When we think of quilts, images of old ladies in rocking chairs, grandpa’s favorite throw, or baby’s handcrafted gift from mom come to mind. You see them at craft shows, vote on them at farm fairs, even the young ladies in the city have started their own club dedicated solely to their creation. They are sewn together by the rich and the poor, the young & the old, the native and the European. And they are just as popular today as they were hundreds of years ago. At their most basic, they are pieces of fabric sewn together into a whole. At their most profound, they are one-of-kind custom made masterpieces that often become great conversation pieces among quilters and viewers alike.
Quilts may be functional or purely decorative. Smaller quilts are often used as wall hangings, while a larger quilt may be neatly folded over an antique quilt rack to give a country "Americana" look to the room. Functional quilts are used in the same way as bedspreads. They make the bed look neat, and also provide warmth. They come in every size, from tiny ones for a baby's crib, all the way to large quilts that cover a king-sized bed.
Whether functional or decorative, what makes quilts famous for their beauty is their patterns. Some of these patterns pre-date the American Revolutionary War. One popular pattern is the double wedding ring, the familiar series of interlocking circles. The log cabin pattern is a series of blocks, with rectangular strips of fabric sewn at right angles to each other to form squares. Small octagonal pieces sewn together in groups form the flower garden pattern, and a five-pointed, stylized leaf forms the maple leaf pattern. Diamond-shaped pieces sewn together can create the shooting star or lone star patterns. Some people prefer the arts and crafts look of the "crazy quilt," which is made of pieces of any scrap fabric sewn together in no particular pattern.
One specialized form of quilt emerged during the nineteenth century in America: the slave quilt. These quilts were functional as bed coverings, but also served another purpose: they gave directions that helped slaves escape north on the Underground Railroad. The quilts were sewn with various colors and symbols that represented the local roads, fields, plantations and streams. These quilts were on every plantation, hung on a clothesline or tree branch to give their messages. The orientation of the quilt as it hung changed the messages. These quilts also gave information about hiding places, food caches and safe houses to any who could read their language. They began appearing about 1835, when people from the north came to the plantations and taught the slaves how to make the quilts. The few slave quilts still in existence are in museums or are cherished family heirlooms.
Here at J&O, our stock of novelty fabric- the quintessential quilting fabric, grows each day. We carry quilting fabric and quilted fabric from the major companies: Michael Miller, Alexander Henry, Robert Kaufman, Timeless Treasures, VIP, Fabri-Quilt and more. Most of the quilted fabrics we carry are made from a 50/50 cotton/poly blend with a 2.5oz polyester fiber fill middle and a tricot backing. They are available in a variety of stitches from vertical lines to the classic diamond stitch. Our quilted fabrics are also available in solid colors and with novelty designs. Some of our pre-quilted fabrics are machine washable while others are not. If the proper care is not indicated in the description, feel free to ask us.
USES FOR YOUR QUILTED FABRIC
The first thing to consider when buying your quilted fabric is the function. Some quilted fabrics are designed purely for decorative use, and should be displayed on a wall from quilt rods. Other lightweight quilted fabrics can be made into throws and coverlets, while thicker quilted fabrics can be sewn together to create a decorative layer of insulation to lay on your bed for added warmth.
At J&O we have several themed novelty cottons and pre-quilted fabrics that can be used to create a themed project, craft or décor for loved ones. Make a quilt for Little Hakim’s crib or for the ladies in your next Breast Cancer support group. Even use our solid and printed fabrics for quilted jackets, bags, cosmetic cases or robes. Because quilts can also be made to tell a story, they can be used for commemoration, dedication, and educational purposes as well.
Let your voice be heard, your passion expressed, and your love reflected through your quilted creations. Here at J&O we can provide you with all the unique & nostalgic prints you are looking for.
CARING FOR YOUR QUILTED FABRICS
Washing your Quilted Fabric
Our pre-quilted and quilting fabrics are the easiest to care for. They are machine washable in cool or warm water and they can be machine or line dried. To keep your pre-quilted and quilting fabric soft, just add a little bit of fabrics softener.
Stain Removal of your Quilted Fabric
It is always best to take care of stains promptly. Blot up excess liquid with a clean white cloth or paper towel. Also, avoid rubbing the stained area with a dark colored cloth. Never rub a fresh stain with bar soap as this simply sets stains. Rubbing a stain excessively can also make it spread and damage the fibers, finish and colors. Avoid using hot water on stains of unknown origin. Hot water can set protein stains such as milk, egg, or blood.
Storage of your Quilted Fabric
The best storage for your quilted fabric is a clean, dark, cool and moderately dry environment with a constant temperature and relative humidity. Ideally there should be no strain on any one particular area of the cloth. Quilted fabrics should never be sealed in plastic or other air-tight casing unless it is part of a treatment or cleaning process. Proper circulation combined with the suggested humidity will help to prevent the growth of mold & mildew. Keeping a clean storage area for your quilted fabrics will also prevent pests such as silverfish and firebrats from destroying your wonderful fabric.
* The above information is intended to aid our customers in their fabric projects. These suggestions are based on manufacturer's recommendations and customer insights. The above statements are not intended to be understood as unequivocal or applicable to every circumstance. Therefore, J&O Fabrics is not responsible for the results of the implementation of these cleaning methods