Patch work quilts are timeless, are they not? Patch work quilts have been manufactured for hundreds of years, because in essence a patch work quilt is made from off-cuts of cloth. A housewife would make a set of curtains and keep the off-cuts. Then she would create some clothes and store the off-cuts. And so on and so on until she had enough off-cuts to make a quilt, if she needed one for her household.
This old-style of constructing bedspreads or quilts always manages to look traditional and modern at the same time. A specialist variety of this old-style is the American tradition of women embroidering off-cuts of cloth in order to make a quilt as an excuse for a social life. These days there is more money floating about in society and the patches on the quilt can be more personal and more complicated.
There is also a great deal more choice of fabric about than there ever was, so it is not always necessary to embellish a swatch of fabric to make it one's own. Someone might always use blue and white stripes as a signature or green and black squares for example. Most people make a patch work quilt of identical squares, but others will use squares with curved corners and even oblongs, rhombuses, circles and triangles.
Some patch work quilters like to select a theme whilst others are happy to let numerous participants sew in any patch that they like. There are also patch block patterns. The four patch scheme is almost certainly the most common, but the nine patch scheme is also fairly common.
A four patch scheme is achieved by dividing the quilt into equal squares and then bisecting each square across the top and down the sides. Each block of four squares can then have a theme. The same goes for a nine patch scheme, but divide each large block on the quilt with two vertical and two horizontal lines making nine small squares in every big square.
You can design your quilt pattern on graph paper if you like. To do this, first work out how big you want your quilt to be. Then draw that on graph paper and divide your graph into the number of that you want. Learners might be better off using larger squares in the beginning and then increasing the number of squares by reducing their size.
Start with a four block scheme and move up to a nine and then twelve block scheme. You can repeat the swatches of fabric at regular or irregular intervals and you can modify the orientation of the swatch in your patch work quilt too. A patch work quilt can be well planned or completely random. Well planned quilts can be quite dazzling, but even random quilts look great.
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