What Is The Difference Between Patchwork And Quilting

Are you looking at starting making patchwork quilts but unsure about what is the difference between patchwork and quilting is?

I have forever been in awe of beautiful quilts and the sheer skills that go into making. But quite some time I was unsure of what patchwork was and what quilting was because both terms were so commonly used together.

If like me you know what quilts are and you understand roughly how they are made but your asking yourself what is the difference between patchwork and quilting is then I have made this handy breakdown to help you.

What Is Patchwork?

The term patchwork is the form of sewing or needlework that involves sewing pieces of fabric together to create a larger design or pattern.

The larger design is made up of repeating blocks (shapes such as squares) to create a picture or pattern.

what is the difference between patchwork and quilting

The “blocks” are shapes such as hexagons, squares, rectangles or other shapes to fit together to create the large piece. The shapes are usually geometric shapes that are easy to piece together.

Patchwork can be done by hand also known as English paper piecing or by sewing machine. They are mostly made by sewing machine as they are quicker and easier to use.

Patchwork has been something that many families have done for many years.

What Is Quilting?

Quilting is the process of sewing 2 or more layers of fabric together to create a thicker padded material. Also known as a quilt.

Quilting can be used and is used in a number of ways from fashion clothing, patchwork blankets, home decor and historical clothing.

Quilting usually refers to having 2 layers of fabric with wadding or batting in between, this is what gives it the padded feel.

Most quilters use long arm sewing machines to create intricate patterns on patchwork quilts as a piece of art or as a decorative home project. The patterns have developed over the years from straight lines and boxes to swirls, circles and more.

The process is done by using a needle and thread either by hand or machine, pulling together the layers of fabric tight enough that is creates a ridge (the sewn line).

What Is The Difference Between Patchwork And Quilting?

When wondering what is the difference between patchwork and quilting it can be tricky to understand.

I have noticed many different seamstresses, sewers and quilters speak of quilting but actually meaning patchwork.

Some will refer to quilting as the action of “making a quilt”. This is why is can be confusing.

This is patchwork.

If you are looking for information on how to start a quilt – always phrase is as a patchwork quilt. Patchwork and quilting very much go hand in hand in when it comes to blankets and throws etc. But knowing the difference is crucial.

There is a mountain of information from qualified sewers who have made thousands of patchwork quilts and also people like me who are learning along the way.

For Example:

When making a patchwork quilt there are certain steps to take. The blocks are made up (squares that join together to create the bigger picture) this is done in patchwork.

Joining the blocks together is also patchwork, as you are patching them together.

Once you lay together the patchwork layer (top) the wadding/batting (middle layer) and your fabric backing (bottom layer) this then will then be quilted. You then finish the quilt off with homemade binding.

Usually all 3 layers are pinned together and then taking to a sewing machine to be quilted. Many years ago before domestic sewing machines were common or sewing machines were used as all, families would sew the quilt lines by hand.

The process of binding the 3 layers together with stitches is quilting. This is what brings the layers together to create a solid and warm blanket.

Quick Helpful Guide

Patchwork = The process of piecing fabric together.

Quilting = The process of sewing lines to combine the layers of fabric.

I hope you have found this helpful and really made a clear form to work from. I hope you can know what is the difference between patchwork and quilting.