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]



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Recent News: Quilts

Source: Google News

Entertainment listings, July 31-Aug. 7, 2014
Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette, July 31st

"The Quilt Collection of Barbara Forbes Stover," ends July 31. Created in honor of the Vermilion County Museum's 32nd annual Midwest Heritage Quilt Show. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed ...Read more

Quilt Guild puts on a show
Nor'Wester, July 30th

Inder says the show had a section dedicated to vintage quilts, which included one whose pattern had been passed down for a century. "100 years ago, there was no such thing as a quilt pattern or anything," she said. "People just created their quilts and...Read more

Quilt show Oct. 10-11
Sand Mountain Reporter, July 30th

The Lakeside Quilters will host their regular quilt show on Oct. 10-11 at the Guntersville Recreation Center. The show will feature quilts made by Lakeside Quilter members and antique quilts loaned by members and their families. The show will also...Read more

North Shore Community Calendar
The Salem News, July 30th

Wenham: Quilt Design Fun, 1 to 3 p.m., Wenham Museum, 132 Main St. Enjoy the art inspired by the museum's quilt collection, then try designing a quilt design out of paper or fabric. All ages welcome. Included with museum admission; $10 adults, $6...Read more

Southeast Colorado Quilt Show comes to LA
Bent County Democrat, July 29th

Many people have vintage quilts which were handed down in their families and newer quilts which they have made. Organizers want to showcase them and share the stories individuals have to tell. The number of quilts which each individual can display is ...Read more

Heritage Festival to celebrate Campbell County's rich history
Lynchburg News and Advance, July 29th

Where: William Campbell Combined School and the adjacent Community Park, 474 William Campbell Drive in Naruna. Cost: $5 per person, free for anyone 10 years old or younger. Proceeds will benefit the development of the Community Park. For more ...Read more

History of an art form
Enid News & Eagle, July 27th

The center's quilt collection — rarely seen by guests — will be on display until Nov. 15. “A lot of these quilts probably won't be back out for another 15 or 20 years,” he said. “There's a number of quilts we have that we cannot exhibit, simply due...Read more

Vintage quilts needed for show
Montrose Daily Press, July 19th

The Ouray County Historical Society invites the community to lend heirloom quilts for display in the OCHS 2014 Quilt Show. This year's show, Aug. 26 through Oct. 10, is limited to quilts pieced or embroidered prior to 1960. The show is open to both...Read more