Fibre and Fibre Arts

In awe of how they made do

Judy Kupecz is a quilter, who lives on a sheep farm at Wellman's Corner. She started quilting in 1998 by hand, but now quilts using a machine. She is interested in the heritage of quilts, and how things used to be done and because they raise sheep, she is interested in how people used wool in the past.

Talking at the 2012 Fibre Fest she said, “Today we also brought a quilt done in 1915 during World War 1. Local women in the Womens Institute group at Wellman’s Corner made the quilt.  People paid to have their names on the quilt. The names would be put in a hat and  the person who won would take the quilt home. It was a way of fund raising for Red Cross.

"The quilt came back to back to the Wellman’s Corners Womens Institute in May 20012. Members were excited to see names of the people in the local area. It is interesting to look at The Heritage Years: a History of Stirling and District book, which has a map with the names of the farmers around Wellman’s Corner that one can find on the quilt."

Judy is a member of the Quinte Quilter Guild. When asked where did she  learnt to make quilts, she said, “We use to live near Guelph. I learnt from a Mennonite lady. There are places in this area that teach you how to quilt. Most quilt shops run class for beginner intermediate and advanced quilters. She only uses use cotton fabric as she likes the natural fibres and how they handle. You can get good cotton fabric at Fabric Land and a specialty quilt shops. When asked if anything surprised her about quilting, she said, “it is all about the maths everything is the size and angles. You use templates and learn a little bit at a time. There is a lot of figuring out to do especially if you want to change  a pattern. "

When asked what skills do you need, Judy said patience.

She finds  sewing easier on a machine, but likes the convenience being able to quilt by hand as you can do it anywhere.

"If you sew by hand, you have to learn to be consistent with your stitches and make them smaller and smaller," said Judy.

She keeps a book documenting all her quilts. She finds a record is  valuable as she gives most of her quilts away.  It  is a way of keeping a record of how she did them, any problems she had, and where the quilts went.

"Making quilts takes time, for example, making one for a double bed can take around two weeks if you concentrate on it," said Judy.

She is interested in the heritage of quilts and is in awe of the talent people had in the past. She had an example of an old feed sacks made of cotton. Women washed feed sacks  and bleached them and used the white, bleached cotton for quilts. Some printed feed sacks were used for dresses or drapery.

“I am always in awe of how they made do and what they found to use in their quilts,”said Judy.


Wellman's Corners WI 1915 Red Cross Quilt

Wellman's Corners WI 1915 Red Cross Quilt