A quilt is a bedspread or blanket made of two layers that is filled with a material (called batting), such as cotton, wool, feathers, or down, and is stitched together, usually in a decorative design. While pillows are generally made in the same way as quilts, "quilted pillows" are pillows whose tops are designed with quilt patterns, resembling bed quilts. Often a bed quilt and quilted pillow can be purchased together as a set.
Historians credit both China and Egypt with the origins of quilting. The earliest reference to quilting is found in an Egyptian ivory carving of a pharaoh wearing a quilted mantle dating from 3400 B.C. Some interpret the mantle depicted in the statue to be a true quilt while others say it depicts a mantle with a woven pattern, but not a quilt.
In the 11th century, the Crusaders, intrigued by the quilted jackets worn by their Arab adversaries to serve as armor, found these quilts to be much lighter and easier to wear in the heat of battle, and more protective than leather underneath their chain mail. When the Crusaders brought these quilted jackets back to Europe, they eventually were adapted to be used as bedding. Because early quilts were made for the purpose of keeping warm, it is believed that quilted pillows were not made until the popularization of quilts in the early nineteenth century in America. The "Pioneer Era" saw a major boom in quilt making-local county fairs gave quilt makers the opportunity to share their quilts and receive prizes for their valuable quilts. Also popular during this time was the "Quilting Bee", an important social event in which colonial women would gather early in the morning for an all-day quilting session.
Quilted pillows are available in many different patterns and colors. Popular quilt patterns are featured on quilted pillows, such as Medallion patterns. A 4-Patch is a quilt pattern where the quilt block is divided into four equal sections. A basic 4-Patch has two different fabrics creating a checker-board look. A 9-Patch quilt pattern divides the quilt square into nine equal squares, similar in concept to the 4-Patch. Half-square triangles are the most used pieced unit in quilting. In this pattern, the block is divided along the diagonal with different fabrics on either side, usually a light and a dark. A symmetrical quilt pattern is a design where each side mirrors the other, so that no matter which side of the quilted pillow is on top, it looks exactly the same.
Quilted pillows are a great addition to a matching bed quilt. They also look great on a bed with a sold bed quilt, adding design and color to the bedroom. Making your own quilted pillow gives you the freedom to choose your own fabric and the opportunity to express yourself. Some manufacturers can even put a photograph of your choice on a pillow. Quilted pillows can add new life to any bedroom.
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| November 21, 2017
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