Stitching Together Bits & Pieces: National Quilting Day

squares of quilting fabric and fabric cutters

Whether its hand stitched or created with a machine, a completed quilt is distinguishable from other types of blankets by the amount of care and creativity that goes into its creation. Quilts are often kept as heirlooms, and can represent the strong bonds of familial love. On March 18, quiltmakers around the world are celebrated for their warmth, resiliency and creative spirit, and have been since 1991.

Quilting refers to the technique of joining at least two fabric layers by stitches or ties, and is a practice that dates back as far as 3400 B.C. Back then it was mainly used as a practical technique that provided physical protection and insulation. Over time, this practice has evolved to showcase more creative features and decorative elements one can express through this craft. Quilts today are not ordinary blankets, and many can sometimes be viewed primarily as art pieces used to decorate a home.

Here are four popular types of quilting:

Pieced Quilts (also known as Patchwork): The basic all-American quilt. Blocks of fabric are sewn together, pressed, and sewn into larger rows and columns.

Appliqué Quilts: Has two types of techniques, raw edge and interfaced. This technique includes sewing smaller pieces of fabric onto a larger background piece of fabric.

Paper Pieced Quilts: Made by stitching your fabric directly onto paper, allows for crisp dramatic edges.

English Paper Piecing: Is similar to the standard paper pieced quilts but are created by hand and has reusable templates. This type of quilting allows shapes to have in set seams or many sides.

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