Is Patchwork The Same as Quilting?

The art of sewing is vast and interesting, thousands of people get initiated into this craft every day and due to its vastness, you have lots of options to choose from be it applique, embroidery, quilting, or patchwork. 

It is however easy for beginners and people who have little or no knowledge about sewing to get confused about each discipline and get them mixed up. One of the most common confusion beginners have is about quilting and patchwork.

Many individuals think patchwork and quilting are the same sewing technique cause they can’t fathom the difference between both. In this article, we would be discussing the possibility of both patchwork and quilting being the same sewing technique or if they are different. Read along to find out.

Is Patchwork The Same as Quilting?

While both might sound familiar, patchwork is different from quilting. Both are two different types of textile arts that can be used to create different decorative items such as heirlooms, furnishing items, clothing pieces, and others. 

While both textile arts are created with the use of fabric, sewing pattern is what differentiates patchwork from sewing, it can be difficult for a beginner to differentiate between both patchwork and quilting but professional sewers can easily spot the difference between both.

What is Quilting?

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Quilting is a sewing process through which layers of fabric get sewn together to produce a finished quilt. A quilt normally gets created with three different material layers, including the top fabric, batting, and backing. 

Professional quilters mostly make use of various stitching lines and patterns to keep fabrics together and create beautiful designs, they also make use of long-arm sewing machines to produce distinguished patterns as decorative pieces which is why there are quilts with circles, swirls, boxes, and others. 

Through quilting, you can also produce items such as art wall hangings, bedspreads, and other forms of textile products. 

What is Patchwork?

Patchwork is a craft through which small fabrics are sewn together and combined to produce a large, complete piece. During a patchwork process, various fabric shapes, sizes, patterns, colours, and textures get sewn together to produce a harmonious theme.

What are the Differences Between Quilting and Patchwork?

There are a few qualities that distinguish patchwork from quilting. Some of their differences include.

– The Technique

The stitching technique between quilting and patchwork is obviously different. Quilting makes use of the combination of various sewing techniques which involves the layering of fabrics to produce quilted garments.

This technique procedure involves layering the top fabric with the batting and backing fabric. To create a quilt, a quilter is required to sew a layer of batting in between the top fabric and backing. Stitching is an essential phase in quilting as it influences the general design. Whether you are making use of applique needlework or a basic stitch, your stitching is required to run through the layers. 

However, patchwork focuses on the sewing together of different pieces to produce a piece. You can easily merge different fabric pieces or stitch together patterns with identical shapes and sizes. You can also make use of embroidery or regular stitching to produce a design with patchwork. 

– Usage

Quilting is a sewing procedure that creates insulated items be it clothing items or bed covers. However, quilting evolved and quilters have made use of the sewing technique to create numerous items for commercial functions.

Patchwork however begins as a hobby where hobbyists make use of old fabrics to produce a distinguished design. It is not done for commercial purposes, only to make an existing cloth or blanket long-lasting. 

– The Pattern

Another distinguished quality between patchwork and quilting is the creation pattern. Both patchwork and quilting have different patterns, however, some of these patterns can be similar. below is more information on patchwork and quilting patterns. 

– Patchwork Patterns

Different patchwork styles are determined by fabric assemblage. Just like in quilting, you can easily enhance the stitching technique to produce an elaborate design. examples of patchwork design include.

– Cathedral Window Patchwork

With this patchwork pattern, you will have to fold and stitch blocks of fabric which results in a 3D window-like design. To practice this patchwork pattern, you can lay out your fabric pieces first to have a glance at how the final product will be. The cathedral window patchwork design can be completed easily while producing an elegant patchwork result.

– Stained Glass Patchwork

The stained glass patchwork pattern makes use of a monochrome fabric in between the fabric fragment to be used. This produces a stained glass window appearance.

– Somerset Patchwork

This patchwork is also called the folded star patchwork and makes use of rectangular-shaped fabric pieces which are required to be folded to create triangles and stitches in the fabric. The somerset patchwork pattern is labour-intensive and requires the skill of a professional to be executed.

– Quilting Patterns

There are numerous quilting patterns that can be used based on your quilt assembling. You also have to consider the used material for the top layer before choosing a quilting pattern.

You can make use of different stitching techniques for different quilting patterns. Some of the common quilting patterns include.

– Applique Quilting

Applique quilting is a quilting procedure that makes use of fabric pieces with varying designs and shapes. These fabric pieces get sewn together to form a piece of fabric to create a pattern.

These fabric pieces can be sewn together by hand or with the use of a sewing machine to save time. Applique quilting is a more detailed procedure and can perfectly be carried out by professionals.

– Pieced Quilting

Pieced quilting pattern makes use of blocks of sewn-together fabric to create rows and columns. This quilting pattern is popularly practised and requires the quilter to make use of fabric blocks of identical size to produce a large pattern.

Pieced quilting is stress-free and less complicated, the large blocks also reduce the work to be done. 

– Paper Piecing Quilting

Just like the pieced quilting pattern, paper piecing quilting also makes use of blocs of fabric organized in rows and columns. The patches are however firstly placed on paper templates before getting stitched to form a large design.

What is Patchwork Quilting?

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Patchwork quilting is a sewing procedure through which you apply the patchwork process to your quilting project. When applying patchwork quilting, the process is required to be done it is required to be done at the beginning of a quilting process. 

Quilters originally make use of patchwork quilting to make use of leftover fabric scraps to create designs on a quilt top. But with time, quilters have begun to purchase fabric to create beautiful designs on top of their quilt. 

Geometric patterns are mostly used when creating patchwork quilts because they can be created easily. However, patchwork quilting is not restricted to geometric patterns alone as you can make use of different imaginative designs. 


Patchwork and quilting are two sewing techniques that are commonly used interchangeably which can cause confusion and make people believe they are the same. However, these two techniques are different and function differently as well.

By following this article, you should have understood the difference between patchwork and quilting, what makes them different, and the different types of patterns that can be used for patchwork and quilting.