From the Latin...

Compete: from the Latin competere: to strive together, to coincide, be suitable

Interesting how words change meaning over time. Early Latin shows it meaning "come together" while later Latin changed the meaning to "strive together". The word "quilt" comes from the Latin culcita meaning a stuffed sack as well as the French word cuilte, a word we can easily see transform to "quilt".

Quilts have changed over time, too. From utilitarian to decorative and with its resurgent popularity, an explosion of color and design. JoAnn Fabrics and other retail box stores as well as the myriad of online stores sell mostly cotton quilt fabric with choices so numerous it's hard to decide. 

I know some long arm quilters who will only finish quilts made from "quilt" fabric. A lot of that fabric is very stable, almost stiff from sizing, preservatives and fat cotton fibers. It's easy to quilt and time is money.

I'm always up for a challenge and my personal quilts have a variety of fabrics. Our grandmothers used what they had on hand and I've taken that to heart. I'll have a design in mind, look through my stash and when I can't find that certain color I'll head to one of my local Salvation Army linen departments. And if I can't find a sheet that'll work I head to the men's shirts or women's dresses and blouses. A favorite quilt of mine which is the flower photo in this website's "About" page has flowers crafted from just such fabrics. Consider a king size sheet for your quilt backing. No seaming! Just watch out for stains (washing with white vinegar helps), tears and holes.

I'm much more interested in those old quilts which use any fabric that was on hand; keepsake quilts made from timeworn dresses and shirts and pants. I'm sure they were first considered utilitarian but as time went on and they were handed down from generation to generation, they hold a special place in memories. Decorative perhaps only in our mind as some of the color combinations weren't particularly pretty but picking out grandma's house dress in the pattern brings her back to life. 

Those old quilts pack the cuddle punch. The fibers have been polished through use and washings and the fabric bends and wraps and envelopes your body and mind. 

Flowers were made from shirts, dresses and found fabric from the Salvation Army. The only official quilt fabric was the bright yellow border.

Flowers were made from shirts, dresses and found fabric from the Salvation Army. The only official quilt fabric was the bright yellow border.