Pippa – Patchwork and the Quilt Life
I started my sewing career as a child around the age of 7 or 8, in New Zealand, being taught by both my grandmothers how to make clothes. Working from the patterns of the 70’s and 80’s creating new outfits for myself, it not only taught me a useful skill, but I fell in love with fabric, textures and colours. In the early 90’s I saw my first quilt exhibition and just knew it was something I wanted to learn. In 1997 whilst my son was a baby I was able to attend classes in Bunbury and learnt how to make a Sampler Quilt. It teaches you different block designs, patchwork techniques and at the end you finish up with a whole quilt. That first quilt I made spent many years on my son, Bailey’s bed until he outgrew the design, and then as it slowly aged was adopted by our first family dog – Garvin.
Where does this word QUILT come from?
After doing a bit of a google search I discovered the word quilt actually comes from the Latin word ‘culcita‘ meaning a stuffed sack. It then made its way into the English language via the French word ‘cuilte‘. The actual origins and just when this all began aren’t totally known, but quilting, piecing and applique have been used in clothing and furnishings in many parts of the world since early times. It has been practised as a practical and decorative craft across the centuries.
What is a quilt ?
The quilt is the finished article and refers to an item made of three layers held together by the quilting or stitching of those layers together. The top layer is the decorative one, sometimes pieced, sometimes a whole piece of fabric or sometimes appliqued and embroidered. The middle layer is the wadding, in times past this was often what was at hand. Today we mostly use wool or cotton, although bamboo is becoming popular too. The final layer is the back fabric of the quilt, generally one piece, but sometimes this can be pieced as well.
Patchwork is a term that usually refers to the piecing of fabric together to make a whole. It can reference a vast array of designs and blocks that have come about over time, the names are often reflective of the era, origins or design of a block. Rural references such as the Churn Dash Block, Rail Fence, and Log Cabin; the myriad of star designs – Ohio, Evening and Mexican Star are just a few ; Flying Geese, Spinning Wheels and Nine Patch are yet more of the well known block designs. When these designs are combined with fabric choices and patterns, amazing patchwork quilt designs are the result.
Why do I Quilt?
Since 1997 I have embraced the patchwork and quilting world. Through this craft I have met many different people. I am constantly learning new things, and have made some lifelong friends. I’ve lost count of the quilts I’ve made for both family and friends. To me there is nothing better than getting together with like minded people and spending time creating with colour and fabric. There’s always lots of laughter along the way. I love making quilts for children, the brighter the better and I love needle-turn applique. (Cutting up small pieces into shapes and then appliqueing them onto a background to create a picture).
So I guess it’s not surprising that I found a way to connect quilts and wine. Our cellar door here at Vineyard 28 is a lovely warm and vibrant place, awash with colour and the creative works of some very talented quilters from my corner of South Western Australia. Our website features many of the quilts we have for sale at the cellar door.