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Quilting is a method of sewing or tying two layers of cloth with a layer of insulating batting in between. A bed covering or similar large rectangular piece of quilting work is called a quilt. A quilt does not have to be rectangular, however. more...
Many quilts hang on the wall as art quilts and are all kinds of shapes and sizes.
There is a common belief that quilting originated in utilitarianism rather than decoration. But in Colonial times most women spent their days spinning, weaving and making clothing. Meanwhile women of the wealthy classes prided on their fine quilting of wholecloth quilts. Both their trapunto and broderie perse were considered fine needlework.
The origins of this method of craft are thought to be in the Crusades, when soldiers needed warmth as well as protection from the chafing caused by heavy armour. Additionally, there are ancient Egyptian sculptures showing figures which appear to be wearing clothing which is quilted, possibly for warmth in the chilly desert evenings.
Quilting is used in the making of a garment called a gambeson
In modern times, art quilts have started to become popular for their aesthetic, artistic qualities rather than for functionality (i.e. they may hang on a wall instead of lying on a bed).
The study of quilting history reveals the evolution of quilting as we know it today. Quilts made during the early 1800s were not constructed of pieced blocks but instead whole cloth quilts, broderie perse quilts and medallion quilts were made.