What is quilting and how did it evolve into the popular craft of today?
The craft of quilting has seen a recent resurgence of interest in the United States and other countries. It allows individuals to make beautiful items as well as groups of people to work together on a single project.
The craft of quilting has seen a recent resurgence of interest in the United States and other countries. It allows individuals to make beautiful items as well as groups of people to work together on a single project. Many handmade quilts are sold for very high prices because of their intricate beauty.
Quilting is a particular sewing technique that puts several layers of fabric and batting together. Generally, there is a top layer of fabric with a middle layer of batting insulation and a final layer of backing material. Many times flannel is used for the backing on bed quilts. These three layers can be sewn together by either hand or machine. The stitches can be simply to hold the three layers together or the stitches can be in intricate designs. Quilting projects include bedspread quilts, wall hangings, clothing and a wide assortment of textile items.
The earliest quilting garments were found in Egypt dating to 3400 B.C. The quilting of floor covers was discovered in Mongolia dating from 1 to 2 A.D. The first quilted bedspread was made in Sicily in the late 1300's and this item is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
American quilts were made by wealthier Colonial women who specialized in one piece cloth quilts that had decorative needlework in them. Older quilts were recycled into the batting for newer quilts.
African American quilts are some of the most artistic pieces of work. One of the more prevalent styles of African American quilts was the string quilt which was created after the Civil War. This quilt was made from strips of many types of fabrics sewn together. These pieces were cut into larger blocks and they were made into quilts. The loveliest quilt was known as the Pine Cone Quilt. It was made from pieces of triangular cloth that overlapped into a circular pattern. These beautiful quilts were popular with the African American community throughout the twentieth century.
Art quilting is a technique that uses quilting for creating pieces of art that are normally placed on walls or mounted like sculptures. This concept is relatively newer than regular quilting, having begun in the 1970's. Similar to regular quilting, this work consists of two layers of fabric and a middle layer of batting all held together with stitching. However, these quilting pieces also use painting, dyeing, stamping, printing, collage and other art forms to develop unique artwork on them. The designers of these pieces consider themselves as fine artists and not quilters.
With the resurgence of quilting, both for practical applications and for fine art applications, there has been much interest by people who have become hobbyists or professionals. Organizations have been started for quilters, one being the Quilters Hall of Fame located in Marion, Indiana, which recognizes outstanding contributors to the field.