Is Patchwork The Same as Quilting?

While everyone assumes patchwork is the same as Quilting, it is not. They are entirely distinct forms of sewing art created with various fabrics. Both the forms are followed in different cultures and traditions to make creative fabric art.

Patchwork is a simple process of sewing together different pieces of fabric to form unique patterns or blocks. While quilting is stitching 3 to 4 layers of fabric together to make a quilt. 

They differ in the way they are stitched to their end uses. You can use quilting to make the best bedding fabrics, furniture covers, and winter clothing. On the other hand, patchwork is used for fashion. 

Let’s get into more details about it.

What is Quilting?

Quilting is all about making a quilt out of two or more layers of fabric. The materials used are usually different fabrics of different weights. They depend on the type of quilt you’re making. There are many variations in stitch patterns, shape and color choices, etc.

The quilts can be pretty complex or straightforward. They vary from square-based blocks to 3-dimensional works. Some people prefer to use a cloth that has been dyed or printed to provide a particular color scheme—some like using fabric with certain textures, such as matte and shiny finishes.

Depending on the technique you choose, you’ll need an experienced person to make your quilt to sew it together by hand. You’ll also need a frame for your finished work. It can be hardwood or metal, wood fiberglass, or plastic cases. It depends on your preference for finishing techniques.

What is Patchwork?

A patchwork is a form of sewing consisting of stitched strips or pieces of fabric and many stitches. In contrast, quilting is a more complicated process. 

It involves two different types of stitching: 

  • Top Stitching
  • Backstitching

Topstitching is the process where layers of fabric are stitched together. It is done to create a pattern or block in a quilt. 

Backstitching is used to attach the fabric layers after sewn together during topstitching. You can use this technique to make many types of clothing, home furnishings, and even shoes.

The origin 

The origin of quilting goes back to the 16th century in Europe. The first quilts were made out of wool, but later, they were changed to cotton. It is difficult to find the exact date for this change, but it is commonly believed to happen around 1790.

In the time after that, patchwork emerged in various countries. It is also believed that women started this practice. She had limited space and only had one place to sew together all their clothes. So she used a technique from weaving cloth, called qipao, which accounts for this name.

The flexibility of their techniques allowed them to make different fabrics with little effort. Some people say that they are good at sewing and fabricating any clothing. They could sew from clothing to bedding and even kitchen towels!

Patchwork vs. Quilting

The two are not the same, but they may look the same. You probably know what patchwork is if you think of a quilt as a traditional clothing item. But, if you have never seen a quilt before, it is quite different from its patchwork counterpart.

 A quilt will have many interconnected blocks that you can use for various purposes. It includes making bedding or clothing to wear on special occasions.

Patchwork can also be used to make anything. You can make bedding, furniture covers, and winter clothing. You can choose between one-piece or two-piece fabrics for your quilts. 

It depends on your design preference and what type of fabric you want to use.

But, patchwork often uses cotton fabrics like linen and voile to create patterns. The patterns are designed with vibrant colors, such as mustard yellow and hot pink. 

Its background color may be black or white, making it more appealing to some people. At the same time, others prefer another color combination like green, grey, and blue-grey.

 Some people use appliqué techniques and embroidery techniques to put in more creativity. These are unique in themselves in addition to these two traditional technologies.

List of Popular Patchwork Patterns Explained In 2022

 I. Blue Ribbon Patchwork (B)

B is a classic quilt pattern used to make the best bedding fabrics. It consists of simple blocks with borders and is pieced together in various ways. It’s known for its bold patterns, which are very hard to resist, as they have an eye-catching appeal.

The fabric is made from cotton twill and linen, giving it a nice texture with its bright colors. If you want your materials to be more durable but still look beautiful, then this pattern might be just the one for you. 

The best thing is that there are no complicated instructions to follow while making it.

While talking about popular patchwork patterns, let’s have a look at some more of its types:

ii. Stained glass window patchwork

In this case, areas of the coloured cloth are separated by a black border. 

iii. Cathedral window patchwork

Stained glass windows inspire it. Traditional cathedral windows patchworks are made without batting. It is made with muslin, creating a square base and a calico print in the window. 

iv. Somerset patchwork

They are also known as Folded Star. It is an effortless design where you fold the rectangle into a triangle and attach it to a backing fabric.

v. Trapunto (Stuffed or Puff patchwork

Trapunto patchwork utilizes at least two layers. The underside is slit and padded, producing a raised surface on the quilt. 

vi. Crazy Quilting

Here randomly shaped and coloured pieces of cloth are sewn together. 

vii. Applique

Here you take small pieces of fabric together and stitch them together.

Differences between Patchwork and Quilting.

Quilting techniques are different from patchwork. It is an art form where you combine the fabric to create a piece of art in one way or another.

The differences between patchwork and Quilting are as follows:

  • First, you stitch the patchwork with a needle and thread instead of the sewing machine. It’s easier to make patches using a hand than a machine. It means that you can sew faster than with a machine, making it easier to handle small patches. 
  • You don’t have to stitch by hand for patching either. It is because you can use sewing machines that stitch by hand. 
  • When stitching by hand, the seam will be more visible and less attractive than machine stitching. 
  • The stitches on both sides of the fabric are usually done on different layers of the material. It is done to avoid puckering, creating a smoother look. 
  • Lastly, since you do stitching with your fingers rather than arms or machines, it is easier to do while sitting down. 

People would find it difficult to do while standing up.

Final words

Both patchworks and quilting look similar. They have almost the same designs and patterns. But certain things make them different and unique. You need to understand the difference and decide which form you are comfortable in. 

I hope this article will help you find your correct interest. So go ahead and start creating. Happy Sewing!

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