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]

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]

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]

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

Quilt Faire photos
Connectstoughton, April 24th

Nearly 200 quilts were on display at Christ Lutheran Church, including new and antique quilts, patriotic quilts that will be donated to the VA hospital, Relay for Life quilts and Lutheran World Relief quilts. The event also featured guest artists Judy...Read more

Falls Quilt Guild quilt show opens Friday
Great Falls Tribune, April 22nd

The quilts displayed at the show include newly made quilts and antique quilts. The queen sized raffle quilt is entitled “Stems of Joy” and will be displayed at the show. Falls Quilt Guild provides education and inspiration to quilters while doing...Read more

Pioneer remains to be reinterred
Platte County Record Times, April 22nd

The bones will be wrapped in vintage quilts donated by PCHS members and buried in custom-made boxes crafted by Dean Finnerty?s woodshop students at Wheatland High School The Platte County Historical Society, in cooperation with the Daughters of ...Read more

Falls Quilt Guild announces 'Art in Pieces' quilt show
KRTV Great Falls News, April 22nd

GREAT FALLS – The Falls Quilt Guild presents Art in Pieces - Quilt show 2015, its biennial quilt show, on April 24-26, 2015. 'Art in Pieces' will have more than 300 quilts in the general exhibit, a special display of antique quilts, and a special...Read more

Unraveling the mystery of the antique quilt
Martha's Vineyard Times, April 21st

The antique quilt is featured prominently on one wall, along with blown-up photos of the panels that include the quilters' names. Short bios of the women can be found on the adjacent wall, where visitors are invited to peek under little scraps of...Read more

Military medals inspire quilts: Northwest Quilters Show May 1-2
OregonLive.com, April 21st

The Latimer Quilt & Textile Center in Tillamook accept vintage quilts from owners who want the fabric cleaned, the pattern categorize and their piece of history preserved in a climate-controlled repository that houses quilts and textiles from the 1700s...Read more

Bessemer Women's Club vintage quilt, fashion show, tea party
Your Daily Globe.com, April 19th

A HAND-SPUN silk gown worn in 1928 by Nicole Hawkins maternal grandmother was one of the wedding dresses modeled at Saturday's vintage fashion show hosted by the Bessemer Women's Club Saturday. Modeling the gown was 2014 Bessemer ...Read more

AccuQuilt Welcomes the Hortense Beck Quilt Collection
Benzinga, April 17th

The AccuQuilt Gallery welcomes the Hortense Beck Quilt Collection, an exhibition of historical reproduction quilts. The collection is from the late Hortense Horton Beck (1920 - 2009), a woman who began sewing and quilting at the age of 60 after...Read more