December 18, 2006
I have realised that a “Quilt” is in the eye of the beholder.
There are what I create, which are patchwork (lots of pieces sewn together into a quilt top) quilts, which not only have the patchwork involved, but then have all three layers (the top, the batting and the backing) quilted together with some sort of pattern, either decorative (like the silhouette of a cat or something) or functional (like “stitch in the ditch” between light/dark to emphasize the piecework) with a binding around the edge finishing off the entire product, which is what I personally consider to be called a “QUILT”. These can and should be used on the bed as a quilt, and when they get dirty, simply pop them into the washer, then the dryer, then back on the bed!!!
These same type of quilts that are “hand stitched” are beautiful, but are iffy on the washing and drying. Most tend to come apart after a short while, unless they are hand quilted extensively all over, but then the original price may be so prohibitive that one would hesitate to wash it at all in the first place for fear of losing one’s investment on the first try.
But there is also the kind that are piece work (lots of pieces sewn together to make a top) comforters which have the entire outside edge sewn together while still inside out (the top, the batting and the backing) and then are turned right-side out through a small opening left in the bottom edge, then that small opening is sewn up and then the entire thing is tied together with embroidery floss all over it, rather than quilting it. Even though this is a comforter (since there is no actual quilting involved) some people think this is a quilt. They are great on the bed but once they have been into the washer and on to the dryer and then attempted to be put back onto the bed, tend to end up bunched up and quite lumpy once the batting has settled between all the little “ties” that are all over it, and hopefully, none of these “ties” have worked their way loose or untied themselves.
Then there is an entirely singular piece of cloth that is then quilted with decorative stitches through all three layers (the single top piece, the batting and the backing) and even though there is absolutely no piecing involved at all, this is also called a quilt. I am not sure if this one would hold up to washing and drying without losing a lot of its beauty in having the stitching being the only decorative thing on it, but I am sure that at least some of them survive grandly!
The actual quilting process can make a big difference in a quilt’s final outcome also, because if you are looking for a particularly flat but stiff type of bedding, then the generic “quilts” from the department store are just right. Usually they are made in China, and are long-arm machine quilted using a stippling pattern which absolutely covers the entire thing with little squiggles of stitching, obscuring any piecework that was done and making the single layer of cotton batting that is generally used on these items, quite stiff and cardboard-like…but if you are planning on using this type of quilt for a picnic blanket, then this is just the ticket! Washing and drying of these tends to shrink and shrivel them up a bit, but then again, a picnic blanket sets on the ground underneath everything anyways.
Some quilts have thousands of pieces in them making elaborate designs and pictures, and again using only a single layer of cotton batting in order for them to be hand quilted or machine quilted using even more intricate patterns, and these usually cost upwards of a thousand dollars apiece and can only be displayed as art rather than used for anything else (heaven forbid it shoud get put onto a bed and actually get wrinkled!) When they are not on display in a climate controlled environment, they are stored layered in acid free paper in a closet or chest somewheres….hmmm.
Then there are also those that are one giant pre printed design that are sewn together inside out, turned and then stitched around the pre printed design, and viola! they are also called a quilt(?) which I personally disagree with. To me this is a manufactured “kit” blanket type comforter, but then again, as I said, a Quilt is a Quilt in the eye of the beholder!
So I guess it all boils down to exactly what you are looking for.
Which is probably why there are sooooo many different kinds of quilts in this world after all!
(If you got here from my Bed Quilts page on my website, either hit your browser’s “back” button or click HERE to return there!
If you got here from my booth for Bed Quilts on CraftMall, click HERE to return there!)
If you are just reading this blog and wish to see my website, Long Meadow Farms Quilts, click HERE to get there!)
December 10, 2006
Even though the weather has not been really cooperating much, at the Long Meadow Farms Quilts shop it is really beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Everywhere, each and every day there is something new for the season.
Lots and lots of fun stuff can be made to celebrate the holiday seasons, and I really enjoy creating items that I hope others will enjoy too!
There are many unique to Vermont items that would be appreciated by any recipient for the holidays from Maple syrup and candies to salsas and hot sauces, along with the VT Quilted Patchwork Potholders and Country Aprons to round out the scene!
But I think most of all the best part of Christmas is the wonderful lights that brighten the night and bring a feeling of peace to those watching them.
When looking about the town and country for just the right object to use or to give as a gift, the scenery filled with beautiful lights makes the hustle and bustle just a little bit easier to bear.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful, safe and sane holiday season!