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All About Wholecloth Quilting

All About Wholecloth Quilting

Posted by Barb on Sep 23rd 2022

What is a wholecloth quilt? How do I make a whole cloth quilt? All your whole cloth quilting questions answered.

Hawaii Quilt

What Is A Wholecloth Quilt? 

When you think of a quilt, you often think of a quilt where the top has several fabrics that have been cut, pieced, and stitched. However, a wholecloth quilt is created with just one piece of fabric on the top and one piece of fabric on the back. The stitching on the fabric is what makes these types of quilts so special. Now, modern technology allows fabrics to be custom printed. A wholecloth quilt can showcase the stitching or it can showcase the print on the fabric. There is no patchwork or applique work on a typical wholecloth quilt.

Wholecloth quilting originated in Wales, Northern England, and the Scottish borders. It was very popular in the 19th and 20th century, and continues to be popular today with digitally designed fabrics! 

How Do You Make A Wholecloth Quilt?

So, what are the basics to making your own wholecloth quilt? Luckily, wholecloth quilting is quite uncomplicated, while embodying a simple elegance. 

Step 1: Choose your fabric.

Are you going to use a solid piece of fabric and showcase the quilting design or are you going to choose a custom print and let the quilting add dimension and texture to the printed design?

Step 2: Find Your Thread and Choose Your Designs or Patterns to Stitch.

Start doodling and getting ideas for the designs you want to put on your quilt. For example, if you are going to quilt water over a beach print then try out different water patterns, flowing lines or swirling waves to find what looks best on the fabric print. This is a place to showcase your creativity and talent.

Your choice of thread can be anything! You can choose one that blends into the fabric, so the shapes are the focus of the quilt, or choose an opposite color to highlight the designs. Use high weights (80wt) for thin thread and dense quilting or use low weight (12wt) for a thick hand-stitched look.Just make sure you test your tension and the color before you get started and have plenty of thread depending on the size of your quilt.

Step 3: Plan Each Area.

When custom quilting, it’s best to plan each area. Use a marking tool to mark your quilt with your design. Here you can correct the design and add details to make it pleasing to the eye.

Step 4: Finish Your Quilt.

Quilting is the actual process of stitching layers together to make the quilt structurally sound. When a top is made by sewing lots of little pieces together the quilting holds the pieces in place through washings. With wholecloth quilting on a solid fabric, you are quilting to showcase the quilt design.

Now, with modern technology, the fabric industry is exploding with any and every type of color and design. Finding the right piece of fabric chosen for the colors or theme allows for a quilt to be customized and made very quickly. The quilting enhances the design but is mainly keeping the quilt structurally sound.

About My Wholecloth Quilts. 

After learning about digital media, fabric printing, and how technology has expanded the fabric available and changed the quilting industry, I saw an opportunity to create designs with local interests. Wholecloth quilts can be a fast way to make a quilt and give a personalized gift. My wholecloth quilts are available on my website and a few other places. 

Honest Fabric: As a designer for whole cloth fabrics with Honest Fabric, I have the opportunity to make my designs available for other quilters! I started designing to create Hawaiian baby quilts for friends and neighbors, and have loved collaborating with Karlee at Honest Fabric! My Hawaii designs are available on their website (and I will be making more soon!)

Mission Houses: I started a relationship with Mission Houses when I was invited to their annual craft fair. They have the oldest craft fair that showcases lei making, weaving and original Hawaiian products in jewelry, cloths, and quilts. I design specifically for them and my quilts and runners are sold in their gift shop.

Wholecloth quilts are a simple and easy style of quilting, that are great to make for your home or to give as a gift. Ready to create your own wholecloth quilts? Or interested in purchasing a unique and beautiful whole cloth quilt? A wholecloth quilt is just the project for you!