Quilting traditions are particularly prominent in the United States, where the necessity of creating warm bedding met the paucity of local fabrics in the early days of the colonies. Imported fabric was very expensive, and local homespun fabric was labor-intensive to create and tended to wear out sooner than commercial fabric. It was essential for most families to use and preserve textiles efficiently. Saving or salvaging small scraps of fabric was a part of life for all households. Small pieces of fabric were joined together to make larger pieces, in units called “blocks. ” Creativity could be expressed in the block designs, or simple “utility quilts,” with minimal decorative value, could be produced. Crib quilts for infants were needed in the cold of winter, but even early examples of baby quilts indicate the efforts that women made to welcome a new baby.