America's Quilting History

Pioneer Quilting Myth - Quilt History Myths

MYTH #9 ~ Pioneer women pieced and quilted on their long journey west.

Rarely did a woman work on a quilt while migrating westward. Because everyone, including women and children, walked most of the way quiltmaking was pretty much impossible during the day. Even if one were traveling in the wagon the ride was too rough for fine sewing. In the evening the light was poor and knitting was preferred as it could be done with little light. There are a few examples of pioneer women piecing patches together for a quilt but this was uncommon. Pioneer Quilts, Comfort Through Hardship tells more about quilts and the Overland Trail.

Yet the pioneer quilting myth continues today even in reenactments of the journey on the overland trail.