Patchwork???

Time for a bit of learning on my behalf: I have a question. I’ve been trying to figure out just what makes a patchwork quilt a patchwork quilt. The boundaries of what a patchwork quilt is seems so incredible permeable, and definitions seem to vary depending on who I am asking. And I know that is often the nature of things, especially traditions, but here I remain trying to figure out just what makes a patchwork quilt a patchwork quilt.

Is it the blocks (four-patch, nine-patch, etc.) that determines that a patchwork quilt is indeed a patchwork quilt? Is it the approach of using small bits of fabric? Where do crazy quilts fit into this? (I frequently see these called patchwork quilts.) What, exactly, constitutes a patch? Can one strip-piece a patchwork quilt, or does it have to be done using blocks? And so many more questions. Every time I think I understand, something else comes along to baffle me. Is it just the sort of thing that you recognize when you see it? If so, what happens when I don’t recognize it?

You may wonder why I ask now. Well, I am caught up a bit in patchwork-mania with the Summer of Scrap Vomit, and I just can’t seem to get this question out of my head. Oh, speaking of Scrap Vomit, how about a couple more blocks for the show-and-tell parade???

thomas-knauer-sews-scrap-vomit-block5

thomas-knauer-sews-scrap-vomit-block6

So, with all these wee squares (patches?) floating around my studio and in my head I cannot get the whole patchwork thing out of my head. That’s a common problem with me; lots of stuff seems to get lodged up there in my old noggin. Hence I turn to you all for help. Please leave your comments; I’ll be watching and asking follow-up questions. I beg of you, help me get to sleep tonight (this plagued me for about two hours last night until my mind finally just shut down and sent me off to sleep)…

Hugs,
Thomas

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