Making a quilt has become more than just a process of stitching cloth for comfort and snuggle-worthy times. Quilt making has been for a long time a comforting exercise that is as expressive an art form as any other. It has been thought of a “Gentle Art” because of the ideas and feelings it has perpetuated since people have made them; that you can curl into a quilt and feel safe and warm. Personalized quilts are even better because it adds to itself a sense of dedication and love to whomever uses it.
What is quilting? It is basically stitching two or more pieces of cloth together with batt or batting in between. The batt is the thin layer of soft material enclosed by the stitched pieces of cloth. The objective is to make a thicker piece of cloth by stitching multiple ones together. Quilting is a versatile art where patterns usually range from geometric ones to some that incorporate embroidery. Quilts can be as simple and utilitarian as the quilt-maker wants them to be, to as ornate and intricate as he or she can dedicate to it.
Quilting as a process does not just involve making big and heavy quilts the size of blankets. Quilting has also been used in creating smaller yet as useful pieces of art, from intricately woven oven mitts to tea cozies. It has been used to decorate many other things in the house from seat covers to covering whole sofas.
The gentle art of quilt making has become part of American tradition and culture and the same is true in other countries, like China and Mexico. Though very much a present art in current culture and daily living, it has its place in our hearts and minds as a primarily a reminder of the past and a labor of love by our elders.
Though it is true that a lot of professional quilt-makers are not necessarily old, quilting has become significant of the parenting role our elders have taken in rearing the next generation. The art of traditional quilt making is associated with gentleness because of our grandparents, more commonly our grandmothers, because their manners are placid, patient and wise; manners that forever teach us about the values that we should never lose.
Patience is an important aspect of quilt making because a lot of quilts made today are still hand-stitched. It takes quite a long time for quilts to be made therefore, it is not surprising that older individuals who need to pass the time pleasantly slowly choose to make quilt making a hobby.
Ultimately, countless quilts, those personalized and traditionally passed on and even those being made, have become symbols of love and comfort: the way they can embrace you in warmth even if you’re alone.