Handmade Quilts express love, beauty, and even a story. Whether you give a newborn baby their first quilt to protect them from the cold, or give your new daughter-in-law a quilt to show they are part of your family, quilts have always been a wonderful beginning to something new.
These days, quilts not only serve a functional use, they are for decoration as well; to bring together a room or to give it a homey feels. Handmade quilts are beautiful and unique, from the way they are stitched, to the patterns, color, and story they reveal.
From the very first time someone sewed pieces of fabric together to now, handmade quilts have given comfort, warmth, and beauty. Every handmade quilt is made up of different parts that in the end give us a beautiful work of art.
Quilt Blocks are the way you break down a quilt into smaller pieces. When looking at a quilt you can see repeating patterns. Those patterns come from blocks that are sewn together first. The picture to the right is an example of Quilt Block. The quilt itself is made up of multiple blocks. The quilt blocks are like the pieces of a puzzle.
Each piece when connected to the next, comes together and tells a story, or paints a picture. For more information on quilt blocks, how to piece them together, and other tips and techniques,
T-shirt Quilt, Memory Quilt, or Photo Quilt
A T-shirt quilt is the solution to a variety or problems. What a great method of removing a seemingly endless supply of memorable T-shirts, while at the same time creating a personalized quilt that will capture those memories in a usable and unique gift. And T-shirts are only one possibility when it comes to creating a memory quilt.
Mix and match at will the concepts of a T-shirt quilt, Photo Quilt, memory quilt made of personalized messages, photos, patches, and almost anything that can be made of fabric or transferred to fabric.
If you want to make or have made a T-shirt quilt here is the place to go.
If you want to put an awesome Photo Quilt together (or get one made), go here to Photo Quilt and check it out.
Quilting Tools and Quilt Supplies
When getting started with your handmade quilt you are going to need certain Quilting Tools. If you are a beginner quilter, you will need a pattern, fabric, rotary cutter and mat, see-through ruler, scissors, sewing machine, thread, pins, and needles.
When gathering your quilting tools and supplies consider whether you are going to sew the quilt by hand or with a machine. You will need either a machine quilting needle or a hand-quilting needle. There are also many tools to measure and mark the fabric as well as a variety of cutting and sewing tools.
If you don't know where to begin when getting started, quilting kits are always a good way to go. Most quilting shops, or fabric stores have small quilting kits. Quilting kits vary in what they include, but most have fabric, backing, and binding, with instructions on how to piece all of it together.
Now, come and visit the world of quilting tools and quilt supplies.
When it comes to Quilt Storage we always say,
"Don't Store it, Show It!"
At least when you have visitors stopping by. But for some suggestions on safe storage of your high quality handmade quilts, check out our craft storage page.
Are you looking for something crazy? You may want to consider a Crazy Quilt. These handmade quilts usually consist of random patchwork, and end up with very unique designs. Nothing seems to have a rhyme or reason in it. These quilts are what you are feeling, or what you think looks cool or crazy. It’s like abstract art. If you’re feeling like a big zigzag stitch - do it! If you want to sew buttons to it in random places do it! It is whatever you want to do.
Color, fabric, stitches; anything that makes this quilt crazy is your idea. You can make it as crazy or calm as you want and have fun with it. For ideas, on stitches, colors, and tips on adding your own Crazy Quilt flare, click here.
Log Cabin Quilt
Are you looking for a simple handmade quilt? The most popular quilt, and one that is easily recognized is called the log cabin quilt.
You can make a Log Cabin Quilt from left over scraps, or any fabric that you specifically choose for the handmade quilt. So if you have fabric scraps left over from something else you created, maybe this is the quilt for you.
This handmade quilt has an American feel to it. Most Log Cabin quilts start with a square in the middle, which represents a house on the prairie or the hearth. They build out from there. Also common to Log Cabin quilt designs are the lighter colors on one side of the block to represent the sun. On the other side are darker colors that represent shadows from the house.
If you are considering making a log cabin quilt or simply want more information on them check out our Log Cabin Quilt page.
The Scrap Quilt
What to do with all those pieces of oddly shaped fabric left over from projects of yesteryear. Hmmm. Well years ago during the times of the Great Depression, very little went to waste, and that included those pieces of seemingly disparate scraps of fabric. Quilters have shown great creativity in making use of these scraps by piecing together beautiful works of art. Sometimes a quilting bee may even hold a challenge whereby one quilter shares several scraps of the same fabric, and the others are challenged to create blocks based on the shared scrap. Come visit the world of the Scrap Quilt on Brothers Handmade.
The Amish Quilt
The Amish did not start quilting until much later than other Americans. Although some quilting was going on in the early Colonies, Quilting really began in earnest among the Colonists in the 1840's - once the textile industries were up and running, and providing fabrics to use. Very few quilts were seen from the Amish until the 1870's. In the following two decades, quilting among the Amish became quite common.
When the Amish started quilting, they mostly made the quilts out of solid colors such as black, brown, and navy blue. But it wasn’t too long before they started adding more colors.
Colors weren’t the only thing the Amish started using, block patterns start to be seen in Amish quilts a couple years after they started. Even though the quilts were simple the Amish had very intricate designs with their stitches using curves, and swirling feathers. Many Amish quilts are simple - there isn’t much going on. But the simplicity of them is what makes them beautiful, and unique.
While many quilters have moved on to crazy and more complex quilt pattern designs, the Amish have stayed with quilt patterns that show that not everything has to be so complicated to be beautiful.
Because of cultural limitations, you will seldom if ever find a quilt made by the Amish in a quilt show. However, many fine quilters have followed the Amish traditions of creating the Amish quilt with is characteristic dark backgrounds and bright accents. Read more about the Amish Quilt here.
Every quilt has a pattern whether logical or random. When creating the quilt that will either be a present, a warm touch to a room, or a comfort to someone, the quilting pattern is something that requires lots of thought.
Is it for that beautiful baby boy or girl that was just born and needs a simple but special quilt pattern he or she can grow with?
Or is it for an 18 year old heading across the country for college and as much as they don’t want you to know they are going to miss you, they need something from home for comfort?
Quilting patterns help set the stage for your quilt.
Once we finish our Log Cabin quilt and hang it on the rack, the Brothers will be providing more information on quilt patterns and where you can find your own.
Quilting Fabrics make the handmade quilt comfortable and beautiful. Quilt fabrics come in many different textures, colors, thicknesses, and densities. When creating a baby quilt the fabric you will want to consider is a fabric that is 100% cotton flannel. This fabric has fuzziness, and each time it is washed it softens even more. Also with baby quilts you will want to consider a thinner batting, which will make the quilt easier to hand wash.
The easiest quilting fabric, in my opinion, to work with is 100% cotton. Now I know there is a lot to consider when picking your quilt fabric, but all those elements are what makes your quilt unique. You may use the same Quilt patterns as someone else but the quilt fabrics you choose make it your own.
Appliqués and Appliqué patterns are another way to give a handmade quilt your touch. There are many different techniques you can use. The best way is to create or find a template for your appliqué. When adding your touch, the width or length of your stitch will give your appliqué very different looks.
As well, if you are sewing an appliqué with a machine, you may have the setting, “needle down”. This is very helpful for keeping the piece that you are sewing in place whenever you stop, because the needle remains down through the fabric.
When starting with appliqués the easiest designs are the ones that have larger and fewer pieces, such as a flower pattern, that may have 2 pieces, that are not very detailed.
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