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]

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 Log Cabin Quilt Block Pattern Hand Stitched American Folk Art Nr #3 YqzVintage Beautiful Handmade Double Wedding Ring Quilt Top 80” X 80” Vintage Feedsack Prints Grandmothers Flower QuiltVintage Lone Star Pattern Hand Pieced Yellow & Red Quilt American Folk Art 4 YqzVintage Feedsack Grandmothers Flower Garden Quilt Great ConditionLovely Antique Hand Made & Signed Quilt Great Find From Southern Estate!Vintage Double Wedding Ring Quilt Top Full Twin ? Feed Sack Fabric Cutter Saver?Vintage 60" X 60" Quilt Pieced Quilt TopVintage Handmade Gorgeous Hexagon Star Quilt 72” X 86” Vintage Wedding Ring Feedsac Quilt Top - Hand-pieced - Beautiful!!Antique Hand Stitched Starburst Quilt3 Vintage Hand Made Cotton Quilts: Cathedral Window, Log Cabin, Wedding RingVintage Antique Silk Quilt Roses Bedspread Bed Cover Handmade Vintage Antique Assorted Shapes Pink & Multi-colored Quilt - 76" X 76"Vintage Nine Patch Block Pattern Hand Stitched Quilt American Folk Art Nr #1 YqzQuilt Handmade Gorgeous Vintage Yo-yo Quilt Coverlet 120 X 120Vintage Handmade Quilt Blue On CreamVintage Feedsac Quilt Top - Apple Core Pattern - All Hand-pieced!Early Antique Fabric Sampler Calico Quilt Top Rust/brown Civil WarVintage Omg Gorgeous Martha Washington Star Cross Stitch Quilt 79” X 93” Antique Vintage Maine Log Cabin Quilt~very Early~pre Civil War Vintage Mountain Mist Appliqued Quilt, Dancing Daffodils, Hand Made C. 1930Vintage Star Quilt Top Design ? Full Queen Or Even King 90" L 66" W Feed Sack ?Antique 1800s Cutter Quilt Primitive Brown Tan Prints Wonderful Fall CraftsVintage Handmade Nine Patch On Point Quilt 66” X 79"Vintage 1930's Feedsack Double Wedding Ring Quilt Piece - Repurpose - 31" X 39"Vtg. Cotton Hand Work Quilt Churn Dash/hole In The Barn Full/queen 75 By 75Vintage 75" X 75" Pink & Green Pieced Quilt TopAntique Heart In Hand Folk Art Quilted Pin Cushion Late 19th - 20th C No ReserveVintage Double Wedding Ring Quilt 76” X 84” Antique 1880s Hand Sewn Red Beige Black Calico Basket Quilt 80" X 90"Vintage Pattern Sample Quilt Made W/ Beautiful 100% Cotton Fabrics; 80" X 62"Vintage Feedsac Quilt Top - Star Pattern - Mostly Hand-pieced - Great Fabrics!16 Vintage Dresden Quilt Blocks-hand Appliqued-nice !Queen Vintage All Cotton Machine Sewn Philadelphia Pavement Quilt, Good !!Vintage Quilt Top, Hand Quilted, 62 X 82Vintage 1950's Hand Made Quilt 64x72Lot Of 28 Hand Sewn Cotton Vintage Sampler Quilt Blocks, Purple Butterfly FabricVintage Feedsack Pink With Cute Animals Feed Sack Feedsack Flour Sack Quilt Vintage 1930's Feedsack Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt Piece - 27" X 38"1920-40's Vintage Antique Patchwork Hnd Stitched Feedsack Wedding Ring Quilt TopVintage 1910's ~ 1930's Tumbling Quilt Top Star Calico Indigo Antique 20's 30'sVintage 85" X 85" Basket Pattern Quilt Pieced Quilt TopAntique~vintage~handmade~wool~crazy Quilt~78"x78"57 Vintage Antique Quilt Blocks Cotton Fabric Postage Stamp C1920s Era EstateVintage Handmade Crazy QuiltVintage Nine Patch In Nine Patch Handmade Quilt 66” X 74” Applique Mastiff Lap QuiltVintage 7 Sisters Pattern Quilt...civil War Pattern...seven Sisters Quilt...nr.Vintage Log Cabin ? Quilt Top 78" Long 51" Wide Feed Sack Fabric ? Full SizeAntique Quilt Top Blue Calico Fabric Handmade Textile Aafa Great ConditionVintage Grandmothers Flower Garden Quilt 72" X 90" Hand Stitched & Quilted LookAntique Early 1900's Dresden Plate Pattern Quilt Hand Sewn Lovely! Gorgeous Vintage Antique Yo-yo Quilt 83 X 86Gorgeous Antique Hand Stitched Cotton Durham Quilt - Pink & Gold RosesVintage All Cotton Texas Star Patchwork Quilt Top - Gorgeous! 102 In. X 102 In.Antique Hand Stitched Pieced Star QuiltAntique Quilt - Blue, Strong Pink & White Vintage Quilt Top, Hand Quilted, 59 X 78