By Lucie Roy
Morinville – Quilt making has come a long way from sitting before the wood stove and using scraps of material to make a warm blanket. Mary Quaghebeur, Blenda Patterson and Madelain Scantland are three members of the Scrap Happy Quilters Club working on their creations on Wednesday afternoons at the Rendez-Vous Centre. The group meets for five hours each week, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and mixes old and new techniques in their love of quilting.
Patterson, who makes and sells her quilts, is currently working on her sixth quilt with the group. Quaghebeur is currently working on a patchwork vest, a quilted garment that takes about six hours to make. Scantland is making a king-size memory quilt with each of the 49 interior squareshaving a photo on them as well as a number around the border. She said she started in July, stopped for a while, but is back at her ongoing project once again.
Scantland’s quilt is one that uses some modern techniques unknown in the working around a wood stove days of years gone by. She explained the technique for a printed photo to personalize a quilt is something a person can do from home using a computer and ink jet printer. Fabric can be purchased in sheets of 8X10 that are already prepared for this purpose. The quilter said Epson printers are preferred because they use archival ink.
But fabric is as important to the process as the printer, and Scantland said fabric with a 200 thread count pima cotton or PDF muslin placed unto a backing so it will not jam in your printer is the preferred medium to print on. This backing can be freezer paper, palette paper or Avery 8 1/2 x 11 labels if you are careful to get the fabric to stick without bubbles. Several companies also make fabric sheets ready for printer use. The digital quilter said lawn is a silky cotton fabric with a thread count so fine the fabric texture is not visible. It is used for photos, love letters, and Scantland said the possibilities are endless, and when ready to be sewn, the warm fabric makes the photo complexions glow.
Some quilters still use the iron on transfer paper, but the business of quilting with computers and printers has grown to be big business. Some pre-treated fabrics assure the photos quilters add to their work will look the same 100 years from now as the day the quilt was made.
While the technology behind quilting has caught up to the rest of modern life, and the fabrics, techniques, and other aspects of the art have come a long way, one thing remains the same – the love and dedication, time and commitment put into every square and pattern in a quilt.