Dress the Bed!

A lovely quilter named Kaye invited me to an area guild’s special event last weekend. It was an old-fashioned “bed turning” and luncheon called Dress the Bed. I had never been to a bed turning and it was so much fun. The Prairie Pioneer Quilters in Grand Island, Nebraska use Dress the Bed as a fundraiser every other year.

Everyone is invited to arrive about an hour before lunch will be served. This gives opportunity to visit and to see the tables. The tables were not just any old tables—they were dressed, too! A guild member or a small group adopted each of about 22 tables and chose a theme for their table. Then they went to town with linens, favors, centerpieces, china and flatware, all centered around the theme. People were so creative!

tables31 Dress the Bed!

This was a lovely springtime table with patchwork-trimmed china. The centerpiece was luscious!


tables2 Dress the Bed!

This table had a pansy theme with living pansies in baskets and pansy china.


table11 Dress the Bed!

Chili peppers were this table’s theme. I love the Kaffe Fassett border at the bottom edge of the photo!
He probably never imagined that fabric being used to suggest chili peppers.


tables42 Dress the Bed!

This table used M&M candies as its theme. It’s bright and cheerful!


tables5 Dress the Bed!

Blue and yellow were all over this one. I wonder if these ladies set this kind of table every day at home?!


tables6 Dress the Bed!

This had to be one of my favorites. A bee called The Floozies, which is artsy-tartsy, I’m told, made all manner of sweet little treats from wool, much of it recycled. Displayed with clear glass, aren’t these stunning?!


tables7 Dress the Bed!

I was tickled pink when a Floozy gave me this pincushion after the luncheon.


tables8 Dress the Bed!

The actual bed turning is what made up the program. An antique bed was set up and draped with a nice group (I’d estimate about 30) of quilts. Holders lift one quilt from the bed at a time and a narrator reads a few lines about each quilt. It’s like a fast-moving show & tell. The quilts are paraded around the room so everyone gets a good look.

There were close to 200 people at this event so it was hard to get a good photo of the bed itself. The quilts provided by guild members were wonderful—everything from tied utilitarian to valuable antique from 1850, and lots in between.

tables9 Dress the Bed!

And as if all this was not enough, my hostess Kaye was carrying a Rufflicious bag! Rufflicious is a bag I designed for Quiltmaker and you can find the complete free pattern for it here. It was a treat to see someone carrying it!

I had a delicious lunch, saw gorgeous quilts and made some new quilting friends. Does a Sunday afternoon get any better than that?

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email: editor@quiltmaker.com.
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9 Responses to Dress the Bed!

  1. annetta milhon says:

    I love to cook, my Mary Englebreit table that day featured a cookbook for each on of my guests, my grandmother’s Pineapple Sheet Cake recipe is featured on page 194. Mary Englebreit’s Fanfare Cookbook featuring 120 family recipes. I made the quilt and apron I wore to match the Mary Englebreit line. It was a fun day … love doing dress the bed – it is alot of work to prepare but what a fun event for the community. Thanks for posting a blog about it!

  2. Edith Soper says:

    Great photo! It was a great time. I am a china painter and a quilter. I painted the plates for our “Remember Me” table. It was fun seeing the pictures on line. Thanks for joining us at our Dress the Bed.

  3. Brenda Groelz says:

    One of my two favorite guilds! I miss the Prairie Pioneer Quilters!

  4. Kay says:

    Thanks so much for featuring our event & showing such great pictures. It was alot of fun to see the members creativity come out in such unique ways. Hope you can visit us again.

  5. Lynn says:

    It was a fun event – nice to see you there Diane.

  6. Joyce Jurkovich says:

    Quilt turning looks like alot of fun and yall get to see other quilts yall like….Go for it ladies, have fun, enjoy the day AND the talented company that is with yall…

    Joyce Jurkovich

  7. That sounds like a fabulous event! I must say, I’m a bit jealous. I’m going to have to let my girl friends know about this event. What fun! And how awesome is That, to actually see your pattern walking around!

  8. sandra says:

    Only if you invited me! looks to be fun!

  9. I don’t think it does! What a fun day!! :-)

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