Quilting isn’t really a new hobby. For hundreds of years, our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers have been making quilts as a hobby, as a business or as gifts for their loved ones.
Quilts are not just practical gifts for anyone, they are a wonderful way to share love and memories. When you are making a quilt for someone you love, you are not just giving them a gift, but your time, your love and your emotions.
Making a quilt can seem daunting to a beginner, but it’s not hard. Even the most extensive quilting projects can become habitual to someone who is interested and experienced. If you are new to this, making a quilt by yourself can seem like an impossible job.
But if you are a complete beginner to quilting or if you are doing it for the very first time, you should start with the easiest types of quilting.
There are more than three dozen different types of quilting techniques, but you can use them with a number of patterns and designs. However, not all of them are common or popular, or even easy to learn, some of them may require different tools too. Some of the easier quilt types are the ones everyone makes, especially when they are new to this. Besides, quilting can be categorized by how you are making the quilts.
Characterized by how you are making the quilts, there are about 12 types of quilting.
1. Hand Quilting
This, of course, means to make quilts by hand, especially the top part of the quilt that is made by joining together dozens of pieces. It takes a long time for a single quilt to be completed when every stitch is made with hand, but this was the most common way of quilting only until a few years ago.
This is the classic quilting technique that were used by our previous generations and still used among the rural population of the Asian subcontinent.
There are a few techniques to use when making a quilt by hand. You’ll need a traditional hoop that will keep the mto pieces of clothes tight and fixed together so that they can be sewed in a straight line.
However, some people prefer to work without a hoop as it allows them more speed and flexibility. They place their pieces of fabric on a hard surface, i.e. a large table or the floor, and sew on it. With a hoop, you’ll need to remove and reattach it again and again, and this will waste a lot of time and effort; without using a hoop, the procedure becomes faster.
At the same time, it is very important that you have a very steady hand when you are using them for quilting. Someone who quilts with their bare hands only, first places very quick stitches between the edges of two pieces of fabric to bind them – fast but sometimes uneven stitches that can be undone later.
The main purpose of these stitches are to keep the two pieces of fabric attached together so that they can work on them later, in more detailed and deliberate stitches.
2. Machine Quilting
The use of a sewing machine makes the entire process of quilting much faster; using a sewing machine will speed up the procedure manifold because you can do a number of stitches in less than a second. There are actually a few sewing machines designed specifically for quilting and embroidery, with a longer workspace and adjustable speed.
The work procedure for each machine is different because of the way they are manufactured. With sewing machines, you get a number of attachments and feets for different stitches and techniques, that can be quite time-saving.
3. Free-Motion Quilting
Free-motion quilting can be done on any sewing machine, by using a straight stitch. For this particular style of quilting, the user will need a darning foot or a free-motion foot, and a strong kind of thread. In free-motion quilting, the fabric moves freely with the needle of the machine.
Free-motion quilting can be used to create circular stitches, stipples and straight stitches on the fabric. With this type of machine, you can even make words with the stitches, cursive or block words both. Although it takes skill and practice to perfect free-motion quilting, you can create any kind of patterns and designs with this technique.
4. Longarm Quilting
Longarm quilting requires a completely different type of machine, known as a longarm quilting machine. This is a specially designed and manufactured sewing machine that has an extended quilting head, sometimes up to 10 or 14 feet. You can guide the head of the longarm machine with your hands or with your computer.
With such a long and extended arm to work on, you can work on a large portion of the quilt at a time. It can be used not just to stitch together the upper part of the quilt, but also the backing, the batting and all the three parts of a quilt together.
The whole procedure takes very little time to complete; besides, you don’t need to spend a lot of time adjusting the different parts of the quilt again and again. You can work on both small and large quilts with a longarm quilting machine, which is helpful if you run a business or make quilts regularly.
If you think about quilting techniques, there are more than three dozen types of quilt types in practice. However, not all of these techniques are popular, common or easy to try. Some of the most well-known ones have been described below.
5. Amish Quilts
Amish quilts are practical, functional and quite easy to make; in fact, they are perfect for beginners. The Pennsylvania Amish community started making these quilts using recycled dresses, clothes and shirts they make themselves. The Amish, not a very big fan of technology, use their hands and simple tools to sew.
Amish quilts usually have a wide one-colored border, preferably black or brown, with simple geometric patterns that anyone can replicate. Instead of bright, store-bought fabric pieces, the Amish use their own old clothes to make these quilts, which are comfortable and durable to use.
6. Appliqued Quilts
Appliqueing is the art of folding and shaping fabric pieces and sewing them on a background of another fabric to create a design. You can fold the fabric pieces to give your designs a softer, fuller look, or cut them into the shapes you want, which is easier to sew. Some people fold the fabric pieces and sews them before placing the appliques on a quilt; someone more experienced can fold the fabric as they go on making the quilt.
Appliques can be used to make any designs you want, but they can be applied to anything from table runners to quilts, bed sheets and comforter covers.
7. Charm Quilts
In a charm quilt, no piece of fabric is used more than once, no matter how big the quilt. This quilt type is so named because every piece used in it is different from one another, just like a charm bracelet or a charm necklace.
Even if the fabric pieces are close to each other in design or of similar color, they cannot be exactly the same. A medium sized charm quilt can have dozens of small pieces of fabric in the quilt top, but they will ideally be all different from one another.
8. Art Quilts
Art quilts are simply works of art, using fabric pieces, instead of a canvas. Only someone who is an experienced and seasoned quilter can make a truly beautiful quilt, as they are quite hard to create.
Art quilts are created more for exhibitions and inspirations, rather than practical use. Beside fabric pieces and paint, quilters often use metallic thread, Angelina fibers and metal in their quilts. Appliqueing is quite common in art quilts, as this is the best way to create shapes and designs on fabric.
9. Pierced/Patchwork Quilts
Pierced quilts are one of the most basic kinds of quilts, usually made with randomly sewing different pieces of fabric together. They are more commonly known as a patchwork quilt, as different fabric pieces are patched together to create a quilt.
You can randomly use fabric pieces of different shapes, sizes and colors to create a patchwork quilt, but the quilt looks better if all the fabric pieces coordinate with each other. The quilter has complete freedom to use any fabric they want, and place it anywhere on the quilt without any particular plan at hand.
10. Baltimore Album Quilts
These kinds of quilts were first made in the early 1840s, and they consisted of appliques, floral patterns, patriotic colors and intricate designs. They were usually made by quilters who are experienced and professionals.
They were usually made for special occasions, and usually consisted of flags, wreaths, cornucopias, floral bouquets and eagles. Although these kinds of quilts are a rarity these days, some expert quilters still make them as a tribute to history.
11. Crazy Quilts
Crazy quilts don’t follow any particular design or pattern, but quilters often sew together any pieces of fabric they can find. Most of the time, these fabric pieces are completely random – of different types, color, design, sizes and shapes. The stitches, too, are random, large and usually done with different colors.
These crazy quilts had been created first in the Victorian Era, and they often contain fabric pieces that are a mixture of cotton, velvet, silk and other fabric types.
12. Embroidery Quilts
These quilts are perfect ways to show off your embroidery skills, if you love to create designs and patterns. On a light or dark background, contrasting colors are used to embroider designs, patterns, cartoon characters, quotes and words on the quilts.
These embroideries can be done by hand or with the help of an embroidery sewing machine. Usually the embroidery is done on the top part of the quilt, before the three parts of the quilt are brought together with sewing.
There you have it, all the different types of quilting techniques and quilt types. If you are a beginner, you can choose the technique and the type from this article, based on their complexity and details.
This article will help you with all the details and information that you need to decide on the type and technique before you start your first project.