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Thread: Cultural differences in quilting

  1. #26
    Senior Member kapatt's Avatar
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    Hi Jan,
    My husband and I lived in Japan for 5 years. My Japanese friends were interested in American customs and culture. I don't think you can go wrong in making an American quilt. You might want to check to see if colors or shapes (or animals) have any particular meaning to them so as not to unintentionally offend but otherwise just make an American baby quilt.

  2. #27
    Pam
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    Super Member Pam's Avatar
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    Check the Chinese calendar and find out what animal is for 2010. You could incorporate that into the design, kind of a meeting of the cultures, friends sort of sentiment.

  3. #28
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    Carol I love your quilt-thanks for posting it. I really like the bright colors.

    Thanks again everyone-I appreciate all the help and suggestions. I'm still looking a websites and haven't made a decision yet but I'll let you know what I decide. I don't know if they'll have an Ultrasound to determine the sex so I'm not going to do a gender-specific quilt (that's the only decision I've made so far LOL)

  4. #29
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    Asian art forms use a lot of pastel colors....but, as has been said, they are living in the modern world. I agree that any baby quilt will thrill them. I am in the same situation.... I befriended a young man who attended the Air Force Academy and he and his wife are now expecting their first baby. Thanks for knocking the cobwebs from my head... I need to make them a quilt for their baby!!!!!

  5. #30
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    Agreed on the traditional American art form. I made a baby quilt for a good friend of mine who is Finnish and lives in France. No way was I going to be able to meld those cultures together so I told her I was making her a baby quilt but that it would be a traditonal Amercian quilt. As it turns out, I made a Greek Cross pattern quilt becasue half my family is Greek (husband's side) and I told her that way she would remember me! (Actually I just like the pattern). She loved it, and her mother (who lives in Finland) REALLY loved it! I think the advice on color choice is wise, but otherwise I wouldn't stress about making it look Asian.

  6. #31
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    I googled and this is the year of the tiger, so i would include some tiger themed fabric either in the top or the backing.

    http://www.springsgreetingcards.com/...sp?pid=250913.

    Please let us know what you deceide and show us pictures.

  7. #32
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Good call by others to check color usage. Married to an Asian, I know to be careful, but do not know what Chinese traditions are regarding color.

    Other than that, I think anything would be fine.

    (I have to add: my DH will NOT let me use Asian fabrics in things for our home. He won't share why.)

  8. #33
    Super Member azdesertrat's Avatar
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    if the baby is to be born this year or next according to the chinese calender,it might make a difference also what colors, theme,and lucky numbers that you use

  9. #34
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    i agree that it needn't look Asian. I have sold a lot of fabric to Asian countries and very typically they pick small scale prints which are 30's reproductions. little kittens are very popular. Think of Vintage Aunt Grace prints and Maywood Studio Makin' conversation prints. they have small children and animals on them. If you use them in a traditional pattern, such as pinwheels, flower gardens, 9 patches, etc. I would think the quilt would be in good taste.

  10. #35
    Senior Member Phyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gollytwo
    google Chinese quilts
    there is a site 100 Good Wishes Quilts that is all about making quilts for babies
    This quitling board is the most amazing thing EVER!
    I just googled your suggestion about 100 Good wishes quilts for a Chinese baby and I was delighted and amazed at the information it gave me! How beautiful the symbolism is! Thank you so much for being one of a group of giving, caring, and loving people. Sigh...........how wonderful to find so much goodness in a world so filled with other things. Hugs

  11. #36
    Junior Member pamsmpk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    if I knew someone from another country and they made something special for me, I would want it to be representitive of their customs, etc. my 2 cents. :-P
    I think I agree here. It would make it more special to represent the country where it came from!

  12. #37
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    I Agree. We are American. They'd want an American quilt from an American Friend. Just as I would want a Chinese Quilt from a Chinaman. What a gift from another country! In our country, about 50 years ago, blue was for girls and pink for boys. Boys even wore lace and capris (knickers). As in China, colors change all the time. The typical wedding gown in America is White for "purity". This tradition is not that old. in my grandmother's day, they just wore their "Sunday Best", had a few family and friends bring a dish to pass, and ate at the church.

    I wouldn't stress over Colors at all. They will love every stitch that was meant for love from a friend. If colors are important, Give them the "American"Version and tell them the meaning behind Our colors!
    Quote Originally Posted by DebraK
    "Personally, I would not try to do an asian theme of fabrics -- just make a very American quilt. They will understand that this is a traditional American artform made as a special honor to welcome a baby."

    I agree with this.

  13. #38
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    When my son was planning to study in China, I made this wallhanging for his host family. I wanted it to look "American", but not be red, white and blue flag stuff. I would rather have a Chinese friend make a quilt typical of China, than one they think is would be typical of American culture. I agree that they would treasure anything you do.
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  14. #39
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    You may want to look up the date of the birth but right now this is the year of the Tiger Feb 14 2010-Feb 4 2011.
    Last year I gave a small quilt to some young friends of mine and it happened to have cows on it. The first thing they said was how nice she was born in the year of the Ox.

  15. #40
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    I agree with everyone who said no Asian prints. I say make it nice- but it doesn't have to be flags or cherries! I think an American interpretation of their culture would be less meaningful than a good representation of our culture, or just whatever you think would be nice.
    Good luck and can't wait to see pictures!

  16. #41
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    Hi, I'm new here but I have been reading the forum recently. I live in China as an ex-pat and have many Chinese friends. i also quilt for the orphanages. They LOVE vibrant colors! The babies that walk around here are all into beautiful pastels, and whimsical patterns. Please avoid any Chinese writing. These are often mis-spelled and are usually a target for ridicule. Their is not much color in the environment and in general in China so it is always welcome.
    I hope this helps. I have also been receiving packages through the mail, and have not had issues with the contents. Good luck, and if you have any questions, I can try to help you out. :thumbup:

  17. #42
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    Sorry I can't help with your question but I would think that they would appreciate a quilt from your culture or one where you invistigate their's. I think just the thoughtful gift will please them. Good Luck.

  18. #43
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    don't do blue. it is assosiated with death. if i remember right from when i was in school. there was a radio about 50 years ago that was a color and it went to china and was not well accepted because it was blue i think.
    I would look at the due date and maybe add something about the colors and numbers and animal for the month of birth. you could do this with embroydery on a couple of the blocks or you could go with a very american style quilt and do something like a log cabin or one that makes a very pretty picture.

  19. #44
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilt Mom
    Good call by others to check color usage. Married to an Asian, I know to be careful, but do not know what Chinese traditions are regarding color.

    Other than that, I think anything would be fine.

    (I have to add: my DH will NOT let me use Asian fabrics in things for our home. He won't share why.)
    it is probably a reminder of the culture that he doesn't want to think about. many who immigrate try to become American and not be Asian. at least that is what I have been told by friends who have immigrated. that and many of the fabrics are kind of mocking because they are not accurate or true of the culture

  20. #45
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    A marvelous idea to make a baby quilt to fit the culture. It will be a special quilt coming from you and your husband! Let us see it in progress .. :)

  21. #46

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    Here's my take on that...My daughter married a Japanese/American, they had twin boys now 18 yrs old. I went to Asian Quilt shop for suggestions.
    And "B" I would make a good ol' American quilt!

  22. #47
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    You guys are great---I have so many ideas my head is spinning. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the thought you've put into this. It really helps. I have to work the rest of the week but plan on hitting LQS first thing Monday. I'll let you know what happens. Thanks again for all the suggestions and pics of your beautiful quilts.

  23. #48
    Super Member quilterguy27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RST
    Personally, I would not try to do an asian theme of fabrics -- just make a very American quilt. They will understand that this is a traditional American artform made as a special honor to welcome a baby.

    I recently made a baby quilt for a couple from India -- they obviously appreciated it, even though it's not part of their tradition, nor is it particularly practical in India (though they are currently in the Pacific NW with their baby, so can use it here.)
    RST
    This is my two cents worth. I agree with this statement the most so far. Good luck, can't wait to see what you decided.

  24. #49
    Senior Member Lynnc's Avatar
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    If it was me I'd make a typical American quilt with a note stating just that. If they wanted an Asian quilt they could go out and buy one at the corner market. I'd make something colorful.

  25. #50
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I lived in Hong Kong for several years and visited China many times. I think an "American Quilt" would be very appropriate, as it will mean you are sharing part of your culture, which is quite an honour. I wouldn't use Asian inspired prints (particularly writing or words as someone mentioned earlier), also I would avoid any religious/christian motifs (I mean no offence with this last thing....it is a reality communist China does not encourage/endorse these beliefs).

    Thanks for posting, it has been interesting reading...and I am sure you will come up with a beautiful quilt, which we would all love to see.

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