Quilting is a sewing method done to join two or more layers of material together to make a thicker padded material. Typical quilting is done with three layers: the top fabric, batting or insulating material, and a back fabric. Quilting is done to create bed spreads, clothing, art quilts and a variety of textile products.
The origins of quilting remain unknown. The earliest known quilted garment is on the carved ivory figure of a Pharaoh from the Egyptian First Dynasty, about 3400 B.C.
In American colonial times most women were busy spinning, weaving, and making clothing. Meanwhile, women of the wealthier classes prided themselves on their quilting of wholecloth quilts with fine needlework. (Quilts made during the early 19th century were not constructed of pieced blocks but were instead quilts made from a whole cloth.)
During the late 20th century, art quilt wall hangings became popular for their aesthetic and artistic qualities.
Hand quilting is the process of using a needle and thread to sew a running stitch by hand across the entire area to be quilted. This binds the layers together.
Machine quilting is the process of using a home sewing machine or a longarm machine to sew the layers together.