YardGoods Center is celebrating National Quilting Month with a history of the art

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 11:07 PM EDT
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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - There is more to quilting than fabric and thread.

“Historically, women did not know how to read or write,” Sally Vlodek said.

Sally said the women told stories through quilting.

”There are many stories throughout the world about how women gathered together and made their hands busy and made beautiful quilts,” Sally said.

Quilts that are handed down for generations. In Ken Vlodek’s case, it was the business itself.

”I grew in this business, I can remember when I was 4 years old, and parents having me fill the racks of thread for a quarter,” Ken said.

His parents started the business decades ago, now Ken and his wife Sally is running the fabric side of the store.

”From Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday to Thursday to Friday to Saturday, there is not one day that is even remotely close,” Ken said.

That’s because they offer everything from fabrics,

”Apparel fabric, quilting fabric, to home dec fabric,” Ken explained.

Including a wide range of threads and machines.

”Quite often somebody will bring an heirloom quilt in, something that might have been on the drawer for 30 to 40 years and is now showing some deterioration. And try to find fabric for them to bring that quit back to life,” Ken said.

While quilting was known as something women primarily did, Sally says she has noticed more men interested in the art.

”We had a gentleman today who came in and he happens to hand-sew jeans and patches,” she said.

Sally said art is non gender, and is personal to everyone involved.

“By the time you pick out your colors, you find the colors that your granddaughter, your daughter, your neighbor love, and then you are cutting it, you have created the design and then you are sewing it together,” Sally said.

“It can be for your own personal use, it can be for your family, it is an heirloom, it is going to be something, somebody is going to take great pride in and there are so many different ways you can quilt,” Ken said.

That includes using a quilting machine, instead of the traditional hand quilting.

”You can sit down and do free motion, or you can robotics,” Sally said.

There is something for everyone interested and endless opportunities.

“There is patch work quilting, there is applique quilting, there is embroidery, you can combine the different things together, and there is no end really, and we are now seeing amazing pieces of art that artists are doing as quilting and you look at it and go, it is nothing I would have ever thought of,” Ken said.