Quilting is a timeless craft that involves sewing together layers of fabric to create a cozy and durable blanket. The process involves cutting fabric into specific shapes, arranging them in a pleasing design, and then stitching them together with batting in between to provide warmth and texture. Quilting can be done by hand or using a sewing machine, and can range from simple to complex designs. With a wide range of fabrics available, quilters can create unique and personalised pieces that can be cherished for years to come. Quilting is not only a practical skill, but also a rewarding hobby that provides a sense of accomplishment and creativity.

Patchwork quilt on a four poster bed

A quilting hoop or frame. Marking tools such as pencils, fine-point permanent marker or chalk markers.
Pins and pin cushions. Scissors to cut templates. An iron and an ironing board. Transparent rulers.
A sewing machine unless all the work is to be done by hand. Quilting thread and sewing threads in colours that match the fabric to be used.

Fabrics and materials.

The first layer is decorative and made up of small pieces of fabric or patches sewn together. This provides the opportunity to express your creativity.

The second layer is called the batting and consists of insulating materials such as wool, cotton or polyester. It is designed to provide warmth and comfort.
The third layer is formed from one large piece of material and is called the backing.

The quilting stitches hold together the three layers. The work can be done by hand or using a machine.

Hand quilting is the traditional method and is usually done on a quilting frame or hoop. Special needles are used called betweens and the stitching is done using quilting thread.

It is easier and quicker to use a machine to do quilting. This involves using a sewing machine to stitch together the fabric layers.

An alternative way of quilting is called tying which uses bows or knots evenly separated. It can be done using a machine or by hand.

Patchwork or piercing is a way of sewing together small pieces of fabric. It can be used to produce a decorative pattern called a block. The work can be done by hand or using a sewing machine.

Applique is the process of adding patches of fabric onto a fabric background, to produce decorative patterns. The shapes can be sewn onto the quilt using a zig-zag stitch called a satin stitch. Using this technique it is possible to produce attractive patterns or pictorial scenes which might tell a story.

You could also trace a shape onto the reverse side of the fabric. Then place the patch onto lightweight lining and sew around the mark. After trimming the patch can be sewn onto the background using invisible thread and a hemstitch.