Pieced Quilt Patterns

         Patchwork or "pieced work" is a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric into a larger design. The larger design is usually based on repeat patterns built up with different fabric shapes (which can be different colors). These shapes are carefully measured and cut, basic geometric shapes making them easy to piece together. Precise joining by the most part with a quarter inch foot makes for a patchwork that lies flat without puckers.
            Evidence of patchwork—piecing small pieces of fabric together to create a larger piece, then quilting layers of textile together—has been found throughout history. The earliest examples have been located in Egyptian tombs and also in early age of China about 5000 years ago. Further finds have been dated from the early Middle Ages, where layers of quilted fabric were used in the construction of armor—this kept the soldiers warm and protected. Japanese armor was made in a similar fashion.
A pieced, "Rising Sun" quilt block.
      Using this technique, quilts began to appear in households of the 11th to 13th centuries. As the European climate became colder around this time, the incidence of the use bed quilts rose, and so developed the practice of embellishing a simple cloth through the creation of pattern and design, alongside the development of decorative quilting. The tradition of making quilts in this fashion was taken to America by the Pilgrims.
      English paper piecing is a hand sewing technique, used to maximize accuracy when piecing complex angles together. A paper shape is cut with the exact dimensions of the desired piece. Fabric is then basted to the paper shape. Adjacent units are then placed face to face and the seam is whip stitched together. When a given piece is completely surrounded by all the adjacent shapes, the basting thread is cut, and the basting and the paper shape are removed.
      Foundation piecing is a sewing technique that allows maximum stability of the work as the piecing is created, minimizing the distorting effect of working with slender pieces or bias cut pieces. In the most basic form, a piece of paper is cut the size of the desired block. For utility quilts, a sheet of newspaper was used. In modern foundation piecing, an elaborate design featuring pointed shapes, is used. A strip of fabric or a fabric scrap is sewn by machine to the foundation. The fabric is flipped back, and pressed. The next piece of fabric is sewn through the initial piece and paper. Subsequent pieces are added sequentially. The block may be trimmed, flush with the border of the foundation. After the blocks are sewn together, the paper is removed, unless the foundation is an acid-free material.
      The most popular form of foundation piecing is the Victorian crazy quilt. Crazy quilting was popular during the Victorian era (mid–late 19th century). The crazy quilt is made up of random shapes of luxurious fabric such as velvets, silks, and brocades and buttons, lace, and other embellishments left over from the gowns they had made for themselves. The patchwork pieces are stitched together forming "crazy" or non-repeat, asymmetric compositions. Fancy embroidery embellishes the seam lines between the individual, pieced shapes. The crazy quilt was a status symbol, as only well-to-do women had a staff to do all the household work, and had the time to sew their crazy quilt. Traditionally, the top was left without lining or batting. Many surviving crazy quilts still have the newspaper and other foundation papers used for piecing.
      Patchwork blocks are pieced squares made up of colored shapes that repeat specific shapes to create patterns within the square or block, of, say, light and dark, or contrasting colors (motif (textile arts)). The blocks can all repeat the same pattern, or blocks can have several different patterns. The patchwork blocks are typically around 8–10" square (20cm to 25cm). They are sewn together in stacked rows to make a larger composition. Often strips of contrasting fabric forming a lattice separate the patchwork blocks from each other. Some common patchwork block names are Log Cabin, Drunkard's Path, Bear's Paw, Tulip, and Nine Patch. Patchwork enjoyed a widespread revival during the Great Depression as a way to recycle worn clothing into warm quilts. Even very small and worn pieces of material are suitable for use in patchwork, although crafters today more often use new 100% cotton fabrics as the basis for their designs. Most of the designs that I will list and share here are based upon patchwork blocks.

The basics of drafting patchwork

Drafting your own patterns:  How to English Paper Piece * How to construct a crazy quilt *

Quilt History: Baltimore Album Quilts * The Quilt In America (Four Parts) * The History of Crazy Quilts * Amish Quilts * Three Centuries of Red & White Quilts * Kaleidoscope Quilts * St. Louis Ladies Art Company of 1889 *

Patchwork or Pieced Quilt Patterns Drafted by Kathy Grimm: Basic Mosaic 3 Patch * Simple Block Patterned Quilt *

No comments:

Post a Comment