Applique, Patchwork, and Joinery: What's the difference?

Appliqué, patchwork, and joinery are techniques used in fabric and textile crafts, mainly in quilting and sewing. The following are the key differences between them:

1. Appliqué:

Definition: Appliqué involves attaching one fabric to another to create a decorative design. This is often done by stitching the edges of the appliqué piece onto a base fabric.

Method: The appliqué fabric is usually cut into a specific shape or design and then stitched onto the background fabric, creating a layered and decorative effect.

Use: Appliqué is commonly used to embellish textiles, create intricate patterns, and add decorative elements to quilts, clothing, or other fabric items.

Above picture: Applique.

2. Patchwork:

Definition: Patchwork is a technique that involves sewing together small pieces of fabric to create a larger piece with/without no base fabric. Here, the intent is not to create a pattern/design. 

Method: The pieces are sewn together, usually with a consistent seam allowance, to form a larger fabric piece. This larger piece can be used for various purposes, such as quilt tops or other textile projects.

Use: Patchwork is often associated with quilting, where different fabric pieces are combined to create larger fabric.

Above picture: Patchwork.

3. Joinery:

Definition: Joinery refers to connecting or joining pieces of fabric together. It's a broader term encompassing various sewing techniques to assemble elements intending to create a design with no base fabric.

Method: Joinery techniques include sewing seams, connecting fabric panels, and combining different parts to arrive at a design. It can involve both functional and decorative purposes. 

Use: Joinery is a fundamental aspect of sewing and textile crafts, and it is used in various applications beyond quilting, such as garment construction and other fabric-based projects.

Above picture: Joinery.

In summary, appliqué involves adding one fabric onto another for decorative purposes, patchwork involves sewing together small fabric pieces to form a larger design, and joinery is a broader term encompassing the techniques used to connect or join fabric pieces in various sewing and textile projects.

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