How To Quilt
Learning how to quilt is a craft-form that has been around for centuries. People have always needed quilts in their lives and in olden times, there was no store where you could head out and buy them - they had to be made on your own. That handicraft form has been passed down the generations, turned into an industry, and mechanised as have other industries, to create a world where quilts are commonplace. All you need to do to buy a quilt is head down to a store.
However, if you really want that quilt to mean something special, then you can always make it yourself. Whether looking for gift idea or simply looking for something that you can use yourself, learning how to quilt is a great way of using your hands to do something constructive and satisfying! Here are some basic techniques that you need to know if you are planning on learning how to quilt.
How to Quilt - Appliqué
When you learn how to quilt, one of the main sewing techniques is called Appliqué. This technique involves sewing the fabric of the upper layer into the fabric of the bottom layer, while tucking the raw edges of the fabric under the design to ensure that there isn't any damage done to it. This fabric is also known as the "applied" fabric, and hence the name of the technique. When the upper fabric is folded down, it needs to be hand-sewn to keep it in place. Hem stitches are used to ensure that the stitches aren't visible from the top.
There are plenty of other techniques used within appliqué work wherein people use basting stitches or even fabric-safe glue to secure the applied fabric. However, the traditional format requires hem stitches even though the final call is yours. Remember to remove any supporting materials, like paper, that you might be using before making these stitches. Once you are done with the stitches, you need to cut away the remaining ground or lower fabric from behind and lighten up the fabric in that region.
In essence, if you know how to appliqué, then you will how to reverse appliqué as well. The difference between the two techniques, as the name suggests, is that the reverse appliqué technique requires you to apply the hem stitching technique to the ground or lower fabric rather than the top one. The raw edges that are tucked away belong to the lower fabric and it is the lower fabric into which the newly formed edge is sewn into. This technique is often used in combination with the regular appliqué technique to create a whole new kind of visual effect.
Another interesting sewing technique, Trapunto isn't as much about stitching the layers of fabric together as it is about adding a lot more character to the final design. The process involves stitching together the top and the bottom layer of the fabric with a whole layer of batting in the middle. Once the entire quilt has been made with this stitching process, all the additional material is added to parts of the design to add another dimension to the design. Often, this additional material is used to create the outline of the existing design, something like a relief.
However, the overall emphasis is solely on creating a portion of the design that is raised as compared to the rest of the design. It is also used as a cover for parts of the quilt where the batting needs to be compressed more than the others. Many people prefer creating channels by pulling a cord or a yarn through the batting layer. This method, known as cording, allows you to change the texture of the quilt. Using a different colour is also another way of adding a bit more character to the overall appearance of the quilt.
How to Quilt - Embellishment
Amongst the most popular techniques of quilting, embellishment is something that many hobbyists prefer because of the freedom it gives in creating the design. Adding decorative articles or items to the quilt allows you to create an effect that would be impossible to achieve with the fabric alone. Beads and buttons are the most common items used when embellishing a quilt although the field is completely open with plenty of options for you to choose from. Sequins, trims, and decorative objects have been used regularly to create theme-based quilt designs and if you find something that can let a needle through it, it can be sewn through the quilt.
There are plenty of techniques that you will need to learn when you begin to learn how to quilt. However, these methods are probably the most common amongst those and are likely to give you the least headache when it comes to technique. So try them out and get comfortable because the possibilities are endless when you have learnt how to quilt.