Material Girls Give Comfort

Barbara Renthal

Quilting can be traced back to many ancient civilizations within China, North Africa, and the Middle East. An ivory carving depicting the Pharaoh of the Egyptian First Dynasty wearing a quilted mantle, now housed in the British Museum, is recognized as the first known evidence of quilting.

Crusaders wore quilted garments under their armor for warmth and protection in the 12th century. The art eventually took on decorative notes that passed on stories and family histories. Fast forward many centuries, and quilts came to America with the earliest settlers, who valued practicality. Quilts provided warmth and protection and came to be an important source of social interaction as women gathered in homes and churches to stitch and talk. These gatherings gave birth to many of the blocks we incorporate in our quilts to this day.

Quilts were especially important during the Civil War and were sewn and donated by women from both the North and South, providing comfort to those brave men and women. Very few have survived, but the old prints used in those quilts are still available and turn up in quilts being made to this day. Today we make “Quilts of Valor” for our veterans to demonstrate our gratitude for their service and sacrifice. We hope those bring comfort, also.

The tradition of presenting quilts to those who need comfort in times of distress, illness, or sorrow is one we are proud and happy to continue within our community and beyond. The Material Girls club gives quilts to the Eloy Police Department to have available for children in difficult situations; to the Advocacy Center, which works with abused children; and to our Robson Ranch community members. We rely on word of mouth, so please pass on the information about a neighbor or friend who might qualify to Marge Doughty at 360-739-9990. Thank you!