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Category: Historical Quilts

I love historical quilts and quilting. My favorites tend to be before 1820, with whole cloth being my all-time favorite type of quilt.

The American Colonial period still had much European influence due to trade and politics. Once the Colonies became the USA it seems that American quilters came up with patterns that reflected their own lives. We still do this – quilters creativity is amazing.

Quilts and quilting have been around for thousands of years. I have slowly been gathering together info on historical quilts. It is fascinating to me, and I am hoping to share of some of the research with my readers. I have found quilts all over the “old world” and as museums are really cataloging what is in their collections, they are finding all kinds of wonderful quilts.

My research covers time from about 100 BC to about 1820.

STRIP QUILT

STRIP QUILT

I started this strip quilt in 2019 as a project to use as a hand quilting demo. Finally, it is finished! Oh, happy dance! The Strip Quilt To read about how this quilt started, go here. The strip quilt took almost 4 years to complete. But in all fairness, it only got worked on a few hours a month over each year April through October. Then it was put away until the next year. After all, I had other quilts…

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MODERN VERSION OF A MEDIEVAL QUILTED GAMBESON

MODERN VERSION OF A MEDIEVAL QUILTED GAMBESON

At the Maiden’s event (SCA) in Champaign, IL a “knight” was gracious enough to talk to me about his quilted gambeson. He even allowed me to take a couple photos. This is a modern version of a medieval quilted gambeson. Thinking about making your own medieval quilted gambeson? The knight did his own research of what was used and how to do this project. He stated that it is mostly hand done and took him about 2 years to complete….

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MARTHA WASHINGTON QUILTS

MARTHA WASHINGTON QUILTS

This quilter is fascinated by historical quilts, especially those made 1820 and before. I have been researching historical quilts for many years. Quilts of Virginia 1607-1899 was purchases specifically because of the few historical quilts that were in it. Finding Martha Washington quilts in it was a bonus to me. However, the book contains many examples of quilts and quilting – especially the mid to late 1800’s. Yes, most of the quilts in this wonderful book are past the time…

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PATCHWORK FROM FINLAND

PATCHWORK FROM FINLAND

Sometimes as American quilters, we forget that other countries and cultures have their own quilting traditions. I found this article while looking through old quilting magazines. Historical quilts, especially those made before 1825, are very interesting to me. I thought it would be fun to share this patchwork from Finland with you. The article is “Humble Treasures” from Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine Dec. 1997 page 26 – 27. All four of the patchwork examples in the article are from the Eastern…

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QUILTERS’ GUILD OF THE BRITISH ISLES

QUILTERS’ GUILD OF THE BRITISH ISLES

For those readers who do not know me personally – I am a history nut. My favorite time period is 1400 to 1820. Lots went on across the world, including in textile production and quilting. I recently re-looked at the historic collection of quilts at the Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles and thought you might find some inspiration there. This quilt guild has a wonderful website with lots to explore. Allow time for poking around. This is not a…

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QUILTED CLOTHING IN THE VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM

QUILTED CLOTHING IN THE VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM

 The quilted clothing in the Victoria & Albert Museum collection in London, England has a wealth of historical items. Yes, there are more modern items than the three items here that pertain to the 1700’s women’s clothing. Petticoats: According to the information on this petticoat that is currently in storage, it was made in Great Britain between 1740-1770. It is made of silk, wool, and linen.   Petticoats were a normal part of woman’s clothing during at least the 18th century in Europe and…

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OLD-WORLD QUILT EXHIBITION

OLD-WORLD QUILT EXHIBITION

The Old-World Quilt Exhibition transports us to the 17th and 18th centuries. This was an age of growing global trade and cultural exchange. At this exhibition, you will view some of the earliest textiles from the International Quilt Museum’s collection. During this time in history, Europe’s desire for goods from unfamiliar, “exotic” cultures led to unprecedented growth in overseas trade. This desire (greed?) led to a boom in domestic manufacturing and fed a growing consumer mindset. The new production techniques and…

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ANOTHER INTERESTING TEXTILE BOOK

ANOTHER INTERESTING TEXTILE BOOK

 I am always on the lookout for interesting books on historical textiles and quilts. Many times, a book on historical women will have wonderful tidbits about textiles in their lives. And that is how I ended up finding another interesting textile book. I found this book after seeing an article about it in the DAR magazine “American Spirit S/O 2020” pg. 41-42. This book of 500 pages covers the importance of the textiles industry in the pre-Revolutionary America.   In this…

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