Who Decided That We Needed a Quilt?

Susie Klopp

According to Mirriam-Webster’s Dictionary the word quilt means, “a coverlet for a bed, made of two layers of fabric with some soft substance between them and stitched in patterns through all thicknesses to prevent the filling from shifting.”

Historians have found that quilted items, including garments, were used as far back as ancient Egypt, India, and Asia.

In 13th century England, a quilted tunic or vest was worn by the military under their chain mail. Ladies’ dresses had quilted underskirts to protect them in the drafty castles.

In early America, the pioneers used quilted blankets to hang over doors and windows to help keep out the cold. These were often made from old clothing as nothing was wasted. The type and style of quilts made often speaks to a region, social standing, and often a time in history.

Research shows that diverse cultures have their own form of enhancement or decoration. So, the next step is to embellish! “Embellish—to beautify by or as if by ornamentation.” Down through the years, this has not changed. With today’s technology, we have beautiful fabric that needs little embellishment. That piece would be quilted with an understated pattern, thus letting the fabric or fabrics carry the beauty. With plain fabrics and patterns, the quilting can become the art and focus of the beauty.

Today we quilters, garment makers, embroiderers, and hand sewers, have so many resources and so much history to look at for inspiration. It’s a great age to be in for all the advantages we enjoy. Here at Robson Ranch, we have a great facility, great friends, and a great environment to let our creativity soar! Come and visit the Material Girls studio at the Creative Arts Center. We would love to show you around!