Quilting is one of the most time-honored arts and crafts or hobbies. Like knitting and sewing, quilting was, until recently, a dying art. Once a necessity for our grandmothers, this age-old tradition is now undergoing a resurgence of interest.
Driving that interest is the wide variety of quilting materials and quilting supplies that are available to us. Our grandmothers turned out beautiful quilts using whatever they could find. This often included old clothing, feed sacks and other scraps of material. Quilting also proved a necessary social outlet for women. Many antique quilts were created during sewing or quilting bees and have been passed down through generations.
The quilting process itself is easy. After you have pieced together the blocks of your quilting pattern, you are ready to create a quilt sandwich. You do this by putting your quilt top together with a backing cloth. In between those two layers, you will put a layer of insulating fabric like batting or flannel. The process of sewing these layers together is called quilting.
We now have guilds and other clubs that help to feed today's interest in quilting. A guild can also be a terrific source of information. Guilds often offer classes on quilting fabrics, machine quilting and even quilting patterns. Guilds are great places to build your knowledge base by networking with other quilters.
Quilting fabrics have come a long way since grandma's time. No longer do we have to make do with scraps and feed sacks. There is now a stunning array of gorgeous quilting fabrics to choose from. We can select from natural fibers such as silk, wool or cotton or manmade quilting fabrics like rayon or polyester. Modern equipment even allows for the blending of materials such as the ever-popular poly-cotton blends.
Complementing these quilting fabrics is a steady stream of quilting pattern books and magazines. Some magazines even offer special quilt-by-the month quilting patterns. These patterns usually provide full instructions and can help you expand your quilting skills.
You can either do machine quilting or hand quilting. Machine quilting speeds the quilting process. There are special quilting machines and sewing machines that you can buy. These can produce breathtaking results. Hand quilting is slower but also produces beautiful quilts.
No matter which method you choose, you can be assured that your quilts will be treasures that last a lifetime and beyond.