A textile made by quilting, i.e. creative stitching that holds a warm filling between two layers of fabric, and which is traditionally used as a bedcover.

* Quilts are country pieces, made for warmth, and created over long winter evenings, very often in small communities of family or friends. The wadding, usually wool, was obtained locally, and other fibres such as cotton, silk or down might be used if that was what was available.

* In a quilt, the top and underside materials are always reversible, but with a definite top side and underside-typically, unless completely plain with the stitches creating the pattern, the top fabric would be floral and the underside striped.

* A patchwork quilt may or may not actually be quilted, the detailed work may be stitched through the padding to the lining on the other side, or the piece may be lined just to protect the top work.

* The scope for creativity, and their place at the centre of everyday living has made quilts representative of local crafts and materials, so that it is often possible to trace a quilt back to a certain geographical area or a moment in history.

* Kantha quilts are filled with old silk or cotton saris which makes them lovely and snuggly without being cumbersome and heavy.

* Quilts  might also feature displays of domestic prowess, from patchwork, to tambour, to complex designs worked in running stitches and visible on both sides.

* A quilt is also a generic term for any stitched cover – whether worked by  hand or machine, which does not necessarily have a padding.

See also, patchwork, kantha, Gees Bend, American quilting, Northumberland

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