Why did Grandma used to make quilts?
Why should you?
Should you take perfectly respectable fabric, cut it up in little pieces, and then sew it back together again in a different order?
Grandma used to make quilts to keep her people warm. She’d take apart old clothing and use it in quilts, but only after that clothing had been used as long and hard as possible. Then that clothing would begin its new life in a quilt. When that quilt finally became threadbare, it still wouldn’t be thrown out. Maybe it would be used as batting in a new quilt, or to soften the bed of a new litter of puppies.
Nowadays, many quilters use brand new, expensive fabrics. They’re making art. It’s less about practicality and more about creation. As one quilter put it, “I’m not going to spend hours and hours of my precious time making something out of crappy old stuff.” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, either.
Grandma would be surprised that such a homely skill now belongs mostly to the so-called “leisure class.” Many quilters are those who have the enough leisure time for hobbies and have the money to purchase expensive tools, supplies, and classes.
Here’s a thought to let percolate in your mind: How would you deal with the situation if we needed to depend on our own resources–stuff we already have and skills we already own–to put blankets on our families’ beds? Just think about that. There’s no right or wrong answer, but it’s a good thing to ponder.
The Old School take on this is: using (and thus preserving) old-fashioned sewing skills to make something beautiful is never a waste, whether you choose to buy new fabric or reuse old. Quilting is a skill that is worth saving from the dung heap of lost memories.
Maybe you’ll use the skill to make something beautiful. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll use it to keep your people warm someday.