Whole Cloth Quilting With Stencils

Whole-cloth quilting is steeped in a rich history.  Long before we were cutting shapes and joining them to form interesting patchwork, artisans were quilting whole cloth. Early Amish quilts were whole cloth, and the quilted designs were very striking against light backgrounds. Very early whole-cloth quilts were called “linsey-woolsey”, a linen-like fabric that originated in the village Lindsay in Suffolk, England. Today, nearly every quilt show has an entire category devoted to the stunning work of whole-cloth quilters.

I’m often drawn to whole-cloth work at quilt shows. I love the simple, pure elegance of all that texture. Interestingly, it’s only as a last-thought that I look at what tool(s) the quilter chose to finish her masterpiece. Did he or she hand quilt, utilize her home sewing machine, or a longarm? In this example I only just saw at AQS Quilt Week in Paducah, titled Caledonite by Andrea Stracke has chosen hand quilting.

As you scroll through the many beautiful whole-cloth quilts shown here, are you imagining how you might also join the ranks of these artisans and try this yourself? I think the opportunity to audition stencils and other art work overtop of whole “cloth” would be invaluable in planning a whole-cloth quilt. Utilizing the design space and stencils in Quilt-Pro Systems may be the perfect answer to how to preview your ideas.

In today’s lesson we will design a whole-cloth quilt using stencils found in the Stencil Library. This process will utilize the medallion layout tool. As well, you’ll learn to change the quilt’s “thread” color as well as the background fabric color. All of these new skills will allow you to plan and execute your own beautiful whole-cloth quilt.

Click here to design your own whole-cloth in Quilt-Pro Systems.

It’s a beautiful representation of a long-loved craft.

Here are many more examples of stunning whole-cloth work by today’s quilters! Done in Radiance fabric (a blend of cotton and silk!), batiks, and even vintage tablecloths, they’re all just lovely and so inspiring. Some are even “blinged”!

Wedgewood, a vintage tablecloth by Rhonda Cox Dort

Reaching for the Stars by Jane Hauprich

An award-winning example of whole-cloth quilting by Laurie Tigner, titled Cameo Rose.

Interested in more stencils? Try our Designer Collections found here, here , here  and here .   Learning the drawing tools and designing your own stencils might also be in your future. Stay tuned for future blogs and tutorials!

Thanks for spending time with me and Quilt-Pro Systems.

Mary Fisher

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Comments (1)

I love whole cloths too! Thanks for sharing the bit of history and the lovely examples.

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