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]

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]

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]

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]

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]



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Recent News: Quilts

Source: Google News

Jennifer Trefelner: 'Big Bazaar' coming to Fort Pierce Saturday
TCPalm, February 12th

So whether you are shopping for gently used treasures, handmade products, local art, food products or you want to learn about the church's stained glass windows, view vintage quilts or watch distressed furniture come back to life, you will find it at...Read more

New exhibit explores quilt patterns through county resident
Ottawaherald.com, February 9th

21, Chris Campbell, owner of Chris' Corner Quilt Shop, 3593 U.S. 59, Ottawa, will share her own vintage quilt collection in her program, “If Only These Vintage Quilts Could Talk.” In addition, the public is invited to bring their own quilts in to be...Read more

Bee Art-Full! Honey of a Quilt Show 7
Centerville Daily Iowegian, February 7th

The show is bringing in quilt historian and avid quilter, Bonnie Dudley, of Promise City. Dudley is also an art quilter and needlework artist. Bring your heirloom quilts and vintage quilt finds to the show with you and Bonnie will talk to you about the...Read more

What to do in Oklahoma on Feb. 5, 2016: See 'Quilts and Color' before it ...
NewsOK.com, February 5th

"Quilts and Color" spotlights nearly 50 quilts with bold palettes and inventive designs from the acclaimed Pilgrim/Roy Quilt Collection. Influenced by 20th century art developments such as abstraction, optical art and the color field movement, Paul...Read more

Old-fashioned fun on tap in Ajo with fiddling contest, quilt show, 2/4-7
azcentral.com, February 3rd

The show will have more than 75 quilts, vendors, a quilt raffle and a bed turning, which Contreras said is a way of showing old or antique quilts to the public. “We have a table set up like a bed and layer the quilts and as we 'turn' them we describe...Read more

Stitches in Time: Antique quilts on display at Otis House tell tales
The New Orleans Advocate, January 19th

“Any time you mention vintage quilts, you will get a lot of people coming out,” said Lori Delouise, the interpretive ranger who guides the tours at Otis House. “Quilting today is catching on again. It's a new fad. It's one of those trendy things...Read more

Quilt collection to the rodeo: Great events for the weekend
kfor.com, January 15th

A special quilt collection, including some that are more than a century old, is on display on Oklahoma City Museum of Art. This weekend, you may also want to check out the Oklahoma City RV and Boat Show at the Cox Convention Center, the 3rd Friday...Read more

The Designer Making Vintage Quilts Look Modern
New York Magazine, January 5th

Kelsy Parkhouse never met her grandmother Connie, though "she became a mythical figure" of sorts through stories, the designer recalls. The two share a middle name, Carleen — which is also the name of Parkhouse's "modern nostalgia" label that keeps ...Read more