Patchwork quilting is a method of quilting that has been practiced in North America for centuries. Originally, it was a way for women to use up fabric scraps. These early quilts were practical, providing warmth or comfort. Today, patchwork quilts are celebrated as a distinctive American folk tradition.
American artists Vadis Turner and Faith Ringgold incorporate quilts into their work. In Greens Swells, Turner transforms antique quilts and ribbon into an abstract work of art. In the print Groovin’ High, Ringgold uses the unique imagery of a quilt as a background for a vibrant dance scene. You can make a small quilt inspired by their work by using the instructions below.
- Print and cut out the outer shape of the quilting block pattern (see below).
- Lay the pattern on the back of the fabric.
- Using the pen, trace the pattern onto the fabric.
- Cut out along the lines you drew, including the fringe strips. You now have one quilt block.
- Repeat steps 2-4, eight more times.
- Lay out the nine blocks. Arrange them into a pattern.
- Attach the quilting blocks by tying their fringes together.
- Finish the quilt, tying a knot into all the individual untied fringes along the edge.
- Enjoy your small quilt.
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