What is Quilting

What is Quilting
Quilts at Barb’s Quilt Nook

What is Quilting?  Simply put, quilting is the sewing together of two or more layers of fabrics to create a thicker, padded material.  Most modern quilts have at least three layers of material sewn together to create a quilt.  A typical modern American quilt will contain a quilt top, batting layer, and fabric backing.  While quilts have been around since at least 3400 B.C., different regions of the world have developed different quilting traditions.  American quilters have typically stuck to the the three layer quilt.  The batting material is used as the insulation, or warming fabric, while the quilt top is often the most decorative layer.  The backing layer is often not as decorative, but it is also not, necessarily, plain.

Even in America, the quilting traditions have evolved to create unique styles among different regions of the nation.  Quilters in the northern most regions often use more batting material than quilters in the southern most regions.  The decorative influences of the quilt top are also, often, influenced by regional selections.  Depending on the time of year, Texas wildflowers, old west, historic scenery, and modern skylines are common themes selected by modern Texas quilters.

Considerations in selecting a quilting pattern

When selecting a quilting pattern – the sewing pattern in which a quilt is bound together – a Texas quilter should consider how the quilt will be used, the type of fabric used, and decorative considerations.  The more a quilt is used, the more likely the sewing pattern will need to be more intricate and carried through the quilt.  Decorative quilts, on the other hand, will often have fewer sewing lines and patterns throughout the body of the quilt.  The type of fabric is also a major consideration as many fabrics purchased in big box stores, or at discount retailers will not stand up to extended wear regardless of how much the quilt is used.  The type of fabric used in the quilt top will also determine how quickly a quilt will fade, colors will bleed upon washing, and other normal uses.

Quilting is one of the oldest living traditions in the world today.  American quilting has seen a cycle of popularity over the years.  The current trend in American quilting is men between the ages of 45 and 60 learning the craft of quilting.  In fact, many of our quilting classes include men of all ages learning the basic and even advanced techniques of quilting.

What is quilting

It is nearly impossible to answer the question “What is Quilting?” without discussing the purpose, national and regional influences, and types of fabrics used.  The simple answer is, however, that quilting is the joining of fabric together to create a lasting heirloom that can show the character of a family, region, or locale.  Quilting today is often more decorative artwork than utilitarian necessity.  If you’re ready to begin quilting today, or if you just want to learn more about the history of quilting, then come by our shop, or come visit our booth at one of the many Texas Quilt Shows we attend each each.