What is a "patchwork quilt?"

There are many different kinds of quilts, and the term “patchwork quilt” is an old name for quilts which are pieced or “patched” together.  In the United States during pioneer times, the main purpose of making a quilt was to provide warmth for someone.  Quilts were often made by taking pieces of old clothing, scraps of fabric from aprons, old blankets and whatever fabric you could find.  The maker used what they had, cutting around worn areas and keeping those parts of the fabric that still had some life left in them.  These pieces of fabric that were still good were trimmed to a certain shape (square, rectangle, triangle, etc.) and then pieced together with other shapes to produce a piece of cloth that was a mixture of “patches” held together by stitching. 

An artistic person would often assemble all the scraps they could find and carefully create a pattern of the colors, rather than simply sew the bits of cloth randomly and quickly, paying no attention to design. 

The following are examples of some very basic, simple patchwork quilts.  Any of these patterns would be good for a beginning quilter!


Tomorrow we’ll take a look at applique’ quilts!