I Love Patchwork

I love patchwork

I love the idea

Gathering together

Worthless raggy scraps

To create stitch by stitch






Originally patchworkers

Used cotton skirts, shirts and sheets

Beyond mending

That made it into the scraps bag

Sometimes flour sacks were added too

Sadly these days many dollars are invested

In special designer prints

(Expensive but gorgeous)

To create a quilt

I was a young married mum

In the mid 1970’s

I’d joined a mum’s group

Meeting in each other’s homes

The original purpose of the group was babysitting

Paid for by ‘in-house’ tokens

Hosting a get-together was ‘paid’ in tokens

Each token ‘bought’ a half hour’s babysitting

For single parents or couples doing shift work

Earning tokens in other ways meant

They enjoyed an evening out just like everyone else

Morning, noon and nights

Drinking tea, coffee, wine

Cheese and pineapple porcupines

Pancake nights

Swapping stories, books, clothes and skills

Sometimes we just swapped experiences

Laughing at the crazy things

Pregnant women and children did

One evening hubby and I organised

An evening reflective of the times

A friend at church had a son, a young doctor

Who escaped Uganda during Idi Armin’s reign of terror

We heard a first hand account of conditions there

The sad news became real from this young man’s accounts

It also heightened awareness of the need for medical aid in Africa

Our group grew, evolved

I recall when it was voted that Husbands could babysit

Or help with the voluntary ‘book keeping’

It even survived the ‘Great Token Scam’

When some black hearted souls

Forged tokens!


One morning was a patchwork coffee morning

That’s where my addiction began

I was introduced to

The old English patchwork tradition

Using papers as backing

To create firm shapes

They are then placed

Right sides together

And over sewn with fine stitches

My first full quilt was a Pyramid Scrap Quilt

Quilted in the ditch – still not fully finished

No designer fabrics for me

In this quilt, nursery curtains, cot covers, aprons,

Shirts, blouses, dresses

From family and friends

All sorts of things

Cut and stitched together

To make a gaudy queen size quilt

I cannot swear to it being all 100% cotton

Patchwork Purists insist upon

Nor did I line up the weft and warp

The horizontal and vertical weaving lines of fabric

It travelled through time and across the world

And remains draped over an old church pew in our dining room

Where my children and now my grandchildren gather for family feasts

From humble beginnings – an heirloom!

Words, Pictures © Denise Stanford 2011

Pyramid Scrap Quilt by Denise Stanford

~ by Denise Within the Vine on 13/04/2011.

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