Quilting is something I have never done myself, but have enjoyed buying. In South Africa I got my hands on a beautiful quilt that I used on my bed for years. I fell in love with it, and although I though I had brought it with me to Portugal, the fact is that it stayed in South Africa.
But my love of real good and beautiful quilts stayed with me, and it is something that I am keeping in the “background” to get involved with at some stage in my future life.
This was enforced when on a totally unrelated matter (to do with the association), I met Dorothy in Vilamoura. She’s a quilter, and has the most amazing quilts. Every time its photos crosses my Facebook wall, I think to myself, that maybe its time to start.
But before I do, I wanted to find out more about the world of “quilters”. I’m now going to share some of the info I have gathered. Maybe it will inspire you too.
Quilting is a fun hobby that can leave you feeling very satisfied with your efforts. This wonderful hobby does not call for any specific eligibility criteria and can be taken up no matter how old you are.
Quilts are often regarded with sentimental value because the person who creates them makes them with great care and love. A lot of attention goes into the choice of colour, material and stitch. By taking up quilting as a hobby, you can enjoy the pleasure of gifting it to your loved ones or just make one for yourself.
Who knows, as you become proficient at it, it might even become a nice source of income. In many homes, quilts are often cherished because of the memories they carry and are passed on from generation to generation.
Quilting is a process that gets you fully involved and by combining art and skill, you can create a lovely quilt that you can keep for decades to come. It can seem intimidating to think that making a quilt takes substantial time depending on the type you are planning on making. But you can rest assured that all your effort will be fully worth it when you see the fruit of your labour.
Quilting is a craft that has been around since ancient times and is said to have begun some time in the 18th century in America. Quilts were described as coverlets that were made of three layers stitched together to make one layer. The person who makes the quilt is called the quilter. Nowadays, quilting is quite popular as many people earn a substantial income from this creative art. While quilts were made for utility in early times, today, they are widely used to bring a decorative touch with the variety of designs and types of quilts. People who enjoy embroidering and needlework also enjoy quilting.
As with any hobby, quilting can be made even more enjoyable with the right tools. No matter which type of quilt you intend to get started with, you will need basic stuff like needles, pins, hoops, etc. in your kit. There are more accessories that can enhance your quilt-making activity, letting you produce beautiful quilts. As your skill level goes up, you will enjoy using these tools that help you save time. There are even quilting machines you can consider at a later stage once you get the hang of it.
Here is an overview of the quilting tools you will come across. Getting familiar with these will let you choose the ones you might need when you get more involved with your quilting hobby.
The above tool list is not exhaustive and you will probably discover more as you progress with your quilting hobby. Apart from these, you will need to know how to select threads and cottons for your quilt since this can practically determine how well your quilt will turn out.
You will also hear about different quilting techniques and will naturally want to experiment. Some of these techniques are:
Other techniques that you will discover involve measuring the right amount of fabric for your quilt, drafting patterns, pressing your quilt and caring for your quilt. The entire process of quilting can be quite a voyage of discovery as you learn new techniques.
The first time you choose your quilting design it is best to keep it simple using cotton fabric pieces and fewer colours so that you familiarize yourself with the art. You will need to ensure that you pre-wash your quilting fabric so that they don’t shrink or run colour after you make your quilt especially if you are using cotton.
Begin with a simple pattern. Quilting will involve piecing the fabric, layering it, then quilting it and finally binding it.
Quilts are usually begun at the center and then progressively built outwards. Remember, the most crucial step is piecing it since the top layer decides its pattern. You stitch the pieces of fabric together for your pattern. Layering involves bringing the three layers together as one. These are the top layer, the batting and the underlining or backing for the quilt. This is then quilted into a single piece using a variety of stitches. The final step is the binding, which means the finishing touches like adding a trim to the edge.
This should give you a good idea of what quilting involves. As you progress, you can buy the tools you need to produce a professional quilt.
Thank you to all the quilters that gave input for this article, and especially to Dorothy who became the inspiration for this article.