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patchwork

[pach-wurk] /ˈpætʃˌwɜrk/
noun
1.
something made up of an incongruous variety of pieces or parts; hodgepodge:
a patchwork of verse forms.
2.
work made of pieces of cloth or leather of various colors or shapes sewed together, used especially for covering quilts, cushions, etc.
adjective
3.
resembling a patchwork, especially in being makeshift, irregular, or improvised:
a patchwork policy of dispensing foreign aid.
verb (used with object)
4.
to make as patchwork:
She specializes in patchworking skirts.
5.
to assemble or connect in making patchwork:
to patchwork neckties into bedspreads.
Origin
1685-1695
1685-95; patch1 + work
Related forms
patchworky, adjective
Synonyms
1. medley, jumble, mélange.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for patchworky

patchwork

/ˈpætʃˌwɜːk/
noun
1.
needlework done by sewing pieces of different materials together
2.
something, such as a theory, made up of various parts: a patchwork of cribbed ideas
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for patchworky

patchwork

n.

"work composed of patches," 1690s, from patch (n.1) + work (n.). As an adjective from 1713.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for patchworky

patchwork

the process of joining strips, squares, triangles, hexagons, or other shaped pieces of fabric (also called patches), by either hand or machine stitching, into square blocks or other units. It is one of the primary construction techniques of quilting and is often combined with applique. In constructing the quilt top the pieced blocks may be stitched together, alternated with blocks cut from a single fabric, or separated by long strips of fabric known as sashing. The blocks may be arranged in a wide variety of settings, including rotated 90 degrees "on point." Pieced or plain border strips are often added to complete the quilt top. In the crazy quilt the patches are of irregular size and shape; like crazy blocks, string-pieced blocks, formed of strips of fabric, are sewn to a fabric or paper foundation

Learn more about patchwork with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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