Patchwork is most often used to make quilts, but it can also be used to make bags, wall hangings, cushion covers and numerous items of clothing. Some textile artists work with patchwork, often combining it with embroidery and other forms of stitching.
It’s an art that can be complex, but if trying to replicate a fiddly pattern seems daunting, create a ‘crazy quilt’ where shapes and sizes are irregular. Evidence of patchwork exists throughout world history, but it is often associated with America, where today it is a billion dollar business.
As a hobby it embraces the ‘make do and mend’ ethos, as even very small and worn pieces of material are suitable for use in patchwork, although crafters today more often use new 100% cotton fabrics as the basis for their designs. Yet while patchwork quilts were often created when times were hard, these days they are highly desirable and can be very costly. Unless you make your own, of course…