Ultimate Quilting Quiz

Staff

The word 'quilt' is derived from what language?

Quilt comes to us by way of the Latin word 'culcita,' which means 'cushion.'

The oldest known quilted object is a linen carpet from the first century B.C. to the second century A.D. Where was it found?

The quilted carpet was discovered in a cave tomb in Mongolia.

How many layers does a basic quilt have?

Quilts have three layers -- the quilt top, the batting and the backing.

How do quilters cut fabric?

Rotary cutters are essential quilting tools -- they're basically a razor-blade wheel with a handle.

What should you NOT use with a rotary cutter?

It's very important to use a gridded non-slip ruler -- NOT a regular straight ruler -- with a rotary cutter.

What's the best fabric to use if you're a beginning quilter?

Basic cotton is how you should start out -- it's the easiest fabric to work with.

Is it a good idea to wash your quilting fabric before you start working with it?

Most quilters do prewash their fabric to eliminate any 'surprises' -- like bleeding and uneven shrinking -- that could ruin a finished quilt.

Fraying fabric is one problem with prewashing. How can you prevent it?

Cutting a little piece from the corners will usually prevent fraying.

What's a 'fat quarter'?

A fat quarter is the basic unit in quilting. It's a quarter-yard of fabric that's 18 by 22 inches instead of the standard 9-by-44-inch cut.

When it comes to hand-quilting needles, is it true that the higher the size number, the thicker the needle?

Nope -- unfortunately, it's not that easy. The higher the size, the thinner the needle.

What are the best kind of needles for hand quilting?

Betweens are short, sharp needles that are perfect for pushing through multiple layers.

What's the standard seam allowance for quilts?

Quilt seams always have a quarter-inch allowance.

How can you make sure you always have a quarter-inch seam?

You could try to do it yourself, of course, but a quarter-inch presser foot will ensure that you never stray from the norm.

You should have two pairs of scissors for quilting. Why?

You'll need a pair of fabric scissors and another for cutting paper patterns.

Were 'coded' quilts used to help escaping slaves along the Underground Railroad?

Legends abound about quilts being used to identify 'safe houses' on the Underground Railroad, but historians have yet to find hard evidence.

In 18th- and 19th-century America, was quilting a hobby for mostly rich women?

We do tend to think of quilting as common women's work during this time, but most women sewed to meet basic clothing needs. Until the Industrial Revolution, only the rich had time to make decorative quilts.

When did the 'crazy quilt' fad sweep through the United States?

Crazy quilts, with their random assortment of patchwork pieces, were all the rage in the 1880s.

What do regular quilts have that crazy quilts lack?

Crazy quilts aren't stuffed with batting. They were also made with fancier fabrics, so they were used more for home decoration than for bedding.

Can you use hand sewing thread in your sewing machine?

No, be very careful to keep the hand sewing thread out of the machine.

Art museums around the country have showcased a traveling exhibition of quilts by women from Gee's Bend, in this state.

The bold geometric quilts from Gee's Bend, Alabama, were displayed in 12 cities.

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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Many of us probably think of Quilting as the quintessential American craft. You might be surprised to know, then, that the oldest quilted piece on record was discovered pretty far from the United States -- on the other side of the world, in fact. But since then,Quilting has taken on a distinctly American character. And there's a lot of lingo that goes with it, of course. You don't have to know your sharps from your milliners to do well on this quiz, but it would probably help.

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