When the weather starts to cool, we tend to cuddle up in a favorite cozy blanket and call it our ‘happy place’. With a tea in hand and a novel in the other or while watching a feel good movie, we love wrapping up in our blankets.
For a ritual, knitting or crocheting is a simple mediation while watching television, having an afternoon break or unwinding just before bed. This calm activity relaxes us while making beautiful blankets to cozy up in or making warm mittens, scarves or hats to get ready for the winter season.
A wonderful idea for a weekly or monthly girls night can be to start a ‘quilting bee’ evening. By gathering your closest friends, you can learn the art of crocheting ‘granny squares’ to create beautiful blankets for each other or as gifts. We know many of us go into hibernation mode as the weather starts to cool, but this girls night would bring everyone together to learn something new, have great conversation, and enjoy a special blanket in the end.
History of The Quilting Bee
The quilting bee was an imporant means of socializing for colonial and pioneer women (and man). Through the winter months, the women would piece their quilt tops. Since there was no central heating in these homes, there was usually only one main heated room that was too crowded during the winter months for a quilt frame to be assembled. When the weather became warmer, an invitation was sent to the surrounding neighbors for the quilting bee.
On the day of the quilting bee, the quilters would arrive early and begin marking the quilt top which had been put into the quilt frame by the hostess. Very often, plates, thimbles and tea cups were used to mark the quilting patterns. The quilters would then being to quilt the top while exchanging conversation. The quilt had to finished before the husbands and beaus showed up in the late afternoon when dinner was served to all, the hostess being given a chance to show off her cooking skills. After dinner, there was very often a square dance or country dance with fiddles accompanying the dancers. The quilting bee was an important part of the social life of these people surpassed only by religious gatherings.
History of Granny Squares
Thrifty women of early America would carefully save scraps of yarn and fiber unraveled from old sweaters and socks. As these scraps accumulated, they were crocheted into small squares; the colors combined on the whim of the craftsman. The squares were then sewn together to make a blanket which was both functional and colorful. Because grandma was no longer up for manual labor, she was often the one to sew the squares together, thus they became GRANNY SQUARES.
Photography: Gillian from Tales of a Happy House