If you've followed along since the beginning of Novelties and Trinkets you may have picked up from here and there that I love quilting. It has become a huge hobby of mine and it has been a way for me to be creative and practical all at once. I love quilting (specifically hand quilting) because it takes me back to a simpler time that I was unable to experience firsthand. Quilting can be done by literally anyone - all you need is a sewing machine, thread and a cool design in your head. I have attempted writing a quilting series before and honestly, it just wasn't the right time for me. Now, I have more experience under my belt and I have developed my own techniques and sequences. I adore quilting - ardently. I hope you guys will follow along as I go step by step into the quilting world this September!
Take a moment. Close your eyes and humor me for a moment: you're ready. Finally, you've made the decision to start your very own handmade quilt. The color options are leaping through your mind, you have no idea where to start and yet you're so determined to make it work at the same time. This was me 3 years ago as I started my first quilt. I still remember picking out my fabric from a store in St. Charles, MO on a trip with my mom. It's crazy to look back at that quilt. I'm honestly confused as to why I chose the colors I did - I was always drawn to that color combination for some reason. My style has changed so much since then but the excitement of starting a quilt has only escalated with each new venture.
Quilting has always been around in some shape or form, but it began in the United States when English settlers made their way to the New World for the first time. People had been using soft, bedded fabric for blankets, clothing and even armor for war in English and Dutch cultures for years. The word quilt can be traced back to the Latin word culcita which means "stuffed sack". The word quilt has taken on two different meanings: it is used in both noun and verb form.
Quilts were originally made out of necessity. People in the 1700s didn't have a WalMart or Target to buy comforters from so they would use old, worn out clothing to make warm and cozy quilts to keep their families warm. On top of using them to sleep with, they were also hung in front of doors and windows that were not sealed well. This kept the cool Northern winds out of their houses and allowed the fires to warm the homes easier. Women would come together to create quilts side by side. By attacking the task of quilting with many women, they were able to make them quickly and efficiently. These gathering were called quilting bees. Artistic and recreational quilting did not become common until the mid 20th century.
When studying the history of the United States, quilting and other fiber arts were a huge part of everyday life. This is why quilts, woven rugs and embroidered crafts are preserved and kept in museums: they give us a glimpse at what everyday life in the United States looked like.
There are so many different types of quilts and there are many different techniques. This series will go into different ways to make quilts and I will also share my favorite and preferred way to make mine. The history of quilts is rich and intricate. Quilts were made beautifully during a time when life was simple and hard. They represent dedication and art and they are a refreshing hobby in a time when iPhone games social media browsing are what consume most of our time. If you've ever been even slightly interested in quilting, please follow along as we go through this step by step series together!
Sources: Quilting in America