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Wholecloth Quilts

Wholecloth quilts are quilts made of one single piece of cloth, hence the name “wholecloth.”  The design of these quilts is created entirely from the dense quilting stitches that form patterns and motifs across the surface of the quilt.

I must admit that just 6 months ago I would never have considered creating a wholecloth quilt.  They appeared way too difficult, stuffy, and a little too girly for my taste.

But then I met Karen McTavish.  Well, I didn’t technically “meet” her, I just stumbed across her website and bought bought all of her books (all of them are absolutely worth it) and finally learned the truth about wholecloth quilting.

You see, the only wholecloth quilt I’ve ever seen was a pre-printed panel at a quilting shop.  I hated the design, so, of course, I hated the quilt.

But now I understand the ease and simplicity of designing a wholecloth quilt. Unlike traditional pieced top, your totally open to pick any designs, and you have no limitation of fitting the motifs into spaces around blocks or appliques.

Take a design you like such as the scroll pattern over your fireplace.  Draw that onto a piece of large 1″ graph paper.  Now place that under a large piece of white fabric with a lightbox beneath and mark the design on your quilt.

Rotate the design, alter it slightly for borders, and you’ve got yourself an absolutely beautiful wholecloth quilt!

This might be intimidating for some people, but for me, this is true freedom! Since learning about wholecloth quilting I’ve transformed my entire quilting space. I now have a lightbox table the exact same height as my sewing tables so I can draft quilting patterns and easily mark tops.

I’ve even started my first wholecloth quilting project inspired by the movie The Duchess.  It’s so much fun to finally appreciate the quilting process as an art into itself!

Pictures and videos of The Duchess Quilt are soon to come!



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