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Join America at Play Stitch a Quilt
 
Bertha Marion works on her Cowboy quilt, August 1978.
Bertha Marion works on her Cowboy quilt in 1978

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How a Quilt is Made
A frame is needed to help finish a quilt because the quilt can get as big as 10 square feet, which would be pretty difficult to handle in your lap. A frame is made of two smooth poles (like the ones you see in this photo) or long bars of wood set on four chairs. The bottom layer is stretched out across the frame, the filling is spread evenly over the bottom layer, and then the top layer is placed in position. (Sometimes, if a design is going to be stitched into the top layer, the pattern is marked with chalk.) The other advantage of a frame is that more than one person can help stitch all the layers together.
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