Quilting came to America with the European settlers taking part in the art since the 13th century. It was a practical and valued role for women to quilt because resources were limited: an essential skill handed from mother to daughter over generations. The importance of the role and limited resources available meant all quilting work was initially more for warmth and use than artistic value.
Social aspects evolved as women would gather to quilt. For many, it was the only respite from the challenging life they led. This forming of a community encouraged the growth of the artistic side of quilting. It became a social practice to quilt and changed into a valuable role in the larger community. However, it was still very slow going for the art of quilting since blankets, covers, and other similar items were crucial to the survival of the community and took up most of the women's time.
The sewing machine's introduction meant practical items became more comfortable and faster to produce. The quilting community began developing as an art form. Slave-labour becoming wide-spread also meant more time for quilters to quilt artistically rather than functionally. Newer materials began to be used, replacing scraps and worn cloth, and different techniques and patterns were experimented with.
Wealthier people began to buy quilts as decorative pieces, and its popularity skyrocketed during the mid-1800s. The practical use for quilting was consistent even through World War 2, where it was sent to the frontlines for warmth and sold back home to raise money for the war effort.
Where it Is Now
The practical uses of quilting have decreased since the war, with commercialized manufacturing making it almost obsolete on a functional level. However, quilting still has a strong following and an extensive global community today.
Quilting evolved like any other art form and went through similar fashion changes. Modern quilting, like conventional contemporary art, is inspired by negative space, asymmetry, and minimalism. There’s also a lot more room for individualism in quilting now, with many modern quilters finding it to be an irreplaceable medium for expression as well as a fantastic hobby.
The spread of the internet opened up the world of online stores to the quilting community, where today, many choose to sell their quilts for some easy money. To quilt fans, this is like sportsbooks offering their players multiple free bets! You can read more about betting at betnj.com. They’re still used as decorative pieces or given as gifts to loved ones. Some of these online stores have become very successful, with some pieces selling for as high as $1500!
From early settlers huddling together trying to stretch the use of every bit of cloth as far as possible to online stores and a globally connected community of quilters, quilting has a long and fascinating past. Hopefully, it’ll continue to be a part of our history for a long time to come.