My great grandmother, on my mother’s side, was a `van Tonder’. She was quite simply an indomitable woman. She was very proud of her pumpkin pies – and she loved to sit in the calm of the afternoon working on her quilts.
Quilting is a form of needlework which dates back to the eleventh century. The word quilt means sticking things together. A quilt is a cover for a bed It is made of two layers of fabric. There is often a soft substance such as wool or down, between them. The quilt is often stitched in patterns.
We presume the quilt originally came into existence before the eiderdown was invented. There is evidence of wooden forms or templates that early English workers arranged on the material and then sewed round.
Naturally the padding between the outer coverings is important – and if the top cover was often made from the finest linen or silk the backing could be a coarse material.
We now come to the nub of the question. With many 11+ examination boards now opting for an essay or an account, how much padding can be allowed in a written answer? It is simple. If your child is answering the question then fewer words will be needed. If there is a brain storm and the answer gets longer and longer then no doubt there would be more padding.
I can not believe that over the centuries – and in England quilting goes back to the eleventh century – that there have been mothers who have not complained about the amount of padding.
`Be careful of that padding, dear.’
`Too much padding and your work becomes unwieldy.’
Just as with a properly planned quilt you will have a template to work around – so in an essay your child will need a plan.
Sit down with your child and practice planning. Planning has not changed since you were at school. Plan all sorts of topics. Here are three examples:
`Write a letter complaining about loud music.’
`How do you make a pumpkin pie?’
``Explain how you can fix two bits of material together to help you to keep warm.’