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Thread: When is it not a quilt?

  1. #1
    Super Member Homemother's Avatar
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    I have seen various reactions to quilts on the board, almost exclusively positive. Occasionally, someone says a project is not "quilting". An example would be Carly Bryer's work. They have pieced together fabric (not angular pieces), it's sandwiched, and then quilted. I don't understand why such a work would not be considered quilting. Aren't all our quilts a work of art as well as a quilt to be loved, whether admired by the eye or by snuggling with it?

    Thanks! I am looking forward to your opinions!!!

  2. #2
    Super Member Fabaddict's Avatar
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    am thinking those that say it is not quilting or a quilt are self appointed quilt police. To them I spread raspberries all over. PFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTTT

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I subscribe to the techincal definition, because it just makes it easier. Quilting is the actual threadwork that combines/joins the layers together. Piecing or piecework is the combining of fabrics or other materials to create an image or design.
    So to this ....its not a quilt until layers have been joined/combined with thread.
    Its final function is of no consequence.

  4. #4
    Super Member Homemother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabaddict
    am thinking those that say it is not quilting or a quilt are self appointed quilt police. To them I spread raspberries all over. PFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTTT
    Giggle!

  5. #5
    Senior Member bunniequilter's Avatar
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    I also believe in the technical theory. Fabric panels that are painted with a few stitches thrown in aren't quilts to me, they are paintings. Quilts were not called quilts many many years ago, they were called patchwork, that is how they were defined.

  6. #6
    Super Member cuppi duke's Avatar
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    I agree. We all have different opinions and it isn't up to us to say what is a quilt and what isn't. I went to a guild meeting and someone was showing their quilts (whole cloth) that they made and were so proud of. One member kept insisting they weren't real quilts. It caused such an uproar I never went back.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fabaddict
    am thinking those that say it is not quilting or a quilt are self appointed quilt police. To them I spread raspberries all over. PFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTTT

  7. #7
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I define a quilt as a type of blanket with two layers of fabric stitched together with some kind of batting in between. (Of course a whole cloth quilt is a quilt!) I give credit to "quilts" that are not quilted, but tied, and to those that don't have batting (such as Cathedral Windows quilts, summer quilts, yo-yo quilts, etc.) A bag or garment that is quilted is not a quilt, but it is a quilted item.

    I actually think that definitions are important for clear communication, but I wouldn't argue with another quilter about whether her item is a quilt or not. What purpose would that serve?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homemother
    Quote Originally Posted by Fabaddict
    am thinking those that say it is not quilting or a quilt are self appointed quilt police. To them I spread raspberries all over. PFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTTT
    Giggle!
    :thumbup:

  9. #9
    missmabeliowa's Avatar
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    I am fairly new at quilting, but as far as I'm concerned, a quilt is what covers a bed or a person, no matter the size.
    What irritates me are wall hangings.
    If it is a wall hanging, it should be categorized as a wall hanging.
    If it is quilted, it is a quilted wall hanging.
    This idea of finding a pattern you really like and then find it is a wall hanging and only gives size and directions for a wall hanging is completely absurd to me.
    Yes, some are quite beautiful, but they are still not quilts, they are wall hangings.
    There, I finally got that out of my system. I hope somebody agrees with me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tilladare's Avatar
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    I have to add my vote to the technical definition... 2 layers of fabric (whole or pieced) separated by a layer of filler (batting, wadding, or other insulative material) and stitched together in some form ( either continuos stitches, or tied, or a combination of the 2).
    How those fabric layers are treated, be it pieced, applique'd, paper pieced, or left whole should not change the definition.
    Treatments applied to the surface of the fabric are just that... surface treatments... again they neither make or break the concept of quilt.

  11. #11
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuppi duke
    I went to a guild meeting and someone was showing their quilts (whole cloth) that they made and were so proud of. One member kept insisting they weren't real quilts. It caused such an uproar I never went back
    They were called quilts in 1876 in Texas when one of our family wholecloth quilts won a premium in the state fair at Waco. And I have the microfilmed copy of the newspaper to prove it. Gee whiz, who died and appointed her chief standard maker? :?

    Jan in VA

  12. #12
    Super Member Melinda in Tulsa's Avatar
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    What would call a top and backing with no batting that is quilted together?

  13. #13
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilladare
    I have to add my vote to the technical definition... 2 layers of fabric (whole or pieced) separated by a layer of filler (batting, wadding, or other insulative material) and stitched together in some form ( either continuos stitches, or tied, or a combination of the 2).
    How those fabric layers are treated, be it pieced, applique'd, paper pieced, or left whole should not change the definition.
    Treatments applied to the surface of the fabric are just that... surface treatments... again they neither make or break the concept of quilt.
    i agree with this.

    i would add that some quilts are utility (meant to be used and washed repeatedly) and others are art to be displayed.

    i have run across people who insist only utility quilts are true quilts and display quilts are "art" not quilts.

  14. #14
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missmabeliowa
    I am fairly new at quilting, but as far as I'm concerned, a quilt is what covers a bed or a person, no matter the size.
    What irritates me are wall hangings.
    If it is a wall hanging, it should be categorized as a wall hanging.
    If it is quilted, it is a quilted wall hanging.
    This idea of finding a pattern you really like and then find it is a wall hanging and only gives size and directions for a wall hanging is completely absurd to me.
    Yes, some are quite beautiful, but they are still not quilts, they are wall hangings.
    There, I finally got that out of my system. I hope somebody agrees with me.
    A wall hanging is still a quilt if it's quilted. A tapestry can be either a rug or a wall hanging, but it's still a tapestry. Same with quilts, they can either be on a bed or hang on the wall and they're still quilts.

    It's not the size or what you do with it. It's the construction.

  15. #15
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    I think when folks say "not a quilt" they are referring to any other article than something you lay on a bed. So, if they've pieced and quilted a purse, it is "not a quilt" or if it's a table runner, still "not a quilt".

    I don't think that it has anything to do with whether or not it's art, etc.

    And a wholecloth not being a quilt? LMAO! That's like debating whether the sky is blue!

  16. #16
    Super Member Homemother's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies. In the past I've said, "Look, you've hung your quilt on the wall!" "You have a lovely quilted table runner!" "You've quilted a purse!" "I like this small table sized quilt you made!" "The quilt on your bed is magnificent!" Different applications all with the craftsmanship of quilting!

  17. #17
    RST
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    What drives me nuts is when some of the newer-to-quilting bloggers refer to the process of stitching the layers together (properly termed "quilting" in my mind, as well as historically) as "topstitching".

    Topstitching is a real term. It's what you do on jeans. It's often used in bag and tote construction. It's done on upholstery. But it's really very different from the skill set that is correctly known as quilting (be it hand or machine, domestic or longarm).

    But -- I think they use the term topstitching because it's confusing to refer to quilting as both the stitching technique, and the overall hobby. So they are trying to distinguish between the piecing / patchworking portion of the work, and the quilting.

    Still -- it annoys.

    RST

  18. #18
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RST
    What drives me nuts is when some of the newer-to-quilting bloggers refer to the process of stitching the layers together (properly termed "quilting" in my mind, as well as historically) as "topstitching".

    Topstitching is a real term. It's what you do on jeans. It's often used in bag and tote construction. It's done on upholstery. But it's really very different from the skill set that is correctly known as quilting (be it hand or machine, domestic or longarm).

    But -- I think they use the term topstitching because it's confusing to refer to quilting as both the stitching technique, and the overall hobby. So they are trying to distinguish between the piecing / patchworking portion of the work, and the quilting.

    Still -- it annoys.

    RST
    A lot of that is because not only are they new to quilting but they're probably new to sewing in general and don't really understand or know what the terms mean.

  19. #19
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    A quilt is technically a top, batting and a backing, joined together by sewing or tying. Simple.

    An art quilt is just that...an art quilt or a wall hanging, or whatever. But it is still a quilt.

    People can argue all they want, but a quilt is a quilt is a quilt. :!:

  20. #20
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melinda in Tulsa
    What would call a top and backing with no batting that is quilted together?
    I would call it a coverlet. It has to have 3 layers to be technically a quilt. This has been the standard for all quilt shows that I know of...it has to have 3 layers and joined by stitching or tying. Period.

  21. #21
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RST
    What drives me nuts is when some of the newer-to-quilting bloggers refer to the process of stitching the layers together (properly termed "quilting" in my mind, as well as historically) as "topstitching".

    Topstitching is a real term. It's what you do on jeans. It's often used in bag and tote construction. It's done on upholstery. But it's really very different from the skill set that is correctly known as quilting (be it hand or machine, domestic or longarm).

    But -- I think they use the term topstitching because it's confusing to refer to quilting as both the stitching technique, and the overall hobby. So they are trying to distinguish between the piecing / patchworking portion of the work, and the quilting.

    Still -- it annoys.

    RST
    I'm with you!! :thumbup: :thumbup:

  22. #22
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    A lot of non-quilters confuse patchwork with quilting, but at least they get that it's sewn cloth of some sort, and that's a bit better than calling a quilt a "blanket". Another issue I have on the subject is that quite a few people seem to think quilting was invented in America, and that needs to be corrected because they were around long before the discovery of the New World. The Wikipedia article on "Quilt" includes some information on the history with documentation and pictures. I learned from a dictionary that the word "quilt" comes from the Latin word for mattress. I imagine that people first started tying or sewing layers of cloth together so that they could sleep on them without having them rumple up into an uncomfortable mess. Like a whole lot of technology, it has evolved over many generations and hundreds of years. Words are defined by the way they are most clearly understood. My most strenuous objection is when someone calls a crocheted afghan a "quilt" - a total confusion of terms.

  23. #23
    RST
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    My most strenuous objection is when someone calls a crocheted afghan a "quilt" - a total confusion of terms.

    Ugggh. HAte that. The PBS ad where the carpenter dudes, Norm I think, and some of the THis Old House cast, talk about watching the quilt shows, and hold up a crocheted afghan -- never fails to set my teeth on edge. That would be like Nancy and Pokey holding up the "woodwork" they've crafted out of sheet metal -- totally wrong genre.

    The origins of quilting are interesting to try to figure out. My grandmother, who was born in China, always claimed that the traditional Chinese layered clothing was the true origins. While my parents, who lived in Kenya for a long time, point to the pieced fabric works of some of the tribes as a possible source for patchwork origins. I say it rose independently from multiple sources, with varied approaches and aesthetics.

    RST

  24. #24
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I really don't care what it is called. The main point to me is: did you have fun in the process?

    Wall quilts are what they are. Tops are tops. Whatever they are they are our creativity so just relax and enjoy the process.

    A big PFFFTT to the quilt police.

    ali

  25. #25
    Super Member OKLAHOMA PEACH's Avatar
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    I like the term Fabric Art it includes all out work.

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