Football and Quilts

Bear Bryant could take his’n and beat your’n, or he could take your’n and beat his’n.” –Bum Phillips

Since it’s football season here in Oklahoma,  and the United States, and since this is ‘male quilting month’ here at Devoted to Quilting, I thought it fitting this week’s quote be from a football person. In this case from college and professional coach Bum Phillips about college coach Bear Bryant.

He meant Bryant could take a team of players, any team of players and coach them into winning against any other team of players.  Phillips  must have been right,  according to College Football Data Warehouse, in his 38 year coaching career Bryant amassed a record of 323 wins, 85 losses and 17 ties. Pretty good record. Especially considering each year he worked with a new group of kids as his seniors graduated out. Sure, each year he had returning players, but he also had to work with new, untested talent each year.

It’s the same with quilters. There are fabrics some of us won’t consider using in a quilt, satins and silks, wool, polyester, to name a few. Yet, there are quilters who will take these “untested talents” and find a way to make them work in a quilt.

A few weeks back I posted about Edna, who had backed her crazy quilt with satin, here.  When I saw the quilt at a quilt show and commented on it, Edna said that it was a good thing that was a crazy quilt, because she must have been crazy to try to back it with satin.Still, she found a way to make it work, giving her a beautiful and unusual quilt.

Many people own a polyester quilt. You won’t find many of them hanging in quilt shows, and they probably won’t be in museum’s in 100 years, yet several years ago  women  often made quilts using those fabrics. Because those were the fabrics they had available.

Today you will find quilts on beds and couches across the land made of tee-shirts. Yes, t-shirt quilts are quite popular today. Yet, the stretchy, soft, fabric used for t-shirts is not normally what a quilter looks for when purchasing fabric. However, one brave quilter experimented until she figured out a way to make that material work in a quilt. As a result many quilters make fun, comfortable, full of memories, t-shirt quilts.

Yes, quilters prefer using quality cotton, their “known” talent in a quilt. But, like Bear Bryant, many aren’t afraid to take a chance on a new talent, or fabric choice.

Check out the quilts in your possession, maybe one you take to football games or other outings, did the quilter use “his’n” (known fabrics)or “your’n” fabrics, those with unknown qualities and lasting ability?  What about you? Have you tried making a quilt with fabrics other than cotton? What was your experience?


2 thoughts on “Football and Quilts

  1. Suzanne Casamento

    Thank you so much for visiting The Question of the Day. I feel an idiot, but I don’t even own a quilt! So I don’t know how to answer your questions. But I love the idea of using uncoventional fabrics to create beautiful things. That kind of relates to writing and how we try different techniques and formats to tell stories.

    1. Nita Post author

      Suzanne, thanks for stopping by. I’m more of a traditionalist when it comes to making quilts, I generally stick with cottons, but I love the quilts made with other, more unconventional fabrics.


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