From Amish to Rag Quilts: A Closer Look at Quilt Styles and Trends

Today, I will continue our discussion on the different types of quilts, suitable for both beginner and seasoned quilters. The art of quilting is extensive, and I would like to showcase some of the most prominent types.

First up are Patchwork Quilts. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, this style is attributed to America's need to utilize available fabrics. Here, small pieces of fabric are sewn together to create a larger design. The simplest design is rows of squares stitched together side by side. However, design options are not limited to squares; you can add rectangles, triangles, arcs, and other shapes. The patchwork quilt allows quilters to display their proficiency with intricate piecing skills. Simple or elaborate, they are still beautiful!

Next is Applique Quilts. This style also uses small pieces, but instead of stitching them together, they are stitched on top of a larger piece, a process known as "applying." These can be sewn by hand or machine, and the design can be placed on the entire quilt or just a portion of it. Once again, the intricate detail of the design can showcase the maker's skill.

Moving on, Amish Quilts, a type of patchwork quilt, is different because of its use of bold designs and solid colors. The colors used mirror the colors of Amish clothing. They are valued for their handwork and durability.

Next up are Modern Quilts, which have a freestyle feel and mainly use solid fabrics that are machine stitched. They take on a more geometric, open feel with the use of negative space. The negative space is often stitched heavily or with freestyle designs.

Crazy Quilts, pieced together with various irregular shapes, were a popular style in the late 1800s and early 1900s (Victorian era) and made with bits of leftover clothing, especially velvets and silks. Additional stitching with embroidery, lace, and beads added to the colorful top. Many of those made with fine fabrics were from the hands of aristocratic society, showcasing their skills in "fine" home arts.

Rag Quilts are very popular in recent years. The fabrics used are usually flannel, sewn with the seams facing outward. Once sewn, the edges of the fabric squares are clipped to create a frayed, ragged appearance. Rag quilts are soft and cozy and get even cozier with each washing.

Last but not least are Memory Quilts. This can be any of the above types but is titled separately because of its sentimental value. These quilts are made with fabrics that hold a special meaning or memory attached to them, such as loved ones' clothing or fabrics from special events like weddings. We often see them in the form of T-shirt quilts. This allows the owner to create a story and a way to hold onto and preserve a memory, a loved one while making this a treasured family heirloom.

So, whether you want to create your first quilt, develop a new skill, enhance an existing skill, or try something new, there are many types and styles to choose from. I hope you take this as an opportunity to create something unique, memorable, or just plain cozy! If you live in our area, please check out our class schedule for upcoming classes, and if you want something special, be sure to let me or the store know.

Happy Stitching!
Bluebird Janet