I’ve been working hard getting class listings ready for Pink Castle. (By the way, if you’re near Ann Arbor, sign up for the local newsletter to get class lists and in-store coupons here: http://tinyurl.com/pinkcastleLOCAL)
As part of this, I’ve been talking with a wide variety of people about what they’d like to teach. Karen LePage
(One Girl Circus
) is going to be teaching garment sewing classes (she’s so good, I’m so excited!!!) and she had the brilliant proposal to have a “Garment Sewing for Quilters” class. Which is so cool, because a quilter is going to know some things really well and other things will be complete mysteries.
The idea of “Garment Sewing for Quilters” of course suggests a counterpart…”Quilting for Garment Sewists.” Which had me thinking about what I would teach…the scant-1/4-inch seam, pressing properly, rotary cutting…
But then I was also thinking about the class listings overall and how “quilting” classes might look to a non-quilter. Like, it would be really easy to have no idea what the heck the difference between “Introduction to Improv Piecing” and “Introduction to Free Motion Quilting” might be. Don’t they both sound like “make a quilt in some sort of hippy dippy way!”
I came up with this list of basic facts and terms in quilting:
1. The word “patchwork” refers to the top of a quilt, which is made by sewing together different pieces of fabric to form a cohesive whole.
Here, for example, is a large piece of patchwork.
It’s not a quilt yet because there is just the single layer. If the top of a quilt is made from a single piece of fabric (uncut and unsewn) then it is not “patchwork” it is “whole cloth.”
2. Most quilters make patchwork from cotton fabric. The cotton fabric that quilters use is fairly lightweight, durable, and comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors. This fabric is typically called “quilter’s cotton” and savvy quilters know to seek out dedicated quilt shops to find the highest quality fabric.
3. The middle layer of a quilt is called batting (or, in some parts of the world, “wadding.”) Batting is most commonly made from cotton (sometimes blended with polyester or bamboo) and is sold as a single fleecey layer.
Here’s piece of batting fresh out of it’s package.
This will be unfolded and smoothed out before it is used.
4. The bottom layer of a quilt is usually referred to a “the back” or “backing.” It is usually a single piece of fabric (or maybe two large pieces). But, sometimes the back of a quilt will have as much patchwork as the front! Like the front, the back of a quilt is most commonly made of quilter’s cotton.
5. The joining of the three layers (top, batting, and back) is what makes a quilt a quilt! This part of the process is called “quilting.” Quilting can be done by hand or on a machine.
What do you think?
I’ve already started thinking of the next 5 facts.
6. Binding is…
7. Applique can be used…
8. Types of machines used for quilting…
9. Some machine quilting is “free motion” and some is…
10. Alternatives to quilter’s cotton…