History of Quilting from Ancient to Present

by Beverly S.

The 1st century CE saw the birth of an amazing art form, quilts. Fabrics then were sewn together much as they are now, and for similar purposes. Amazingly, some of these hand-quilted items have survived, and are visible on display at museums around the world. Some display scenes from the culture of the time, others are the patchwork beauties we associate with this art form today. This article shares with you the history of these amazing artifacts and why quilting is so important to us today.

Throughout history, there has been a need to sew fabric together to create clothing or daily used articles. In the medieval era, soldiers wore suits of quilted fabric underneath their armor to protect them from the sometimes poorly closed metal rings. Even everyday clothing had quilting during that time, due to the little ice age of the era. Even a few quilted blankets were made, but these are considered broadcloth quilts, as they do not feature patchwork and are instead made from whole sheets of fabric.

Quilting is sometimes seen as different pieces of fabric sewn together to create a top layer, but this style (known as patchwork) did not appear until the 19th century. Before then, only women of leisure with servants to do the household chores had any time to enjoy the hobby of crafting broadcloth quilts. Quilts of this nature were two pieces of fabric with a middle layer of carded wool or cotton stitched all the way through. Poorer women were unable to create such works because they were typically too busy spinning and weaving to make clothing for their families.

It was really the Industrial Revolution that changed the way women viewed quilts. Once women no longer had to spend their time spinning and weaving for their families due to the ready availability of affordable commercial fabrics, quilt making became widespread. Quilts made up of blocks became common around the 1840s, as many quilters wanted to showcase the beautiful fabrics they'd found. In the 1850s, household sewing machines became available for sale, and this speeded up the process of clothes-making and quilt piecing. Often, however, quilting was still done by hand.

The Civil War saw the first popular spread of "quilting for a cause". Quilts were sold to raise funds for the abolitionist movement before the war, and during the war funds from quilts sold often went to soldiers or the general war effort. Women often turned older bedspreads into quilts, turning two blankets into three quilts due to how small the men's cots were. The South was unable to compete with the North in terms of fabric, however, as all the manufacturing plants were in the North. In order to get blankets to the men, women were required to go back to spinning and weaving, which took much longer.

The Victorian era saw a new style of quilting, the Crazy quilt. Made up of abstract shapes and fanciful designs, this style of quilt featured detailed embroidery along the seams, and later designs like a spider in its web for good luck, flowers, and birds across the fabric itself. Crazy quilts were very popular with younger women of that period, but these quilts were frequently smaller, and used as decorative throws rather than bedspreads.

In the twentieth century, quilting definitely had its highs and lows. In the 1920s, women wanted soft pastel heritage quilts, and during this time quilting became seen as an art as well as a craft. The Great Depression saw another spike in quilt-making, due to how easy it was to reuse fabric scraps and save them from being wasted. After World War II, however, consumerist ideals said that quilting was a hobby for the poor, and so the craft fell out of favor. Amazingly, quilts were revived in the mid-1960s with the Back to Nature movement that strived for old-fashioned craftsmanship. The 1976 American bicentennial only fueled the fire of quilting passion.

So the next time you are chilled, and climb into your warm bed, under your favorite quilt, think of how much work went into any quilt creation, from the past to today. We have a history of quilting because so many women worked hard to create something for their families. Thanks to their loving hands, this tradition is carried on to today. Create your own quilt to be a part of this historic craft!

About the Author:

This site's quilt fabric is great for any skill level of quilter. They have many quilting supplies that you might also be interested in. They have so much available for every level of quilter.

Does Your Family Have Cabin Fever? Check Our These Cold Weather Activities For Children!

by Lou Klose

It's not easy to keep children entertained with fun activities for children throughout the long, cold winter. With the colder, shorter days, cabin fever can set in and with that, boredom. From sledding to arts and crafts, board games to building snow forts, there are plenty of wintertime activities for children (and for adults) and plenty of memories to be made in the process . Here are just a few ideas:

- Make a snowman as a family. Scavenge around the house for old hats, a carrot for his nose, buttons for his eyes, a scarf and whatever else they can come up with to being their creation to life. And, for kids with a tinge of sibling rivalry, you might want to consider having each make their own snowperson.

- Most towns have a skating rink nearby, so why not go ice skating as a family. Just be sure to have hot cocoa after you're done.

- Going Sledding is one of the most fun wintertime activities for children. It's also a great way to wear the kids out!! To really make the memory last, don't forget to take photos.

- Kids who love to learn about and explore nature might love a nature hike in the woods where you try to identify animal tracks in the snow.

- Making holiday wreaths out of leaves and pine cones from outside is a great activity for children who love to craft.

- Making holiday cards is another great crafting activity. Whether they're analog cards made from construction paper or digital photo cards, there are plenty of options to keep them occupied.

- Another of the great winter activities for children is cooking together. An aside: if you have a hard time getting kids to eat healthier foods, have them help in making the meal. Kids are actually far more inclined to eat any meal that they helped to create. Of course, baking sweets like cookies, treats and cakes is a fun kid activity too. These even make great grandparent gifts.

- Your local library or community center might also have a lot of activities on their calendar. They may have quilting or crafting classes, story hours and much more.

- Finally, there's the family game night. From board games to video games, this is one of the best activities for children and families.

About the Author:

Visit this website as they have many different types of children activities

Creating Your Own Piece of Artwork

By Shawn Michaels

Creating patchwork quilts is a fun and practical craft that even the clumsiest person can enjoy. Quilting isnt just fun-- its part of a tradition that dates back as far as the first century BCE. Homemakers have long seen the value in saving scraps of old and leftover cloth for use in other projects. By stitching these scraps together, they created patchwork curtains, bedcovers, and even clothing. Patchwork quilting isnt just part of European history; in the United States, quilting bees were important social functions for pioneer women. By learning just a few easy stitches, you can become a part of this storied tradition.

Quilts are made from three sandwiched together layers of fabric. The bottom layer is called the backing. Its usually a single large piece of cotton, though it can also be made from sewing together smaller pieces of fabric. The middle layer is called batting. This comes in many types, and will determine how the finished quilt feels. Whether a quilt is thin and flat or thick and comfy is based on the type of batting. The quilt top covers the batting. A patchwork quilt top is made from dozens or hundreds of fabric scraps. They can be arranged in patterns that are intricate or simple-- the only limit is your imagination.

Creating a patchwork quilt top requires the stitching together of individual pieces of fabric. Beginners should stick to basic shapes for their patches, like rectangles, squares, and triangles. The pieces can be stitched together simply, or arranged in complicated patterns that turn a project from a basic quilt into a work of art.

When the patchwork top has been designed and finished, its time to put the whole quilt together. The backing can be placed right side down on any large, flat surface-- even the floor will do! Then the batting should be arranged on top of it. When the batting is in place, the patchwork top should be positioned over the batting. Using either pins or long running stitches, you can baste the quilt together. Once basted together, the quilt is ready to be stitched. The type of stitching used is important since it will both keep the batting from bunching up and give the quilt a distinctive look.

Whether youre a beginner or an expert with a needle and thread, creating a patchwork quilt is a great way to experience a creative part of history-- and to have some fun! - 30537

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