Published just this month, Portable Patchwork offers a deep dive into the most recent peculiarity to spark Pam Weeks' attention and research: a 200-year-old method of quiltmaking known today as potholder quilts, or “quilt as you go” (QAYG). Throughout its 190 pages, this exciting new book boasts exquisite photos of the first quilts made in this QAYG style, surprising stories about the “women pioneers of the original quick and easy quilting method,” and instructions for crafting your own potholder quilt.
Behind Portable Patchwork
If one thing is certain, it’s that Pam Weeks knows quilts. As a researcher, curator, and educator for the New England Quilt Museum, and a quiltmaker herself, Pam is a true expert. So, when something peculiar shows up in old quilts, she spots it right away.
From the diaries of the women who originally invented this method to clues found in worldwide quilter chat groups, Pam's new book is full of fascinating historical discoveries. (She even found a miniature painting from 1844 of one of the original QAYG pioneers and her young daughter!) And, if you’re one of the many quilters who has mistaken QAYG for a modern technique, this book will help set the record straight. Portable Patchwork reveals how these 19th-century potholder quilts were made and why the construction is so workable. At first glance, you may not even realize that the featured quilts were made in sections: Speed was the biggest advantage, and for sewing circles where multiple makers worked simultaneously, a large quilt could be assembled in days rather than months.
Anyone interested in learning more about this unusual technique will be glad to know that Pam includes detailed instructions for how to make your own potholder quilt(s). And just like those quilting pioneers in the 19th century, makers today can stitch their quilts in sections and experience the gratifying adventure of potholder quilts.
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