America's Quilting History

Quilting by the Fireside Myth - Quilt History Myths

MYTH #7 ~ Before electricity women typically quilted in the evening by the fireside.

It was and still is difficult to do fine stitching in poor light. Before modern lighting was available most quilting was done in the daylight, outside if possible. A good deal of quilting was done in the summer due to longer daylight hours. Farm women may have been too busy to quilt during planting and harvest time but they quilted when they could find the time in the lighter months. Sometimes the quilting frame was brought outdoors in good weather so the quilters could enjoy the good light.

More likely women worked on things like mending and knitting when the light was too poor to do careful hand stitching. Yet the quilting by the fireside myth persists along with the myth of Colonial quilting.

Hand Quilting History: Gathering Around the Frame
Learn more about the kinds of quilting frames used in the past.