The current debate about the welfare state is inadequate and misleading because it has ignored women and their location in late capitalist society. The techniques of quilt-making developed, initially, from economic conditions of extreme scarcity. Quilt-making entails hard work, long hours, patience and repetition. The earliest quilts were known as Crazy Quilts. Women sewed odd-shaped scraps of fabric together and the result tended to resemble a jigsaw puzzle. Except for some groups in the population, resources never seem to be adequate in a society which demands that people constantly improve their economic and social conditions. The pressure to meet new needs, to live up to continuously rising standards, has been a crucial aspect of life in western societies in the 1960s and early 1970s. The enormous increase in the provision of services by the state or firms compared to that of the past has not simply transferred tasks from the family unit to other service delivering institutions.