Quilted Wall Hangings
Quilted Wall Hangings
What is a Quilt?
The word "quilt" is derived from the Latin word culcita, which means a stuffed sack, mattress, or cushion. A quilt is a bedspread or blanket made of two layers that is filled with a material, such as cotton, wool, feathers, or down, and is stitched together, usually in a decorative design.
The early nineteenth century saw a major boom in quilt making. This was the beginning of the "Pioneer Era" with settlers moving west and developing new frontiers. The popular "Country Fairs" began to appear, where quilt makers could 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. In the evening, dinner was served for all the hard working quilters and their husbands, followed by a night of square dancing. As the textile industry developed, more fabrics were available to quilt makers, making it easier than ever to make big and beautiful quilts. New quilt designs were introduced; in fact, most patterns found in today's quilts were developed during this period.
Quilted Wall Hanging Uses
Early settlers who had to weather the cold winters would have never dreamed of taking a valuable quilt - one that could save one from freezing in the harsh cold - and mounting it up on the wall. It was during the time when quilts began being displayed in quilting bees and county fairs that quilts ceased to only serve the functional purpose of keeping one warm. These quilting bees and county fairs elevated quilt making to a skilled and respected pastime.
Today, there are many different uses for quilts. As mentioned, while early quilts were used primarily as protection from hash winters and cold nights, quilt making soon became an art form. Quilts are now oftentimes made with the intention of being placed on a wall rather than on a bed. Quilted wall hangings are very popular today and are used as family heirlooms, room centerpieces, or simply as an additional wall hanging to create a warm atmosphere in a room.
Techniques and Styles
There are many techniques used in making a quilted wall hanging. Some of the more popular techniques include watercolor art, patchwork, and Amish quilt hangings. Watercolor art quilting is a technique which uses small squares of hundreds of different fabrics to create a design. Some artist then finish the work with free-motion top-stitching on a sewing machine. This watercolor quilt technique was first used by an English artist in the late 70's. Since then, it has been further developed by other quilters and artists.
Patchwork wall hangings are also very popular. These are usually very traditional looking and are the same style used most commonly for bed coverings. Patchwork quilted wall coverings are characterized by varicolored squares, or "patches", of fabric sewn together to form the upper layer of a quilt. Patchwork quilt wall coverings are typically made with traditional patterns, but more recently can also be found with new and modern styles that are both unique and interesting.
Amish quilted wall coverings have a simple style. They are traditionally characterized by solid colors. Amish quilts are known for their striking designs and colors as well as their intricate quilting. The Amish prefer the use of centralized designs for their quilts. Another amazing aspect of Amish quilts is their stitching. Amish quilts are most often stitched together with tiny designs rather than plain stitching. These designs can include feathers, leaves, wreathes, birds, etc. Thus, even in the stitches that hold the layers of quilt together, the Amish manage to incorporate beauty and style.
Selecting a Location
Choosing the proper location to hang a quilted wall covering can make a big difference in the impression that it will make. Firstly, select a spot that has good natural lighting but that is not in direct sunlight as this may cause colors to fade. Be sure that the location is sufficiently spaced away from heating or air conditioning ducts as this may also affect both the color and wear and tear of the quilted wall hanging. It's best to choose a spot that allows one to view the wall hanging both from a distance to make an impression and from up close so that one may appreciate its intricate design. Finally, be sure to select a wall that contrasts the quilted wall hanging either in shade or color so that the quilted wall hanging will achieve its maximum potential in beautifying your home.
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| February 23, 2018
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