Ralli Patchwork Quilt

   Pakistani Ralli or Patchwork Quilt
  Ralli or patchwork quilt

Quilting, the practice of taking scraps of fabric and piecing them together to make useful, functional works of art, has been done for centuries all over the world. No people, place or country has a monopoly on this art form. It seems, if there are remnants of material available then human beings will link them together in some pleasing way. What’s interesting is the similarity of patterns found from one culture to the next, suggesting diverse peoples may have more in common than we care to admit.

Trade-cloth backing  (detail)  
The back of a ralli could be quilted with pieced remnants or a single imported piece of machine-made and printed fabric called trade-cloth



This week’s New Arrival features a quilt from the Pakistan/India border, known as a “ralli,” which means “to connect” in the native tongue. Rallis were commonly made by enterprising women for their dowries. It also seems, prowess in the domestic arts has always been a sure way to attract a husband. The quilt’s colors and intricate designs showcase the skill of their maker to create something useful and beautiful using only thread, needles, scissors, and salvaged fabric. However, like quilts made elsewhere they also advertise the ingenuity, creativity, and resourcefulness of all women no matter where they reside. 

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Pakistani Ralli or Patchwork Quilt