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Paper was a scarce commodity in the early American west so women would save letters from home, newspaper clippings, and catalogs to use as patterns.The paper not only served as a pattern but as an insulator.Quilting is the process of sewing two or more layers of fabric together to make a thicker padded material, usually to create a quilt or quilted garment.Typically, quilting is done with three layers: the top fabric or quilt top, batting or insulating material and backing material, but many different styles are adopted.Quilting can be done by hand, via a sewing machine, or by a specialized longarm quilting system.Quilt stores often sell fabric, thread, patterns and other goods that are used for quilting.These late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century patchwork quilts often mixed wool, silk, linen, and cotton in the same piece, as well as mixing large-scale (often chintz) and small-scale (often calico) patterns.

In American Colonial times, quilts were predominantly wholecloth quilts–a single piece of fabric layered with batting and backing held together with fine needlework quilting.

Broderie perse quilts were popular during this time and the majority of pierced or appliqued quilts made during the 1170-1800 period, were medallion-style quilts (quilts with a central ornamental panel and one or more borders.)).

Patchwork quilting in America dates to the 1770s, the decade the United States gained its independence from England.

The earliest known quilted garment is depicted on the carved ivory figure of a Pharaoh dating from the ancient Egyptian First Dynasty (~3400 BC).

In 1924 archaeologists discovered a quilted floor covering in Mongolia.

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