Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Whole Cloth Quilt

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.
Hand quilted

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!


Lurline said...

Yes, not so many around these days - I think our hearts go pitter patter each time we see one!
Hugs - Lurline

BobbiG said...

I get together every Wednesday with a group of wonderful ladies (aunts, cousins, friends). In the last couple of months, we have hand quilted two tricot whole cloth quilts. It has been a lot of fun. THese ladies are willing to try new things but also love the tried and true.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

It seems like each quilt show I have been to has had at least once whole cloth in the show - I was talking about one once and said it would be interesting to do but I wouldn't want to do the marking and someone said that you can find quilters on line that know Amish ladies that will mark the top for you (for a price of course) and then you just quilt it.

Cathy @ CabbageQuilts said...

Absolutely stunning Nedra. xo

Needled Mom said...

I love the whole cloth quilts. They are so beautiful.

•stephanie• said...

i grew up with a hand stitched slippery pink tricot quilt as my bedspread. i loved that thing! to death.
(actually it was my husband who eventually wore it out. then a couple of years ago for christmas i had another one made for him. but this one is definitely machine quilted. not as fabulous as the first [also not pink!], but definitely more durable.)

Doniene said...

Nedra, I don't always comment, but I always love the quilts that you post about!!! This one is stunning! I made a whole cloth quilt, but I embroidered a center medallion. My quilting is not nearly as intricate as this one, but it was very fun to do!! Thanks for sharing!!


dream quilt create said...

I love that look too, where the quilting becomes the art! I really appreciate all the creativity and talent that that woman has :_)

Cindy said...

I remember many whole cloth quilts stretched out in our big living room. Most in the 70's were tricot. Probably because it was a wide fabric and quite inexpensive. Barbizon had a factory outlet, we would buy tricot from huge rolls. I actually don't remember many pieced quilts. Interesting how times change!