America's Quilting History

Tour of America's Quilting Through Time

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Select the articles that interest you the most or begin your tour
with Colonial quilts then follow the tour links on each page.


knitting and sewing with no time to quilt


women quilting together and the quilt frames they used


block patterns shared woman to woman and published


from preparing for the journey to settling in the west


how quilting played a role in emancipation of the slaves


from exquisite quilts for fairs to functional cot coverings


from fine silk Crazy Quilts to ordinary pieced cottons


the renewed interest in quilting during the 20s and 30s


From World War II to the revival during the 1960s


America's quilt revival & the Whitney Museum exhibit

Quilting in early America was far different than it is now. Over the years methods changed from piecing and quilting being done by hand to the use of the sewing machine as it became available then a turn back to making quilts by hand and finally to the use of modern sewing and quilting machines. In the mid 1800s fabric became more affordable and new styles became popular.



Timeline of
Quilting History


Pieced Patchwork
1780 ~ present

Whole Cloth
1750 ~1850

Chintz Appliqué
1775 ~1865

Establishment of
US Textile Mills
1813 ~ 1840

Baltimore Album Style
1840 ~1900

Friendship Blocks
1840 ~ 1900s

Early Sewing Machines
1845 ~ 1855

Published Patterns
1855 - present

Civil War Quilting
1861 ~ 1865

Charm Quilts
1870 ~ 1950

Crazy Quilts
1880 ~ 1910

Establishment of Quilt Guilds
1920 ~ 1970

Feedsacks
1925 ~ 1940

Rotary Cutters
1979 ~ present


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