Dating back to the late 1700s, early Americans began making quilts for both their utility and to add decoration to bedrooms and living rooms.  They were also often given as gifts.  Most early quilts were made as Wholecloth, which gave way to appliqué, medallion, and then tufted patchwork quilts.  We wanted to share some of our favorite designs from the late 1700s and 1800s.  

A Wholecloth Blue Resist Quilt made around 1780.  This is one of the earliest fully-preserved quilts we have from this period.  



This beautiful design was made by Elizabeth Welsh of Virginia around 1830.  It is a Medallion Quilt and is displayed at the Brooklyn Museum.  You can see that the stitching and patterning began to quickly evolve at the start of the 1800s.  


This Charlestown, MA quilt was made around 1837 and is displayed in the Concord Museum.  It is beautiful!  Hit "Next Page" to see the rest...

How beautiful.  This quilt is called a Mariner's Compass Quilt and was made around 1840 and is preserved and on display in the MFA Boston. 


This lovely Presentation Pattern quilt was made in the late 1840s and is displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

A Beautiful Star of Bethlehem Quilt made around 1850 in New York.  Displayed at the MFA Boston. 


A Courthouse Square quilt from Northern Illinois in 1849

This beautiful quilt was made by Kelsey Buck around 1870 and is displayed in the Honolulu Museum of Art


Bunch of Grapes quilt from Ohio around 1875.  Displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  

Toward the end of the 19th century, people begin experimenting with quilts that told stories through different blocks.  This 1898 quilt by Harriet Powers depicts various stories from the Bible.  


This beautiful quilt was made by the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania around 1890 and is on display at the Boston MFA.  

Hit the "Share" button below to pass on the story to friends...




See Next Story

Hear 'Em Again: The Top 10 Songs of the 1950s