Ms. Elizabeth Fields
July 13, 2012
The Art and History of Quilting
Quilting is a unique art form involving sewing together several different layers of material. These layers are put together in unique patterns. Quilting requires the knowledge of several different types of tools and supplies. Included in the supply list is the batting, which is cotton polyester blend that gives the quilt its thickness, and several different types of material with different patterns. The tools’ list includes the cutting tools, items such as scissors and a rotary cutter. Another quilting tool is the quilter’s basting tacker, a tool that is “used to baste or tack the quilt layer together” (Leone 29). Some other supplies include basic sewing materials such as pins, a sewing machine, hand needles, cutting mat, ruler, iron, and spray starch. These tools and supplies are used today, but in the twelfth century, quilters did not have these modern conveniences. Because quilting was much more tedious then, it was used only to make clothing worn by European crusaders underneath a heavy suit of armor. This use was the first known account of quilting, and historians mark it as the birth of quilting (womenfolk.com/history). Quilting became known in the United States during the 1800’s. Quilting has made an impact on the lives of women and slaves during the 1800s, has become a folk art form in the late 1900s, and has evolved into a trail of quilts.
Quilting impacted the lives of women in several ways. First, quilting gave women an outlet to express their intellectual abilities. According to Bell Hooks in the essay “Piecing It All Together,” these intellectual abilities emerged by letting “the creativity of quilting moves the creator beyond self into a place of transcendent possibility” (344). Second, women used quilting to share family history. Women shared their family’s history by using quilting as a part of the family’s culture and passing this culture...