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Quilt-Making Styles from Around the World

The craft of quilting has been around for thousands of years. 

The earliest known quilted object is on a carved ivory figure of a Pharaoh of the Egyptian First Dynasty about 3400 B.C. (source

Throughout these 5000 + years, cultures all over the world found different and unique ways to sew 3 layers together to make something functional and beautiful. 

That is what's amazing to me. Men and women whose lives were filled with SO much work-- who had to make candles from scratch, pump water from a well, do dishes and laundry by hand, make and mend all the family clothing, along with a dozen other time and labor intensive daily chores; many still carved out the time to make the quilt that was to go on their child's bed and keep them warm-- how beautiful.

They carved out the time to thoughtfully cut out shapes and hand sew these shapes into a bouquet of flowers or a unique star pattern. 

They taught their daughters and sons how to do the same, and over the years, each region had a unique and distinctive way of sewing three layers together. 

From the paper pieced hexagons in England, to the textured Kantha quilting stitches of India, to the masterful album quilts of Baltimore Maryland, to the incredible works of the Egyptian tentmakers. 

These regional quilting styles, like food, dress, language, and traditions, developed over many years, and are unique to that region.

What is really neat is to see similarities in styles between cultures that would have never intersected, like the snowflake method of cutting appliqué pieces that defines Hawaiian appliqué that was also used in Ralli quilts of Pakistan, by the Ainu people of northern Japan, as well as the Tavae-vae quilts of the Cook Islands off New Zealand. 

There are SO many different ways to sew three layers together and make them beautiful.

Just like these different quilters were able to craft a unique and recognizable way of quilt-making, you can too. 

You can mix and match techniques and styles to develop your own unique style and palette that is all your own. 

Over the next few weeks, we'll be exploring some of those styles. Get started by finding out what your unique Color Style is. Take the quiz now!

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