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What is patchwork and quilting

What is Patchwork
 Patchwork is a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric into a larger design.  The larger design is usually based on a repeat pattern built up with different coloured shapes.  The shapes are carefully measured and cut to make them easier to piece together as blocks  There are many different ways of making ‘ blocks’ which are sewn together,  and these ‘blocks’ have names like Log Cabin, Drunkards Path, Bears Paw and Nine Patch, to name but a few. Precise joining makes for patchwork to lay flat without puckers. When all the blocks have been joined together this is then known as the ‘top’.

What is Quilting
 Quilting is usually two layers of fabric with padding in between, this is held together by lines of stitching.  The quilters hand or sewing machine passes the needle and thread through all the layers and this repeated across the entire piece where quilting is wanted.  Quilting can be done by hand, sewing machine or by a longarm quilting system.

Quilting can be traced as far back as the Middle Ages and the word ‘Quilt’ seems to have first been used in England in the 1200’s.

When the early settlers went to America from England quilting was established as a popular craft.  To quilt was a social activity and women got together in a quilting ‘bee’ to make a bed quilt, this was usually for a girl about to be married, and the aim of everyone getting together stitching was the get the quilt finished in a day.

The earlist quilting in England was to make bed covers which became family heirlooms, but quilting was also used to produce clothing that was light as well as warm.  Padded jackets were worn under armour to make it more comfortable and warm.  Quilted silk doublets and breeches were worn by wealthy courtiers, also petticoats and waistcoats.