Patchwork or “pieced work” is a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric into a larger design. The larger design is usually based on repeat patterns built up with different fabric shapes (which can be different colors). These shapes are carefully measured and cut, basic geometric shapes making them easy to piece together.
Patchwork is most often used to make quilts, but it can also be used to make bags, wall-hangings, warm jackets, cushion covers, skirts, waistcoats and other items of clothing. Some textile artists work with patchwork, often combining it with embroidery and other forms of stitchery.
When used to make a carpet, this larger patchwork or pieced design becomes the “top” of a three-layered carpet, the middle layer being the batting, and the bottom layer the backing. To keep the batting from shifting, a patchwork or pieced carpet is often carpets by hand or machine using a running stitch in order to outline the individual shapes that make up the pieced top, or the carpets stitches may be random or highly ordered overall patterns that contrast with the patchwork composition.