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A logical extension of this tradition led quilts being made to raise money for other community projects, such as recovery from a flood or natural disaster, and later, for fundraising for war.Subscription quilts were made for all of America’s wars.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.For a subscription quilt, community members would pay to have their names embroidered on the quilt top, and the proceeds would be given to the departing minister.Sometimes the quilts were auctioned off to raise additional money, and the quilt might be donated back to the minister by the winner.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 was often a communal activity, involving all the women and girls in a family or in a larger community.
There are many traditions regarding the number of quilts a young woman (and her family) was expected to have made prior to her wedding, for the establishment of her new home.
Given the demands on a new wife, and the learning curve in her new role, it was prudent to provide her some reserve time with quilts already completed. Wedding ring quilts, which have a patchwork design of interlocking rings, have been made since the 1930s.
The stitches are made with a hem stitch, so that the thread securing the fabric is minimally visible from the front of the work.
There are other methods to secure the raw edge of the appliquéd fabric, and some people use basting stitches, fabric-safe glue, freezer paper, paper forms, or starching techniques to prepare the fabric that will be applied, prior to sewing it on.
Supporting paper or other materials are typically removed after the sewing is complete.