In any room, an empty couch or a plain bed comes alive with the addition of a beautiful quilt, making for an inviting room full of charm and character. If you’re lucky enough to own a stash of fabric, a collection of inspiring quilt patterns and handmade quilts, and a passion for sewing, the skill of quilting will be indispensable to any room in your home or your fabric business. A mix of designs and quilt patterns provide endless source of “fabric fun” and business opportunity.
For those of you who are new to quilting, a quilt is a bedcover consisting of two layers of cloth filled with an interlining of soft, insulating material of cotton, wool or other fibres. The layers are creatively fastened by tiny stitches which run in plain straight rows or beautiful decorative designs.
Quilting is as old as ancient Egypt if not older. Whole cloth quilts were very common trade goods in wealthy circles in Europe and Asia going back as far as the 15th century. Quilters regularly made their quilts together at social gatherings called bees … just like the quilting bees we have today! Designs often commemorated historic events or significant family occasions, much like today’s quilt inspiration.
Piecing fabric together is also very old. It was more often used for clothing but also occasionally for decorative objects. Pieced quilts made up of cut pieces of fabric sewn in block form with the blocks then sewn together to make the quilt is a more recent development. Did you know crazy quilts were popular in the late 1800’s, usually consisting of randomly placed pieces of silk of various sizes, shapes and colours?
“Piecing” refers to the sewing together of fabric to create the quilt top, while “quilting” refers to stitching the three layers of fabric together – the quilt top, batting in the center, and the fabric backing.
When women were busy spinning, weaving and sewing to clothe their family, quilt-making was very uncommon. Today, traditional quilting styles have been revived by needlework artists where ideas are exchanged and practiced. While modern quilts are based on traditional techniques and patterns, we patch and quilt with a fresh approach producing the incredible art quilts we see today!
Every Quilt tells a story. What’s yours?