Like many other crafts and hobbies, quilting has survived the test of time. Some quilt historians date the beginning of quilting back to the middle ages, when quilted clothes were made for warriors sent to battle in cold climates. According to history, fabrics were layered and stitched in the same quilting method used today to keep the layers intact and keep the warriors warm.

You might note several differences:

· The quilting was done by hand (as was the construction of the clothes)

· There were no fancy designs of either the quilting pattern or the clothes

· Probably this clothing was made by local tailors (who generally were men)

Quilting today is much more fun and includes both men and women! Because there are more than 20 million quilters in the US, fabric stores have dedicated sections of their shops to quilting fabric. In many communities, it is easy to find a quilting store or two (or three) – a shop that caters just to quilters. And finding quilting fabric online is getting easier by the day.

With a wide selection of resources, the next question is whether you will enjoy quilting. The art of quilting has something for almost everyone.

Traditional patchwork quilts are still very popular. They provide a framework for design while allowing the quilter to use fabric selection to vary the overall look of the quilt. Contemporary quilts, or art quilts, are also popular, and provide a canvas for designing quilts that has no bounds.

Many quiltmakers still rely on hand sewing which makes quilts portable. Your quilt project easily goes into the waiting room of doctors and dance classes, travels with you in the car on long trips, and turns idle time into productive time.

Other quilters complete their entire quilt project on the machine – from piecing blocks to machine quilting and finishing the binding.

Whether your quilt is made by hand or machine, the sense of pride you feel when your quilt is finished is at least equal to the feeling of love, admiration and appreciation that the person who uses or receives the quilt feels.

And you become a thread in the history of time – linking past generations with the future.

Happy Quilting!

Penny Halgren

Inspiration and Education for Beginning Quilters

Fast, Fun and Funky Quilts

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