Patchwork Quilts go back many, many years. Examples of patchwork quilts have been found in tombs of Pharohs dating back to 3400BC. Joseph's coat of many colors was probably patchwork quilted. Even armour was made by patchwork quilting heavy fabrics together. Patchwork quilted bed spreads were recorded in household inventories from as far back as the 17th century. Patchwork quilts have even evolved into an art form known as "art quilts". Patchwork Quilts have been developed in the quilting traditions many immigrants into America, each with their own unique styles.
A patchwork quilt is a quilt in which the top layer consists of pieces of fabric sewn together to form a design. The quilting design does not necessarily follow the patchwork design, and the design of the quilting may play off the patchwork quilts design. Originally, this was to make full use of left-over scraps of fabric, but now fabric is often bought specially for a specific design. Designs can be geometric and formal or imaginative. A Patchwork quilts blocks were initially created individually, accumulated over time, by use of scrap and salvaged material. Geometric designs were the most efficient way to aggregate fabric into useful units. The Patchwork quilt is formed of three layers: the patchwork, a layer of insulation wadding (batting) and a layer of backing material. These three layers are stitched together ("quilted"), either by hand or machine. The quilting can either outline the patchwork motifs, or be a completely independent design.