Native American women quickly developed their own unique style, the Lone Star design also called the Star of Bethlehem , a variation on Morning Star designs that had been featured on Native American clothing and other items for centuries. Another distinctive style of Native American quilting is Seminole piecing, created by Seminoles living in the Florida Everglades. The style evolved out a need for cloth the closest town was often a week's journey away. Women would make strips of sewing the remnants of fabric rolls together, then sew these into larger pieces to make clothing.
Eventually the style began to be used not just for clothing but for quilts as well. In , with the introduction of sewing machines and readily available fabric in Seminole communities, the patterns became much more elaborate and the style continues to be in use today, both by Seminole women and by others who have copied and adapted their designs and techniques. Hawaiian women learned to quilt from the wives of missionaries from New England in the s.
Though they learned both pieced work and applique, by the s they had adapted applique techniques to create a uniquely Hawaiian mode of expression. Nakshi Kantha quilts originated in India and are typically made of scraps and worn-out fabric stitched together with old sari threads using kantha embroidery stitches. The cloth was then folded and worked on whenever there was time. Ralli quilts are traditionally made in Pakistan , western India , and the surrounding area. They are made by every sector of society including Hindu and Muslim women, women of different castes, and women from different towns or villages or tribes with the colors and designs varying among these groups.
The name comes from ralanna , a word meaning to mix or connect. Quilts tops were designed and pieced by one woman using scraps of hand-dyed cotton. This cotton often comes from old dresses or shawls. Once pieced, the quilt top is placed on a reed mat with the other layers and sewn together using thick, colored thread in straight parallel lines by members of the designer's family and community.
These quilts, created from silk, wool, and felt, were intended to be both decorative and functional and were found in churches and in the homes of nobility. Imported cotton first appeared in Sweden in , and began to appear in Swedish quilts soon after along with scraps of wool, silk, and linen. As the availability of cotton increased and its price went down, quilting became widespread among all classes of Swedish society.
Wealthier quilters used wool batting while others used linen scraps, rags, or paper mixed with animal hair.
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In general, these quilts were simple and narrow, made by both men and women. The biggest influence on Swedish quilting in this time period is thought to have come from America as Swedish immigrants to the United States returned to their home country when conditions there improved. During the late 20th century, art quilts became popular for their aesthetic and artistic qualities rather than for functionality as they are displayed on a wall or table rather than being used on a bed.. In the early 21st century, modern quilting became a more prominent area of quilting. Modern quilting follows a distinct aesthetic style which draws on inspiration from modern style in architecture, art, and design using traditional quilt making techniques.
The Modern Quilt Guild has attempted to define modern quilting. The characteristics of a modern quilt may include: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. The Modern Quilt Guild, a non-profit corporation, with 14, members in more than members guilds in 39 countries, fosters modern quilting via local guilds, workshops, webinars, and Quiltcon - an annual modern quilting conference and convention.
Unusual quilting designs have increasingly become popular as decorative textiles. As industrial sewing technology has become more precise and flexible, quilting using exotic fabrics and embroidery began to appear in home furnishings in the early 21st century. The quilt block is traditionally a sub-unit composed of several pieces of fabric sewn together. The quilt blocks are repeated, or sometimes alternated with plain blocks, to form the overall design of a quilt. Barbara Brackman has documented over different quilt block patterns from the early s to the s in the Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
A Nine Patch is made by sewing five patterned or dark pieces patches to four light square pieces in alternating order. These nine sewn squares make one block. The Shoo Fly varies from the Nine Patch by dividing each of the four corner pieces into a light and dark triangle.
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Another variation develops when one square piece is divided into two equal rectangles in the basic Nine Patch design. The Churn Dash block combines the triangles and rectangle to expand the Nine Patch. The Prairie Queen block combines two large scale triangles in the corner section with the middle section using four squares.
The center piece is one full size square. Each of the nine sections does have the same overall measurement and fits together. Many types of quilting exist today.
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The two most widely used are hand-quilting and machine quilting. Hand quilting is the process of using a needle and thread to sew a running stitch by hand across the entire area to be quilted. This binds the layers together. A quilting frame or hoop is often used to assist in holding the piece being quilted off the quilter's lap.
A quilter can make one stitch at a time by first driving the needle through the fabric from the right side, then pushing it back up through the material from the wrong side to complete the stitch; this is called a stab stitch. Hand quilting is still practiced by the Amish and Mennonites within the United States and Canada, and is enjoying a resurgence worldwide. Machine quilting is the process of using a home sewing machine or a longarm machine to sew the layers together.
With the home sewing machine, the layers are tacked together before quilting. This involves laying the top, batting, and backing out on a flat surface and either pinning using large safety pins or tacking the layers together. The frame has bars on which the layers are rolled, keeping these together without the need for tacking or pinning. These frames are used with a professional sewing machine mounted on a platform.
The platform rides along tracks so that the machine can be moved across the layers on the frame. A longarm machine is moved across the fabric. In contrast, the fabric is moved through a home sewing machine. Tying is another technique of fastening the three layers together. This is done primarily on quilts that are made to be used and are needed quickly.
The process of tying the quilt is done with yarns or multiple strands of thread.
Square knots are used to finish off the ties so that the quilt may be washed and used without fear of the knots coming undone. Quilting is now taught in some American schools. These forms of workshop or classes are also available in other countries in guilds and community colleges. Contemporary quilters use a wide range of quilting designs and styles, from ancient and ethnic to post-modern futuristic patterns. There is no one single school or style that dominates the quilt-making world.
Regardless of skill level, all quilters know the importance of having the right tools when quilting. Having the right tools increases the fluid process of making a quilt and can even be improved over time with practice. Having the right tools will maximize efficiency and make the quilting experience one to remember. Below is a list of the different tools and tips that can be used to make a quilt by hand or machine:  .
A good quality sewing machine is a helpful addition to the process of piecing together a quilt top. Some also use a home sewing machine for quilting together the layers of the quilt, as well as binding the final product. It is important to understand how your particular model functions in order to select the correct settings, thread the needle and bobbin, and operate the machine. Here is a handy guide on using a machine. When making a quilt it is important to mark the fabric that you are cutting in order to have some kind of guidance when cutting the fabric, or you could use a quilting ruler and rotary cutter.
When marking the fabric it is advised that you use a fabric marker, which is a marker that washes out when the quilt is washed or will fade away after repeated washes. The longarm quilting machine makes it easier to make larger quilts because of the extended arm that is used. Being able to leverage the larger machine and not having to hold the material that is being used while quilting helps the process move along much faster and makes it easier on the quilter.
When quilting one of the most important tools that is used is the needle. Whether you are quilting by hand or by machine, the needle that is being used is critical to the final result. Using the wrong needle can lead to puckering, bumps, or even the material being torn. There are many different styles of needles and looking at Sewing Needles will be a good guide. Understanding how pins and thimbles work is also very important in the process of making quilts. Many different combinations of pinning can be used in order get similar results and the exciting part is figuring out existing combinations as well as coming up with new ones.
Thimbles are not required but are good for keeping fingers safe. Choosing the right types of threads for a quilt can be difficult and beginners may need some assistance from an expert or more advanced quilter. The color, composition, and type of thread that is used will have a pivotal role in the outcome of the final quilt. What a quilter uses to cut the fabric is a vital step in the quilting process.
It is very important each piece is perfectly aligned in order to prevent an uneven or sloppy appearance and to prevent rework. Rotary cutters revolutionized quiltmaking when they appeared in the late s. A rotary cutter offers even the shakiest of hands the ability to produce perfect, even slices and minimizes the chance of error. Quilts can have many different templates or patterns and they can have a large impact on the final result. There are a number of mediums that can be used and depending on the usage, size, and style they will give your quilt a varied look.
Templates are generally considered the basis of the structure of the quilt, like a blueprint for a house. If used properly it can help quilters produce a quilt of their liking and give them a sense of satisfaction and vision for future quilts they want to make. This section describes basic information about the assembly of quilts using machine quilting techniques.
Many cultures and groups in different parts of the world have their own unique approaches, methods and styles of quilting which are not addressed below.
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The top-most layer of a quilt is usually made from cotton quilting fabric. Selecting the fabric can be a challenging exercise, and the number of different fabrics required depends on the quilting pattern selected. Many quilters will also make use of fabrics from home, incorporating fabrics with a particular sentimental importance. Newly bought fabric is often washed before being cut or sewn. If not pre-washed, there is a risk of the fabric dyes bleeding during later washing. Many fabric manufacturers take this into account and have taken steps to prevent color-bleeding.
Washing, and subsequently drying, the fabric will also shrink some fabrics, so it is best to do this before cutting the fabric into the shapes and sizes needed. The fabric must be ironed flat before cutting to prevent creases or wrinkles from altering measurements. With large-scale projects like quilts, it is often advantageous to have a rotary cutter and mat. A rotary cutter is a cutting tool with a round blade, making it easy to cut a smooth, continuous line. Rotary cutters come with different sized blades: a larger blade is useful for large projects with straight lines, while a smaller blade is helpful for small areas or curved lines.
A rotary mat protects tables and surfaces from the blade, while also protecting the cutting edge from damage. A quilting ruler can also be used, to help ensure that all pieces are cut to consistent sizes. Quilting rulers are made of clear plastic and have marked grid-lines across the surface of the ruler.
This type of ruler makes it possible to cut a piece of fabric in the correct width or length without having to use a measuring tape and fabric chalk. Measurements have to include a seam allowance. Once the fabrics have been cut, the pieces are sewn together in the chosen pattern. This can be done by hand or by machine. Accurate seam allowances are especially important when it comes to quilting.
With dozens, sometimes hundreds, of different seams, if each seam is off by even 0. There are generally three layers in a quilt: the quilt top, the middle layer of batting, and the fabric backing. The quilt top is the design layer. The cotton or polyester batting in the middle layer is what determines the warmth of the quilt.
Batting comes in different thicknesses depending on the purpose of the final quilt, and multiple layers of batting can be combined to increase the warmth of the final product. The Crib Size is perfect for use with a wheelchair. Can I make this quilt in a Queen or King Size? They are all easy, but the ones that use angled cuts require more attention to detail. Here is a ranking:. I finished my quilt, but have extra fabric left over.
Why are the yardage requirements so generous? When I sew my blocks together into rows, the seamlines in one block don't seem to match the seamlines in the adjoining block. How can I get them to match? Patterns , Check the backing side of your block to be sure that the seamline that goes diagonally across the center of the block is exactly centered.
If it is off center, it will affect the rest of the seamlines. I like Mettler 50 wt. Lighter, thinner threads are not recommended. Frequently Asked Questions. Do I have to buy a Batting Buddy to make these quilts? Here is how you use the Batting Buddy: 1. Use the Square Template to cut your batting to the exact size. Use the Frame Template to cut your backing to the exact size.
Use the Frame Template to center the batting on the backing square. Quilting pattern. Instructions vary by pattern. What batting do you recommend? Can I use batting scraps that are left over from other projects? What size do you recommend for use with a wheelchair? Since this may not be available in just one fabric, you may need to find two similar fabrics for backing. Or, do a scrappier look; for example, assorted blues. Or maybe 2 fabrics in a checkerboard. Large quilts will be hard to manage under the sewing machine. Instead of sewing the top half to the bottom half, start at the top and add one row at a time.
This would require that you do not turn the quilt when topstitching the sashing, because it will not fit under your machine.
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