In the twenty-first century, quilts are frequently displayed as non-utilitarian works of art but historically quilts were often used as bedcovers, and this use persists today. There are many traditions regarding the uses of quilts, Quilts may be made or given to mark important life events such as marriage, the birth of a child, a family member leaving home, or graduations. Modern quilts are not always intended for use as bedding, and may be used as wall hangings, table runners, quilting techniques are often incorporated into garment design as well. Quilt shows and competitions are held locally, regionally, and nationally, there are international competitions as well, particularly in the United States, Japan, and Europe. The following list summarizes most of the reasons a person decide to make a quilt, Bedding Decoration Armor Commemoration Education Campaigning Documenting events / social history. Imported fabric was expensive, and local homespun fabric was labor-intensive to create. It was essential for most families to use and preserve textiles efficiently, saving or salvaging small scraps of fabric was a part of life for all households. Small pieces of fabric were joined together to make larger pieces, in units called “blocks. ”Creativity could be expressed in the designs, or simple “utility quilts, ” with minimal decorative value. Crib quilts for infants were needed in the cold of winter, quilting was often a communal activity, involving all the women and girls in a family or in a larger community. The tops were prepared in advance, and a bee was arranged. Quilting bees were important social events in communities, and were typically held between periods of high demand for farm labor. Quilts were frequently made to commemorate major events, such as marriages. There are many traditions regarding the number of quilts a young woman was expected to have prior to her wedding. Given the demands on a new wife, and the curve in her new role. Specific wedding quilts continue to be made today, Wedding ring quilts, which have a patchwork design of interlocking rings, have been made since the 1930s. White wholecloth quilts with high-quality, elaborate quilting, and often trapunto decorations as well, are traditional for weddings. Interestingly, it was considered bad luck to incorporate heart motifs in a wedding quilt, Quilts were often made for other events as well, such as graduations, or when individuals left their homes for other communities. One example of this is the quilts made as gifts for pastors
Pieced quilt, cottons, c. 1865, unknown maker, Kentucky, dimensions: 80" x 85". The name of the design, "New York Beauty" came from a 1930s pattern by Mountain Mist. Included in the book "New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" (Quiltmania, France). Collection of Bill Volckening, Portland, Oregon.