What is a quilt?
Basically it is batting ( many different types ) sandwiched between 2 pieces of fabric which is all sewn together by hand or machine. In many cases today and yesteryear , the basic idea of the quilt for warmth takes 2nd place to the artistic creation of the craft person. They turn into "Fabric Art."
What does stitches per inch mean?
Every person who hand quilts makes different sizes and types of stitches. Some people will tell you they can tell who quilted on the quilt by the stitches. Good stitching is 6 / inch ,Better 8 / inch & exceptional is 10 -12 per inch. You don`t see quilting like this very often. Also the density of the stitches, how many in a square inch, is a factor as well. Years ago the battings did not stay together when washed unless there was lots of stitches. Now the battings are of a superior quality, they don`t separate when washed. The density of the stitches are mostly for the artistic look of the piece.
Should the quilt be all cotton fabric?
100% cotton seems to be the norm today. They are easier to needle, it shapes and folds easier and let`s face it , more traditonal. Some people are dogmatic about using cotton. I myself prefer using 100% cotton. Having said that, there are alot of old order people in our area that use polycotton. Their quilts are gorgeous, their use of colour, their meticulous quilting and love of craft produces beautiful quilts. If I was looking to buy a quilt and fell in love with a poly cotton quilt I`d buy it. My view of things is that years ago, quilters used what ever they had. There were no hard and fast rules, and we look at these quilts as masterpieces to be treasured. So today make or buy what YOU prefer and enjoy it. That is what is important.
What are the sizes of quilts?
There are Baby, Lap,Twin,Double,Queen and King size.There is no hard and fast rule as to the size of Baby or Lap quilts. It is usually up to the craft person.
Full or Double Size-52W x 72L
Queen Size-80W x 96L
King-110W x 110 L
Most beds are 25" high with the mattress 10" thick and the box spring 7" thick. The overhang of the quilt is a matter of taste and if it works for you. A Full Length quilt drops to 1/2 inch from the floor. A Blanket Size drops to 1" below the box spring and a Coverlet drops 3" below the mattress. Usually today a bed skirt is used to cover the box spring. If you have a foot board on your bed then all you need is a drop on the sides on the quilt, not the bottom. Also if you want to cover the pillows, depending on the thickness of the pillows , you need a pillow tuck of 10 -18 inches. Some people use a sham which would eliminate the need for the pillow tuck.
But if all this sounds confusing, I find that most people these days have queen size beds. An average width of 80-90" and length of 95-104" seems to satisify most. But if you prefer we can custon make a quilt to fit your specifications.
How are quilts priced?
There is a great difference in prices of quilts. The variables are endless. The type of fabric, quality of the piecing, size of the piecing, quality of the quilting, size of the quilt, hand or machine quilted, and how the market preceives the craft, to name just a few.
A lot of quilts are not of good quality. A reason being, is that the craft persons who quilt, are getting fewer and fewer. There just isn`t the quilters there used to be, and in this crazy world let`s face it, most people just don`t have the time. Also the quilters do not get paid enough for their craft and not many people will do the painstaking work it entails.
The hand quilting is judged by how many stitches per inch, how even the stitches are and how many stitches per square foot. Machine quilting has many variables too ,many of which I am not familar because I prefer the hand work. It gives me a sense of calmness when I quilt, and it puts us in touch with a heritage that has come down through centuries. I`ve been raised with hand quilting being the norm, the only way. Saying that, I`ve seen machine quilting that is amazing ,enhancing the pattern and putting almost life into the piece. In this fast paced world we live , there are many people who would not quilt if it were not for the machine quilting. There is a place for both and may we each enjoy our craft.
Handmade usually means one of a kind, cut by hand, sewn by machine and hand quilted. There are alot of quilts on the market now from the far east that are very , very, reasonable or so it seems. The only thing I know is that my friend bought some and they did look nice. But the first time she washed them, the colour ran and the fabric frayed. So the old saying " Buyer beware" should be used in this case. A guarantee of satisfaction would be wise, after all this is not only something to keep you warm but a work of art in fabric form. You want it to last more than a few washings, if you look after it properly, it could last for generations.
So shop around, ask questions, be informed before you buy. Find a reputable person and then indulge to your heart`s content. Then be prepared to enjoy your purchase for a long, long time.