Quilting: what is it, how does it differ from patchwork, what are the quilting stitches and stitch patterns?

There are quite a few sewing techniques in needlework. One of them is quilting. Having appeared several centuries ago, the method of creating quilts quickly gained recognition of needleworkers around the world. What is the essence of this technique? How does it differ from patchwork? How to sew a patchwork product in the quilting technique? What types of quilting stitches are there?

Patchwork and quilting techniques: history and features of patchwork

There are no significant differences between these techniques. They are based on the same principle – the creation of a single composition from separate patches. The only difference between them is that, unlike quilting, which combines several techniques (in addition to patchwork is both embroidery and special stitching techniques), patchwork is a narrower concept. Quilts (works made in quilting technique) are characterized by multilayered and volume, so quilting can be considered as a 3D patchwork.

There is much controversy around the history of the emergence of these techniques. Americans believe that American needlewomen were the first to create products from separate patches. However, it is known that even in the XV century, a similar method, which was called “trapuncto”, used the Italian needlewomen. There is also evidence that earlier quilted warm clothes were made in China and Japan.

According to many scientists, patchwork originally appeared. It happened in the 16th century in England. The reason for the appearance of such a technique was banal economy. During this period, in the country were very popular colorful and bright fabrics from India, which, because of their high cost were available only to wealthy people. Soon such fabrics became scarce because of the ban on its importation into England.

In order to make the most economical use of expensive and scarce fabric, English housewives invented to sew the outfits from many pieces of different colors. Later this method of creating original and bright products adopted by the wealthy ladies. Within a short time these methods of sewing became popular in all foreign countries. So patchwork and quilting became part of almost every home all over the world.


What will I need for quilting?

Quilting is available even to needlewomen, just beginning to engage in patchwork sewing. Sewing a cozy quilt or bedspread is a fascinating occupation. Before you get to work, you should prepare all the necessary materials.

The first thing to choose a fabric. The choice of material depends on what kind of product is planned to sew. For sewing mats, it is recommended to use durable knitted fabrics, decorative items – fine and openwork textiles. Choosing fabrics, it is necessary to give preference to those types that have the same density. This is a very important condition.

Cotton fabrics are best for sewing. They are quite dense, well ironed and easy to work with. As for the color, it can be any color. Some needlewomen prefer a floral ornament, others prefer geometric. However, it is recommended to choose multi-colored scraps, because it is more beautiful to look motley quilts.

In addition to fabric, it is necessary to prepare:

  • Sewing machine. You can use a special machine for quilting or do with an ordinary device. In the absence of a sewing machine stitches can be done manually.
  • Needles for hand sewing. They differ in thickness and structure from standard needles.
  • A seamstress.
  • Pins.
  • Cutting tool. It can be a circular knife or tailor scissors. The main thing is that they do not chew the fabric.
  • Thread. You should not use ordinary ones, for the work it is recommended to buy special threads for hand embroidery. They need to choose several kinds: in the tone of the fabric and contrasting for stitching.
  • Marker. He should be easily washable.
  • A ruler.

How to create a product from patchwork in the quilting technique?

Before proceeding to create a patchwork product, it is necessary to properly prepare the fabric. Water-heat treatment is important, so it is not recommended to ignore this procedure, the material should be washed and ironed before the work. Then you should decide on the pattern that will form the patches, the combination of fabrics, and only then proceed to work with the sewing machine.

Work on the front side: the choice of pattern, the selection of material, sewing

If we speak generally, the creative process is to create a general composition from cut out pieces of fabric of a certain shape. To do this, it is necessary to determine the pattern that will decorate the surface of the finished product. Complex schemes are available only to experienced needlewomen. Beginner needlewomen are recommended to opt for such classic patterns as “colored squares”, “log cabin”, “crazy (crazy) patches” (krazy), “grandma’s garden” and “Christmas star”. They are the easiest to make.

Cut out a life-size template from heavy paper. Using the paper form, transfer the figure to the fabric and cut it out, taking into account the seam allowance (about 5-6 cm). After that, you need to lay out the pieces on a horizontal flat surface. You can combine the scraps to your liking. Creating a composition is a creative process that does not have any framework.

It is easier to sew the blanks first in long lines, and then connect them to each other. After completing the work with the front surface it is necessary to iron it, straightening on the wrong side the areas left as seam allowances. They should not create relief.

Assembling the future product and bonding layers

After completing the work with the front surface of the future product should proceed to the preparation of the lower and intermediate layers. When cutting the pad and lining you need to take into account that they should be 4-5 cm beyond the perimeter of the decorative fabric. For insulation layer you can choose any material, such as sintepon or tinsulate. If it is a matter of sewing a blanket or bedspread as the bottom layer is recommended to choose a material with a rough surface, preventing slipping.

Assembling the layers is as follows: the back cloth is spread out on a horizontal flat surface, the intermediate cloth is evenly distributed on top, then it is covered with a decorative layer with the wrong side down. The workpiece is fastened with pins in several places in the direction from the center to the edges. When joining it is necessary to try to pierce all three layers. Then all the constituent parts of the product are stitched around the edges. Finally, decorative stitching should be sewn over its entire surface and trimmed the edges with edging.

How to quilt on a sewing machine and by hand?

The stitches on the product can be sewn with a sewing machine or by hand. On the fabric with threads you can “draw” any pattern.

It is recommended to outline the future stitches on the fabric beforehand. Then go over the planned stitches in a sewing machine from the center of the fabric to the edges. Quilting the product should be so that the stitches are as close as possible to the laid stitches, but do not go over them.

The following points should be taken into account when sewing with a machine:

  • set the foot to darning and embroidery mode;
  • sew with a thick needle;
  • use a strong thread in the tone of fabric;
  • stick to the same speed without jerking.

Beginner needlewomen are advised to make loops or waves on the surface of the product. You can use straight lines after a certain experience. For quilting by hand you will need a short needle. For convenience, it is recommended to stretch the fabric on a frame or an embroidery frame. Thimbles, which should be put on the right middle finger and index finger of the left hand, will help protect your finger pads from being pierced by the needle.

Stitches should be made as follows: pierce all layers with a needle at right angles to the surface of the product. Bringing the thread down, pull the needle from the bottom up, pushing it with the index finger of the left hand. Act from the center of the fabric to the edges until a pattern of thread appears on the surface of the fabric.


Types and schemes of quilting stitching

There are many types of such a stitch. First of all, they differ from each other in the complexity of execution. There are schemes that are specifically designed for beginners.

Choosing which stitch to decorate a patchwork quilt or bedspread, it is necessary to proceed not so much from personal preferences, as from your own experience. In the table there is a description of the basic types of quilting stitches.