:44 PM
Most survivalists have their bases covered. Food, shelter, defense, etc, when TSHTF. I'd like to add in another aspect of survival, and that is the ability to stay warm in colder climates. What happens if we have a climate shift? The scenarios are endless, but the basic needs for human survival are food, heat, shelter, and the ability to stay warm at night, while our bodies heal themselves. We are bound to the circadian rhythms of this planet, and must sleep and wake.

I'll travel back in time a bit, to a period when a horse and buggy were a primary means of transportation, and most people lived in a log cabin.

There was no electricity. No internet. No cellphones.

They survived by doing the day to day tasks required for survival. They didn't de-volve, they advanced. It seems with their advancements, we have set ourselves on the course for devolution. However, I believe there is a way to save humanity, and that's by remembering our mistakes. When TSHTF, there will be no more power grid. We will be back to scratch. The best survival techniques are listed in the history of those who survived the harshest conditions.

What did they do to stay sane and socialize, and stay warm? They quilted. Yes, while the men were away at the fields, the women socialized and gossiped and kept the information flowing, while in a quilting bee. That kept a sane society alive.

I'll travel a bit forward in time to the industrial age, when machines were manufactured. There was not a national power grid at the time, so the first sewing machines were treadle powered devices, and instead of hand stitching, productivity increased many fold.

The art got lost over the years. Modern devices removed the need to have simple skills, and people will always sacrifice what works for ease.

People quit making their own blankets they relied upon to stay warm during the cold winter nights, and became dependent on the ease of driving to Wal-Mart.

We need to retain our humanity when TSHTF. I wonder if we will. Will we be zombies, or will we remember who we are, and dust ourselves off, and re-build?

The next part of this OP is dedicated to my own experiences.

My forays into quilting resulted from a belligerent older lady co-worker. She had made a Pittsburgh Steelers quilt, and I told her it was the ugliest thing I had ever saw. (I am a Cleveland Browns fan.) I told her to make me a Cleveland quilt, and I would pay her, and she hit the roof, because of my intentional insult.

She told me the only way I'd get a Cleveland Browns quilt, was if I made it myself.

Thus, as a male, I was intrigued.

I started quilting on a plastic machine, a portable. Ugh.

I found my first treadle machine in my mom's basement. They had flooded, the head was rusted to the point on not turning, and we were cleaning up, and it was about to go in the dumpster. I saved it, tore it apart, polished everything, and I made four quilts on it. It dated to 1923, a Singer with a serial number.

The next one I found on E-bay. $30.00 USD, and it was four blocks away. It traced back to 1910. After minor buffs, I made 3 quilts on it.

The third was given to me, having heard I am collecting treadle machines. It was free, and the serial number traced back to 1900. All three have made quilts, and they are coated with mineral oil, in storage, waiting for when TSHTF.

Treadle machines run on foot power, and with no power grid, you can sew in candle light. People will need clothes repaired, perfect job for a treadle, and your quilts will trade for supplies like hotcakes.

I've made 50+ quilts in the past three years. Pics or it didn't happen? Bah.

I'll submit a 3 year old 3 video sequence of a quilting show I made on you tube as evidence. You'll waste 14 minutes of your life if you watch them in sequence, that you'll never get back, so be forewarned. Audio sucks, but that is 3 year old tech. Enjoy.

Here's a sampling of my work:

The art of expression keeps alive the idea of freedom. We need to express our selves, and that is the key to co-operative survival.

posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 06:07 PM
My mom does this non stop, its not hard at all, shes got more fabric than one could imagine, if there is a cold winter in sight there will be several hundreds to share its just a matter of making them

posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 07:24 PM
Quilt making has been on my list of things to do! I love your quilt with the Runes!! Great work!

posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 07:48 PM
What do you put inside? Do you use wadding or wool etc? (Wadding in England, what it is called in America I don't know.) And what thickness?

I was thinking of making a sleeping bag quilt. On one side it would be an ordinary cotton quilt and on the other it would be sleeping bag material. I was going to mimic a design called Rayway (If I remembered his name correctly.) He uses 2 layers of 3/4" wadding 6ft by 5ft. So you just wrap it round and under you, and over your head. Apparently it is the lightest sleeping bag ever and it doesn't take up much room either.

I would love to make a quilt but there is always something else that needs doing. I even have the fabric ready for three.

At the moment I am knitting a super chunky jumper for me and then one for my eldest. I have made so many gloves, hats and scarfs for my family, that they need their own basket.

posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 09:23 PM
Nice narrative, very captivating all those women-folk keep those idle hands busy! Men-folk were most undoubtedly out running the Still! LOL
(my imagination wanders)

I am just being funny! Here is a book that I swear by although I have yet to read but a small portion so far; Enclyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery

A bible of information!

I do like quilts, I throw money at every "quilt raffle" I run into at fairs and shows! I never win but they are incredible! I bet there are a ton of quilts out there in peoples attics when that time comes! There will be so many "lost arts" which will make a comeback!

edit on 10/1/2011 by Greensage because: slight adjustment

posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 09:26 PM
My mother and aunt are both into quilting (they are amazing) and it's a great hobby to take up during the winter months. I have never tried it, maybe some day - for now I reap the benefits of their work...

Great thread

posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 12:23 AM
That's so awesome, Druid. I could just kick myself for not buying a mint condition treadle sewing machine when I had the chance. What are you using to press the seams? I've made some quilts, but I'm soooo slow. After hand-quilting one, I've decided to machine-quilt the next one I do. The other one I made is a biscuit quilt and I tied it.

That's really great!

posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 01:12 AM
Neat thread, thanks for the vids, I like!

posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 01:34 AM
sooo i like, ive always wanted to know how to do this. thanks

posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 07:00 AM
Well, If TSHTF never happens, you have not wasted your time.
These quilts are pure art.

posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 07:24 AM
reply to post by AriesJedi

In the US we call wadding batting.
You can pretty much use any thickness you want depending on how warm you want to be or by how much thread you are prepared to break in the process.

What i like is to get old blankets and use them for batting as they already have a good shape and are ready to use.

OP your thread rocks! Star and flag.
Quilting and just fabrication of clothes and or cloth is a lost art.
I grew up poor so, you either learn to mend or... you know.
More folks need to learn these skills.

I started off hand stiching but never was coordinated enough to use a treadle, I'm just gonna have to make sure the solar is still working

posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 08:10 AM
Thanks for all the comments.

To press the seams, I use a chunk of square metal, polished. It weighs about 2 lbs. (I think there would be a way to heat it, much like a modern iron, which I also sometimes use.)

For wadding (batting), I have used nearly everything. The key to quilting is to have layers sewn together, and the edge binding to prevent fraying. A quilt can be repaired, last for years, is a good conversation piece, and will keep you toasty warm on any chilly night. Old blankets, commercial batting, fleece, and old flannel are all good for the middle layer.

Lately, I have stipled the last few quilts, which leads to an interesting pattern and extra durability.

Glad you enjoyed!

posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 11:09 AM
reply to post by Druid42

That is one handy skill you have there Druid,no doubt about it.
Imagine how much food or other essentials you could swap for a nice warm quilt in a SHTF scenario.
Something which may mean the difference between life and death for the very old or very young could see you become very popular and maybe rich in times of great adversity.

Good work!

posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 11:12 AM
We got a quilt yesterday for our wedding shower. My grandma made it, it's probably one of the nicest things we've got, ever. It's a good skill to have, and beautiful. I'm going to call you on frontier women doing no work though, they helped in fields as much as anybody else. I know this because my family were Oklahoma settlers Lol.

posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 12:05 PM
reply to post by Mr Headshot

The women did the most of the work, and btw, everyone worked back in the day. There was no welfare or social security back then, and it was a time when everyone helped one another.

After the SHTF, I hope we can get back to that.

posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 12:26 PM
reply to post by Druid42

True that. It'll be a rough switch though.

posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 03:46 PM
Like this thread, thanks OP.

One of my favorite new quilt books is The Farmer's Wife. It has a pattern and history of every quilt block. Also comes with a CD for printable patterns. I hand piece many of my blocks, then set them up by machine. I have several friends who machine quilt tops. The pricing to do this has become quite reasonable. Batting is fairly cheap, but my favorite thing to do is use old wool blankets or lightweight cheap ones.

This is hardly a dying art. American Quilting Society is well and strong. Also many states have Quilt trails. Where they paint sides of barns with huge quilt blocks, celebrating local history and quiltmaking. And provide maps to view from the road.

My latest work has been, I wanted to work on piecing while "sitting" with my grandmother in her last months. I looked through lots of her quilt books finding inspiration for the right project. I finally found one I like lots. I used her favorite color, pink, and my favorite color lavender. The block was called Sunflower Star. Hence, my name. Was in this book from mid 1970's. I can't find this block shown any other place. The original block was done by Amish women, and a lady found an unfinished project in some barn auction boxes. I was going to upload a pic but seem temporarily disabled, so if it comes up I will add it here. All my blocks are done, I am just waiting for cooler weather to begin setting it up on point, meaning turning the square around to the points are at 9. 12, 3, 6.

Some of my first quilt blocks as a novice were nine patch variations, trip around the world, grandmother's flower garden. I admire the techniques in strip quilting, cause you can make a full size quilt in just a weekend of effort.
Quilting wasn't just for "gossiping". Young girls learned sewing skills, but life skills, such as discussing gardening, canning, etc. Quilting bees were a way for women to complete the large task in a joint effort among its members in a short period of time. Quilts also record history, memories, tell stories, and reflect art and the creativity in modern quilting is just simply remarkable.

As an example. Log Cabin quilts traditionally had a red or yellow square in the middle meaning fire in the hearth or sunshine in the window. But when the Underground Railroad was in use, meaning slaves traveling north for safe passage, many white women quilted black squares into the center of the block. When these quilts were being "aired out" or laundered and hung on the lines outside the home, those traveling would know that that home or farm was sympathetic and would provide a safe lay over to the traveler. TPTB were to "busy" to care what those "women" were doing, so basically ignored it.

I to limit how much fabric I store. It's addicting and a never ending process! It is my turn now, to make the quilts as new family members reach milestones in their lives, and I already have two waiting in line as we speak! My grandmother passed on. But she passed on so many skills to me that have given me a foundation to keep my self busy just growing and "putting up" food during summer months, and quilting and piecing during the colder months. So this winters project is to set up my "granny quilt" and hand quilt it myself, not sending this one out.

Thanks for reading all that! But I do love looking at all kinds of quilt books.

posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 05:29 PM
reply to post by SunflowerStar

You, my friend, are awesome. Obviously an avid quilter. Thanks for your input.

I intend on teaching my skills when people ask and need them. Till then, I acquire more.

I'd love to see a new forum here, called something like "Lost skills", "Survival Hobbies", "Resources for when TSHTF", or "How to cope after the apocalypse", but the closest I can get is Food and Cooking. How about a new forum for people who actually practice the "lost arts", from canning, quilting, gardening, harvesting, etc.....Sure, this is a conspiracy website, but how about a FORUM for those who actually practice the solutions for after TSHTF?

Trapping, hunting, survival, gardening, trials and errors, etc.. All key aspects. A forum for the members of ATS that live in the city, a place where they can at least learn about practical skills. We could donate our knowledge for their benefit.

The Survival forum is kinda harsh, and it's not a catch-all for all the topics dealing with a comfortable existence after TSHTF. There should be a separate FORUM for something along the lines of "we survived, here's the skills you need" to "all people who want to rebuild." What would it be called?

Any thoughts?

posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 04:41 AM
reply to post by Druid42

Thanks for the reply Druid42. It's always good to meet like minded people. I like the fact you quilt!

The Survival Forum is a broad category. It has some good folk there who are excellent teachers (ie. DaddyBare and others). Canning is under food section. Garth, aka Semperfortis mod, has a radio show on on Thurdsay evenings for anything survival related. Where they discuss different shtf skills, but I find that these are skills are more like life skills. Mostly because they save money. Generally I don't care where a thread is located, I use the search field for what I am looking for anyway. If you have spent some time in Survival, you know DaddyBare posts a new life skill nearly everyday! That's why I like that forum. Cause it is open ended, if it is a skill related or remotely Survival related, thats a good place to put it.

Hope things are well for you today,
ciao for now

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 08:18 PM

I finally found how to post pics! This is the quilt block Sunflower Star from the Amish quilt design I used.

Do you know this block by any other name? Crown of thorns, maybe?
edit on 9-10-2011 by SunflowerStar because: add question

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