We’re a special group of people that are all attracted to the wonders and beauty of fabric. Many people think us “nuts and bolts” for cutting it all up and then stitching it back together. We then follow that up with a funny layer of fiber that is made in some other weird way, with a solid piece of fabric at the back and then we stitch all of that together too. That’s quilting, right?
Our friends ask, “Wouldn’t it be easier to just buy a blanket?”
“This is a quilt. Not a blanket, never ever call it a blanket!”, we reply. “Why then does the Afrikaans term refer to a rag blanket?”
Okay, let’s just take a moment and find the words to explain in a non-quilty way.
South Africa’s quilting origins rest with the Voortrekkers who had to make do with whatever they could take with them when they left the Cape. That meant having to repurpose a lot of things (look how we’re repurposing all kinds of stuff now, though for other reasons).
“Take a look at the USA where quilting is practically an institution. Or the Europe. South Africa isn’t defined by the language you speak, the culture you belong to, or the religion you practice, so a quilt is now a “kwilt”. Sure, you know it as a “laslappieskombers”, but it’s so much more now”, we explain.
Then we get lyrical about the beautiful designs and the joys of cutting, stitching and layering only to complain about that very last step.
The binding, in case I lost you there.
Yes, I really don’t like finishing binding. But it does bring a beautiful end to a stunning work that took months to make. Now the quilt is done. And then we start again.
“Oooh-kaay…”, and we secretly revel in the though of what knowledge we can share next.
“So what’s this barn block thing then?”