Quilting Is No Longer Just A Hobby For Your Granny
Learn how the craft of quilting combines relaxation, sentimentality and creativity into one colourful and inexpensive art project.
The art of quilting dates as far back as 3400BC at the time of the Egyptian First Dynasty – it has been popular in various cultures ever since. However, in the UK at least, the hobby of quilting has been synonymous with an older generation – something your granny might know more about than you! Yet, just as knitting enjoyed a resurgence in popularity several years ago, quilting is set to make its own comeback in 2017 and sales of Bernina quilting machines have already increased.
What Is Quilting?
Quilting is the art of sewing together two or more pieces of fabric into a sort of patchwork effect. Some choose to stitch by hand whilst others prefer to use a machine. Typically, a quilting project will consist of three layers – a top layer of quilted fabrics, a bottom layer of backing material and a middle layer of soft padding sandwiched between them.
It’s a simple enough skill to master so why is it gaining in popularity at a time where most people seem focussed on the latest trends in technology, rather than learning handicrafts that have been passed on by generations of people before them?
A handmade quilt captures an essence of sentimentality due to the memories attached to the textiles that it is made from. Whilst it is possible to purchase large squares aimed with quilters in mind, many people use the opportunity of a quilting project to proudly display more nostalgic fabrics such as baby clothes or wedding tablecloths. These quilts can be considered an heirloom to be given to children and grandchildren. A quilt often tells a great story and it’s not unheard of for some quilters to stitch handwritten letters or other trinkets into the inside layer to be discovered by future generations.
The practice of quilting on a regular basis is also a fantastic way to unwind. The craft allows great opportunities for unleashing a person’s creative side and for practicing mindfulness as it encourages the quilter to focus on present moment awareness. Rather than settling down for an evening in front of the TV with your tablet or iPhone on your lap, why not opt for making a handmade quilt instead? You could choose an enormous quilting project such as a bedspread that may take a while to complete or alternatively make a smaller piece such as a quilted soft toy or cushion.
Quilting is not confined to the world of handicrafts. In recent years, impressive quilting projects have been introduced to current modern art installations. In 2009, the V&A museum in London showcased a quilting exhibition and across the Atlantic there are many textile collections located at American venues such as the Dallas Museum of Art or Shari Lidji’s Red Llama Studio.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive project to get stuck into in 2017, then consider quilting. It is a hobby that is appropriate for people of any age – whether you’re a child, a student, a new mum or a retiree, quilting is the perfect trend to try out this year.