What's new in quilting? 10 quilt trends to watch out for in 2022
Join us for a sneak peak at the looks, palettes and design themes that are on the up in modern quilt patterns for 2022
Quilting trends come and go: some are long-term loves that we just can't bear to part with (looking at you, patchwork jackets), while others are new friendly faces that we're just now getting to know. We love keeping up to date with the hottest styles and recurring themes in the massive, ever-evolving and vibrant community that is the modern quilting world, and we're about to take you on a ride with us to explore all that it has to offer! Many of these trends take inspiration from wider social movements such as sustainability and quilting for change, while others explore fun new techniques such as slowing it down with hand quilting or expanding our quilty skillsets with funky chenille or intricate paper piecing. We've packed this post full of our predictions for what's set to be a big deal in the quiltosphere from 2022 onwards, so you can feel inspired and stay up to date. Buckle up and get ready – there's going to be methods, there's going to be movements, and there's going to be lots and lots of quilts.
And if you want to look further afield than just fabric, head to our sister post – the hottest 2021 Craft Trends to watch out for.
1. Passion for patchwork fashion
Quilted coats have been in the spotlight for the last two years – and it's no surprise why, they're a warm, puffy cloud that you can actually wear. But we're here to tell you that there's a new kid on the block: 2022 is the year of patchwork clothing and accessories. These can include colourful patchwork jackets and bags, as well as stunning 70's-inspired skirts like those made by independent fashion designer Alissa B. (@jabellafleur) who upcycles old vintage quilts and turns them into gorgeous garments for her kids. Stylish AND sustainable? Now that's a trend we can get behind.
2. That's sew sustainable!
Speaking of sustainability, another trend we've been glad to see on the rise is eco-friendly quilting. Whether that's using up scraps from your stash rather than buying a new fabric collection for every project, or upcycling used clothes into gorgeous quilts to save them from the landfill, every little bit helps us to be less wasteful and to create with intention. Farrah Briggs of Farrah Handmade is a total pro when it comes to sewing eco: she pieced this tester version of Bhiravi Rathinasabapathi's (@strawberrycreekquilts) Reclaimed Cabin quilt using a crafty combination of quilt and clothing scraps, old home decor, and even 'Franken-batting' pieced together from various old batting scraps.
3. Lotta love for EPP & FPP animals
Here's a totally fabulous trend for you to get your paws on in 2022: Foundation Paper Pieced and English Paper Pieced animals. Now, we know that FPP and EPP are nothing new, but what is new is the explosion of popularity for paper pieced patterns that immortalise our furry friends from the animal kingdom. Paper piecing techniques allow you to achieve seriously impressive results, such as this intricate FPP tiger by Julie Lapalme of Hobby Landing. We love the delicate touches of the beautiful blooms, mixed with the tiger's intimidating, hypnotic stare.
4. Live in the moment with improv piecing
As the modern quilting community has slowly been making progress in recognising the massive influence of the quilters of Gee's Bend, Alabama, whose historic community is in large part credited with the birth of modern quilting aesthetics, so too have they embraced some of their methods: namely, that of improv quilting. When we spoke to quilt artist Zak Foster, designer of the quilt back for A$AP Rocky's iconic Met Gala look, Zak described the improv quilting method as a way to quilt in the present moment and allow the inherent properties of the textiles to guide you, rather than sticking to the confines of a pattern. He explained that the Gee's Bend quilters' methods were hugely informative for his work, and that he owed a lot of gratitude to them for this reason – as do a multitude of other modern quilters who have explored improv quilting techniques, and no doubt many more who will do so in the coming year.
5. Sleek yet simple: two-tone quilts
As modern quilters, we all love a quilt that packs a punch of bright colour. You can easily achieve this effect without over-complicating things by piecing a striking two-tone quilt! We've been seeing these crop up all over the place, but we're not complaining: this minimalistic approach allows a statement colour of your choice to steal the spotlight. For example, we loved the way the crisp white backing fabric of Claire Campion's Peachy Keen quilt in Love Patchwork & Quilting issue 105 let the sweet shades of orange and pink do all the talking.
6. Picture-perfect pictorial quilts
Quilting is an art form, and we all know this, but sometimes us quilters want to really drill that point home. This is where pictorial quilts come in. They've been taking the modern quilting world by storm, and it's no surprise: they allow quilters to really get creative and quilt a whole illustration. Take, for example, Gracey Larson's stunning Mountain Sunset quilt from Love Patchwork & Quilting issue 102. Simple traditional piecing and plenty of easy-piece Corner-square Triangles combined to create this graphic mountain and sunset scene – how cool is that? If your answer to that is something along the lines of, 'super cool!' then you're in luck, as you can expect to see many more pictorial quilts cropping up in 2022.
7. Sit back and relax with some with slow stitching
Perhaps it's no surprise that in the wake of all the stress and tragedy that came with the Covid-19 pandemic, we as makers have come to appreciate slow, calming methods of creating such as hand quilting and appliqué. These more traditional methods have been taken up by many this year due to their often therapeutic nature, allowing us to focus on a task in front of us and busy our hands with slow, purposeful stitching that's kind to the mind. If this seems like your cup of tea, Riane Elise's gorgeous book Quilting by Hand has 23 glorious hand quilted projects for you to get stuck into, ranging from quick and simple weekend makes to weeks or months-long endeavours – plus, plenty of detailed, beginner-friendly instructions on a range of handiwork techniques to get you started on the right foot.
8. Funky texture
One of the (many, many) great things about quilts is just how versatile they are. You can make quilts from fat quarters, fabric scraps, old clothes, and a range of other textiles. One way that people have been shaking up the quilting game recently is by adding fresh new textures to their quilts by using fabrics such as chenille. Take Lysa Flower's On the Record quilt from Love Patchwork & Quilting issue 100: the fuzzy fabric adds a jazzy touch to this quilt, and takes the shape of colourful vinyl records. If you'd like to add a cosy texture-bomb to your next project that's fit for the fashions of the new year, consider incorporating some chenille or another interesting fabric into your design!
More like this
9. Quilting for change
We’re hesitant to call this a trend as it’s more of a movement, encouraging makers to harness the power of craft to call for and support social change for the better, but quilting for a cause continues to rise in prominence and we'd be remiss not to mention some of the great work that's being done. A great example of this is the Asian LOVE banners series by Berene of Happy Sew Lucky, made in response to the increase in Asian hate crimes across North America. These beautiful banners feature the word 'love' in various Asian languages as well as English – you can support the cause by purchasing one of the patterns, as 100% of the profits will go to organisations in Canada and the US supporting various Asian communities.
10. Lovely landscapes
Ever since the many days we spent stuck inside during the Covid-19 lockdowns, many of us sought to bring the outdoors inside with pictorial quilts that depict the natural world. Calming nature landscapes such as the Dream quilt by Kayleigh of Excell Quilt Co have grown in popularity – we just love the smoky lilac sky and warm tones of the rolling hills in this peaceful scene. Keep an eye out for plenty more tranquil landscape quilts in 2022 while the world reacquaints itself with the beauty of the great outdoors and our post-Covid freedom continues to grow!
Keen crafter and editing aficionado Sophia loves to keep tabs on the latest trends in modern quilting and work with leading quilt designers worldwide to produce top quality content for Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. Sophia feels at home in the crafting community, having successfully run an indie biz on Instagram (@sewphiacano) selling hand-embroidered hoops, t-shirts and tote bags alongside studying for her degree from UCL in History of Art & Philosophy and running her university magazine as editor-in-chief. When she’s not busy editing, she’s probably embroidering at home, snuggled up in a jumper knitted by her abuela, or a blanket crocheted by her mum (evidence of her lineage from a long line of amazing crafty women).