Womenfolk: The Art of Quilting

Quilts and Quiltmaking Yesterday and Today


quilting history, styles & myths

pattern history & free patterns

Often people think of the art quilt movement as something new. They assume that in the past most quilts were made out of necessity. This is far from the truth as women of all circumstances typically made their quilts to add beauty to their home. From the wife of a wealthy land owner creating a quilt of elegant applique to a pioneer woman sewing scraps together in her sod home, quilts could be a source of artistic expression.

The story of quilting in America begins with wholecloth and medallion quilts made by the few colonial women with the leisure time to make them. The heart of the story tells of the explosion of quiltmaking when manufactured fabric became plentiful and affordable around 1840. It concludes with the present popularity of making quilts.