I've attended quite a few quilt shows.
From pieced to applique to art quilts, I love them all.
I am continually amazed at the creative diversity that can be accomplished with a needle and thread.
And yet, even though they are the most traditional form of quilting, I find it's a rarity to see whole cloth quilts at shows.
From The Art of Quilting Show, Gilbert Museum
Whole Cloth (2012) by Norma Spaid DeCrow.
Norma wrote "In Yuma, Arizona, 2004, a friend of mine and I marked the quilting designs on four whole cloth tops (including this one) just to see if we could. Had a lot of fun and very sore backs before we got through."
Won Best of Show in Grand Junction, CO
Whole cloth quilts are made from one piece of very wide fabric, where the design is created entirely from quilting stitches.
The quilting itself becomes the decoration.
They usually have a center motif with outer motifs and borders.
A highly skilled piece of needlework at it's finest, which is sometimes called "white work".
How many of you were first introduced to quilting through whole cloth quilts?
I remember being invited to my first quilting bee, where a wedding quilt was stretched tautly on a frame in a neighbors living room.
The top was a slippery white tricot, with a design drawn in blue wash away pen.
I was tutored and encouraged to try my first hand quilting stitches, which hopefully were picked out soon after I left.
The oldest specimens of quilting are 3 whole cloth quilts from Sicily, thought to be from the 14th Century.
With the introduction of the sewing machine, pieced quilts rose quickly in popularity.
In today's world, with long arms and myriads of tools and styles, whole cloth quilts almost seem a lost art.
That is why with great appreciation, I stood and gazed for quite a while at Norma's beautiful work.
And to think this is just one of 4!