Quilts in Colonial America – The strong quilting traditions of North America no doubt crossed the ocean with the first immigrants: quilted clothing and bedding appear in the crafts of many countries, including Holland, France , Italy and England . Only the wealthy could afford the elaborately block-printed and hand-painted fabrics and the palampores , or Tree of Life quilts, shipped by ships from India . An examination of inventories of colonial American property reveals very few quilts, and only in wealthier households. Most colonists relied on heavier loomed blankets and “bed covers” to protect them from the harsh climate. Richard Loe, commander of the emigrant ship Ark to “Mary’s Land” in 1634, counted among his possessions a “flock quilt” as well as an “old sheet” and “rugg.”
Thrifty colonial women would have recycled precious scraps of fabric to make and mend clothing and bedding. However, the earliest surviving American quilts tended to be integralcalamancos, in which the enameled wool top, often of imported fabric, was covered with wool blankets and backs of wool or linen wool from homemade fabric, then quilted with feathers and other decorative motifs. In the following decades, these quilts included simple patchwork on a large scale. Note: Quilting is a fun and practical way to pass the time. You use your creativity to create beautiful blankets, pillows, and home decorations that will be passed down to your children and grandchildren. In a few steps you will learn how to make a basic quilt to show off your new skill to friends and family.
The golden age of American quilting – In the pre-revolutionary American colonies , England and France supplied most, if not all, of the fabrics, although linens and sheets were often made at home. By the early 19th century, cotton fabrics produced in the United States were cheaply made in a wide variety of prints, helping to make sewn and appliquéd quilts more affordable, although many wool, cotton, and silk fabrics were still being imported. The quilts of this period were generally made in a medallion style, with a variety of elaborate borders around a patchwork center. A late 18th century printer, John Hewson, specialized in printed motifs for medallion quilts.
In the 1840s, a new style emerged: the Baltimore Album or Friendship quilt, consisting of floral and other elaborately appliquéd figures, usually with each block featuring a different design. (In the patchwork revival of the late 20th century, teachers like Elly Sienkiewicz repopularized the Baltimore Album style.) The multi-block floral appliqué remained a popular style throughout the 19th century, as did its contemporary, the signature, or album, quilt, in which each block was made and signed by a different maker and the quilt given as a keepsake, for example, to a bride by her friends, to the minister by the women of the congregation, or to a young man celebrating his 21st birthday.
- When washing your quilt, you may want to use a fabric fixative so that the various fabrics you use will not stain.
- If you make the quilt by hand, a good trick is to pull the knots into the batting. When your thread runs out, tie a knot very close to the fabric with the needle. Then push the needle in and out of the fabric one more time, pulling it tighter so the knot goes into the fabric. Cut without worrying about knots sticking out of the work.
- Do not use stretchy fabrics to make your quilt.
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