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Comforting, Cozy Quilts



Comforting, Cozy Quilts
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.4

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    dismal, fireside, insane, middle-class, quilters, serene, patchwork, ridiculous, random, outlet, slavery, successful, warmth, textile, catalogue, pioneer
     content words:    Wild West, Civil War


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Comforting, Cozy Quilts
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Hot tea, soup, and a comforting quilt are often a part of a homemade cure for the common cold. Making tea is easy. Making soup is a little bit harder. But making a quilt is a lot of work!
 
2     Many people think that Colonial women sat around quilting for hours at a time. However, this serene image of women sewing by the fireside is a myth. First of all, women could not see well enough to sew fine stitches in the dim firelight. Successful quilting requires bright light. And secondly, women did not have time to sit around and quilt. Colonial ladies had to sew clothes, cook food, and take care of their large families. Colonial families were grateful for plain blankets. And few people had extra scraps of material to use for quilts.
 
3     By 1840, families had more fabrics available to them because the textile industry had grown. Women enjoyed quilting as a creative outlet. They only had time for things that were useful. Women often quilted in a group. These gatherings were called "quilting bees." The ladies sewed and chatted. Some of the quilters would cook a grand meal. Quilting was a great excuse to see friends, have some fun, and get work done at the same time.

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