Quilting is one of the oldest crafts and has been passed on from generation to generation. It is a sewing method that has evolved from one form to another throughout the years, from hand-quilting to machine-quilting. The process uses a needle and thread to combine two layers of material that is called a quilt. The Art of Quilting is done with three layers. These are the top fabric or quilt top, batting and backing material.
Technology has greatly contributed to the expansion of our world, personally, as a means of making a living or of expressing ourselves to others. But technology can only do so much, and at some point, it will crumble down. So if your quilt machine should break, or you want to try hand-quilting first as a beginner, here are a few things to remember when starting.
- Wash the cloth. As elementary as this may sound, it is the first step you must accomplish in order to see if the cloth will run or not. It would be disastrous to have finished your quilt and have some cloths end up ruining the others. The dark cloths have the greatest tendency to run, so to avoid this, wash them separately and include a white muslin cloth to check if it will run. This is also for the purpose of getting the right measurement of the cloth. Some cloth may shrink during the wash, so make sure to wash all the cloth you will use. Afterwards, press the cloth with starch mixed in water. The basic reason for doing this is make quilting easier, and not to mention, your cloth looks brand-spanking new. You can mix a spoon or two of starch into a glass with 3/4ths glass of water or buy a ready starch spray bottle from your cloth shop.
- Piecing. This is creating the topmost layer of your quilt. This is the layer where you make the pattern. There are a lot of simple designs you can choose from basic quilting books, or even cheaper, online. Remember to follow their instructions and that all designs start from the center to the outside.
- Layering. This involves putting together the three layers that comprise a quilt--the pattern, the batting and the underlining. This is where you stitch the three layers together. The pattern is at the top and the batting is simply the material that makes the quilt thick. The batting is usually made of cotton, polyester or wool and is ideally light for quilting. The underlining is the underside of the quilt, the one that covers the batting. This is usually bigger in measurement than the batting to make sure that everything is tucked in when sewing. After this comes the binding, where you finalize your stitching on the edges and find anything that needs remedying before you present your final quilt.
Quilting by hand is by no means an easy task. With the age of machinery, the easier the way to making something, the better. But there is also such a thing as going back to the basics. Understanding how the system worked before the introduction of other means to finish the task makes you more adept in the field than those who have learned it with the help of the machine. Brush up on quilt designs, buy a book with the different patterns that you can practice with while quilting by hand. Although what you have to remember while quilting is to enjoy what you're doing.