A Fresh Look at Patchwork

7 Dec

Quilt 5

As a result of visiting various craft exhibitions, I have been particularly attracted to Patchwork and Quilting. Although this technique was extensively used in the past, it has recently been rediscovered and mixed with various other media to create an interesting mix. In the following I am making an attempt at giving a bit of background and what possibilities exist for the uninitiated.

What is Patchwork and Quilting?

Patchwork is a form of piecing different geometric shapes of fabrics together to make it into a larger piece. Contrasting fabrics are used with different shades of colour and print when making up the finished piece. These shapes of fabrics are sewn together with a quarter inch seam allowance around them. After they are all sewn together, you would normally put a padding (either cotton or wadding) and backing underneath to give it a nice soft feel and to add strength.

Where can you use Patchwork?

Patchwork is most commonly used for making quilts, but can be used for wall hangings, cushion covers and clothing. Patchwork can be made into something for daily use or as a decorative piece for special occasions such as Christmas, weddings and birthday gifts. They are also good to give as gifts to a given individual as the work and time that has gone into making it, is what makes it so special.

Here is some historical background to Patchwork

The earliest signs of patchwork can be seen in Egyptian tombs, dating 5 centuries back. In the middle ages they were also used as armour, this used to give them warmth and keep them protected.
As the European climate was getting colder in the 11th and 13th Century patchwork was made into quilts for bed covers. They used to be quite elaborate with embroidery and embellishment on. Before a young girl used to get married she would make herself a wedding quilt.

Some outstanding examples of quilting

Patchwork and quilting is now becoming an art form. Textile artists are stretching the possibilities further and bringing it up to a new level, creating 3-dimensional designs, using paint and stitch in their work. The results can be considered nothing less than a large pieces of painting.

Here are some examples of what is possible as I came across in a NEC Exhibition in Birmingham: crowdcapture.co.uk/blog/festival-of-quilts/

What materials to use?

Cotton fabric is most commonly used for patchwork as its easy to use to create folds and doesn’t fray. Though in the mid 19th century luxurious fabrics were used such as velvets, silks, brocades, buttons and lace.

I am really interested, how do I go about exploring it?

You can learn patchwork and quilt from books, magazines and through participating in workshops in your local area. It is a very satisfying and creative use of your past time and a fantastic skill to have - the artefacts thus created can be lovingly passed down the generations. It is good to keep patchwork and quilt alive today.


Patchwork and quilted designs I created

Patchwork top with earrings blog 3

Quilted short sleeved stripy Jersey T-shirt accessories with black scarf and earrings. The earrings made by This Ilk, you can find more examples of her creation here: www.etsy.com/shop/thisilk

Trendy,yet modern Quilted Patchwork Bags

Blue Diamond Bag 3Blog Floral Bag 2

If you would like to purchase these bags visit our shop page: www.crowdcapture.co.uk/accessories/bags.html

What do you think of Patchwork and quilting? Do you have any thing made of patchwork or quilt that you particularly treasure? Share your thoughts :-)

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