Quiltmaking and patchwork have been popular pastimes in the U.S. since the 1700s, and today quilts are highly collectible as works of folk art with historical significance (or just nice to look at). Antique quilts vary widely in design and materials, and can be hard to date definitively because they may have been assembled in phases from older quilts or blocks.

Made from a variety of materials, from elaborate fabrics to scraps of old clothing and sometimes even old feedsacks, quilts have both a functional and social significance. Groups of women often gathered to create quilts together, and the finished result was sometimes given as a gift for a special occasion (like a wedding) or as a symbol of friendship. Quilts can also document a family’s history as the pieces sewn together can come from baby blankets, old clothes, etc.

Antique quilts are typically categorized by style (broad classification) and pattern (of the individual blocks). Some notable styles include central motif, log cabin, album, circular, star, patriotic, thematic, representational, whole-cloth, charm, utility, signature, medallion, redwork, appliqué small block, applique 4-block, strippey, Colonial Revival, Amish and crazy quilts, among others.

Some notable patterns (of individual blocks) include Sunbonnet Sue, fan, log cabin, Rose of Sharon, 9-patch, Lone Star, Whig’s Defeat, Pot and Flowers, hole in the barn door, bowtie, and so on. There are some situations when the pattern (block) name was also used as the style name (this was common in the 20th century), such as Sunbonnet Sue, Grandmother’s Flower Garden, Dresden Plate and Double Wedding Ring.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Quilt Index

The Quilt Index

This collaborative project provides a visual index of almost 2,000 antique quilts across multiple museums and colle… [read review or visit site]

International Quilt Study Center

International Quilt Study Center

This University of Nebraska-Lincoln affiliated site showcases a spectacular collection of more than 3,500 quilts fr… [read review or visit site]

Antiquequiltdating.com

Antiquequiltdating.com

Though not an actual online dating site, the subject here is certainly love... of quilts. Kimberly Wulfert has put … [read review or visit site]

Sewing Machine Collector

Sewing Machine Collector

Geoff and Norma Dickens' reference site on vintage toy sewing machines from the late 1800s. Browse the images alpha… [read review or visit site]

American Folk Art Museum

American Folk Art Museum

The American Folk Art Museum's website showcases current and past exhibitions along with their permanent collection… [read review or visit site]

LACMA Luxury Textiles

LACMA Luxury Textiles

Textile collectors shouldn't miss this microsite from the LA County Museum of Art, a great reference on European an… [read review or visit site]

Sensibility Vintage Images

Sensibility Vintage Images

An extensive collection of photos and ephemera illustrating changing fashion styles from 1795 to 1959. Includes por… [read review or visit site]

Anonymous Works

Anonymous Works

This blog combines American primitive folk art, vintage vernacular photography, outsider art, and other interesting… [read review or visit site]

The Outsider Art Pages

The Outsider Art Pages

A modern look at folk and outsider art with a focus on what people are doing to keep these traditions alive. The si… [read review or visit site]

Folk Art in Bottles

Folk Art in Bottles

Whether you call them Bottle Whimseys, Whimsey Bottles, Puzzle Bottles, or Whimsies, this site showcases great folk… [read review or visit site]

Index of American Design

Index of American Design

The Index of American Design project (1935-1942) was an effort to catalog American decorative arts objects from the… [read review or visit site]

Stoveburner.com

Stoveburner.com

A stunning collection of 162 images of stoveburners, those corroded cast iron elements that power stoves, broilers,… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique 19th Century Tree Of Life Quilt 10 S.p.i.Vintage Crazy Quilt-quilt Top/ Block PiecesAntique Handmade Double Wedding Ring Quilt Colorful Feedsack Prints 98"x76" 9spiGorgeous Vintage Handmade Hand Pieced Wedding Ring Quilt 75" X 88" Unused VgcCa 1930 Patchwork Hand Quilted Polka Dot Quilt, No Reserve1800's Antique Calico Double Cinnamon Pink White Irish Chain Quilt 84" X 86" VncVintage Mid-1950s Baby / Child's Quilt - Handsewn / Embroidered Scenes Zoo ThemeFloral Applique Quilt Early 1900's Late 1800's Rob Peter To Pay Paul ~ Lemon Peel Hand Made Pieced Quilt 72" X 73" Vintage Bucilla Applique Quilt Kit No1320 Heavenly Roses 84" X 100"Late 1800's Antique Calico Double Pink Green Crown Of Thorns Quilt 74" X 76" VncAntique Handmade Hand Pieced Ohio Star Flying Geese Quilt 81" X 87" Antique / Vintage Handmade Hand Pieced Granny Square Quilt Blue Yellow 64"x74" Antique Quilt Top Re-purpose?restore?cutter Civil War Era Textile Treasure Vintage Large Patchwork Quilt Top In Excellent ConditionVintage Hand Sewn Feed Sack (?) Honeycomb (hexagon) Pattern Quilt Top, 78" X 73"Ca 1930 Patchwork Hand Quilted Star Quilt, No ReserveVintage 1930's Era Butterfly And Flower Quilt Kit To Applique And EmbroiderEarly 1900's Hand Pieced Sewn Triangles Flying Geese Quilt 10 Spi 77" X 87" Lovely Vintage 1950's Handmade Hand Sewn Pieced Wedding Ring Quilt 70" X 78"1938 Vintage Ocean Wave Quilt In Great ShapeVery Nice Vintage Handmade Hand Pieced Applique Quilt 78" X 92" Gorgeous Vintage-look French Chic And Shabby Scolloped Edged Boutis / Quilt-fab!Exquisite Hand Stitched Antique Blue And White Robbing Peter To Pay Paul QuiltVintage Antique Double Wedding Ring Quilt Top Feed Flour Sack King Size+ Handmade Vintage Patchwork Quilt €Vtg 20s/30s Hand-stitched Estate Hexagon Flower Quilt-orig Owner-ex Cond-nr!Antique 20s/30s Hand-stitched Estate Double Wedding Ring Quilt-orig Owner-ex-nr!Progress Vintage Kit Quilt--rhododendronSnow White Trapunto Wedding Day Anniversary Vintage Elegance Fleur De Lis QuiltKim's Klaus~handmade Santa Claus~horse Pull Toy~antique Quilt~vintage ChristmasHand Stitched Vintage Double Wedding Ring Quilt Top, 80 X 88, 1930's, I BelieveAntique Handmade Patchwork Quilt ~ Good Condition ~ Note AttachedCotton Antique Quilt 84x72 All Hand Done Vintage 1890 Early Browns/ Blue BackingBest Vintage Feedsack Quilt Fabric Red Flowers On Green 40s Flour Sack Material53 Vtg 1930-40s Wedding Ring Quilt Blocks Arches Cotton & Feedsack ~ Sweet ~Aunt Grace Spider Web Quilt Top/ Blocks Primitive ~ Black Face Sheep On Old Quilt Mini Pillow ~ Original Folk ArtHandsome Vintage 9 Patch Quilt Top 68" By 55"Rare Early Civil War Era 1850's Block Signed Hand Stitched Community Quilt -vaHuge 2sided Vtg Chic All Cotton Hand Stitches Floral Shabby Quilt Bedspread King 17 Vintage Crazy Quilt Blocks /pcs.Late 19th Century Pennsylvania Dutch Applique Quilt Delaware Documentation GcVintage Hand Stitched Grandmas Flower Garden Quilt Top - Feed Sack MaterialWonderful Vintage Butterfly Quilt Top Large 1930 1940 Old Feed Flour Sack Wonderful Vintage Flower Cone Quilt Top Large 1930 1940 Old Feed Flour Sack Graphic Antique Victorian Wool & Crazy Square Quilt Log Cabin Barn Raising Lot---aunt Grace Thimble Quilt Top/ Block Pieces Vintage Quilt Top In Star PatternCollectors Antique Handmade Quilt Ocean Wave Pattern Ca 1870 Boston MaVintage Quilt Circle Flower Wheel Design. 72" X 87"Double Wedding Ring Hand Stitched Vintage Quilt - ExcellentKit Quilt Top -- Vintage "pussywillow" Quilt For BabyVtg Chenille Bedspread Handmade Baby Lovey Security Blanket Quilt Rosebud MinkyVintage Handstitched Pieced Red & White QuiltLot--- Applique And Crazy Quilt Blocks/ Pieces--Lot---vintage Flower Garden Quilt Blocks/ Pieces--Vintage Patchwork Quilt Top - Bow Tie From Estate -70" By 70"Antique Patchwork Quilt Printed Fabrics + Template ~georgian Regency VictorianAntique 20s/30s Hand-stitched Estate 6-pointed Star Quilt-orig Owner-ex Cond-nr!

Recent News: Quilts

Source: Google News

Overfield Museum opens for season
Troy Daily News, April 18th

The museum annex across Mulberry Street from the tavern also houses an exhibit of early local artifacts, including antique quilts and art, furnishings, and a collection of nineteenth century books belonging to one of Troy's first doctors, Dr. Asa Coleman...Read more

Quilt Study Group coming to Lopez
Islands' Weekly, April 18th

quilts from Great Britain, France and North America from the collection of Kate and Mary Edgar of Michigan; a tour the Lopez Island Historical Society and its quilts; and a workshop on repairing vintage and antique quilts by Anne Dawson of Lopez...Read more

Oscar winner Jim Erickson is parting with his quilt collection
Toronto Star, April 17th

Standing on the freshly wrapped set for Lincoln a couple of years back, Jim Erickson had an epiphany. “I just sort of said to myself, 'I don't think I can do better than this. Maybe this is it,'” Erickson, a Canadian set decorator with a couple of...Read more

New exhibits coming to area museums this summer
Southeast Missourian, April 16th

Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum: "Celebration in Red and White," the red and white quilt collection of nationally recognized quilter and author Ann M. Hazelwood, will be on display throughout the month of April. From May through September, the ...Read more

Galleries & Museums: April 17-23
Bradenton Herald, April 16th

Hours: noon-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or by appointment. Information: 955-4390 or www.beverlyasmith.com. Bits and Pieces: 1303 13th Ave. W. Fabric by the yard, abstract acrylic paintings, fabric wall art and vintage quilts and gifts. Hours: 11 a.m...Read more

Quilts of Hawaiian heritage on display at local church
Anniston Star, April 16th

Pat Gardner and Terri Andrews look over an Hawaiian quilt collection that is on display at Church of the Covenant Presbyterian in Anniston. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star). slideshow. Although he spent just a decade of his life in Hawaii...Read more

Invest in quilts without leaving home or breaking the bank: Collector Bill ...
The Oregonian, April 11th

Everyone knows what a quilt is, but information about great, old quilts is often hard to find. One frequently asked question is how to buy antique and vintage quilts. You can't exactly drive over to the shopping mall and grab one off the rack, but...Read more

Historical Quilts Featured in Rotary's 2014 Antique Quilt Show
SurfKY News, March 31st

quilt historical PADUCAH, Ky. (3/31/14) — Antique quilts, Hoffman Challenge Winners, and sixteen merchant vendors will highlight the 26th Annual Rotary Club of Paducah's Antique Quilt Show held April 22-26 at the Robert Cherry Civic Center during ...Read more