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

Events
Longview Daily News, April 30th

The Quilt Show and possible overflow vendors will be up the street in Pioneer Hall at 201 Morse St. The Ryderwood “Signature” quilt from the 1930s plus a newly acquired antique quilt will be on display as well as many others, some of which will be for...Read more

Hanging of the Quilts
Plainview Daily Herald, April 29th

It's one of 21 hanging quilts on display, with six antique quilts inside display cases at Unger Memorial Library at Ninth and Ash. Each May, the organization puts quilts on display throughout the library. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, May 2, club...Read more

Why “Electability” Is a Useless Argument Against Donald Trump
New Republic, April 29th

At the convention, Scranton sent an angry public letter to Goldwater that denounced him for his “whole crazy quilt collection of absurd and dangerous positions.” But Scranton, a moderate up-and-comer who was sometimes likened to a Republican version of ...Read more

Lathrop Sew & Sews 04/28/16
Clinton county leader, April 28th

Plans for the Quilt Show on July 16, in conjunction with the Friendship Festival, are progressing. There will be an additional class for judging – Modern – also a Youth category with recognition for participation and an Antique quilts (made before 1940...Read more

Rotary Antique Quilt Show opens Tuesday
Paducah Sun, April 16th

The Rotary Club of Paducah is gearing up for its 28th Annual Antique Quilt Show Tuesday through Saturday at the Robert Cherry Civic Center, 2701 Park Ave. Doors open Tuesday at 9 a.m., and the show runs through 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday...Read more

AccuQuilt Gallery Features Vintage Quilts
PR Web (press release), April 5th

AccuQuilt's new exhibit, Handi Quilter Vintage Made Modern, features a collection of vintage quilt tops that were originally purchased at auctions and then finished by Handi Quilter national educators. Using modern methods and techniques, the educators ...Read more

Folsom museum displays antique quilts, including some nearly lost
Sacramento Bee, April 1st

With needle and thread, quilt restorer Judi Fibush takes care of unfinished business. Combing through antique stores or eBay offerings, she finds remnants of other quilters' patchwork, often at a discount. She gravitates to colorful quilt tops that...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