Perfecting the Past - Four-Block Quilts


Four-Block Quilts

Woven Coverlets

Nineteenth-Century Patterns

Needlework Traditions

Colonial History

Inspiration: Four-Block Quilts

Four-block quilts, a traditional style popular in quiltmaking between 1850 and 1900, often featured floral motifs, stars, or eagles. Quiltmakers repeated a single motif in each of the four distinct blocks to make the quilt surface. Most nineteenth-century quiltmakers used the popular red-and-green color scheme on a white background.

Both quilts in this group use the traditional layout of the four-block quilt, but the colors and design have been updated to meet modern trends. The English Rose variation incorporates a lighter green shade, yellow, and orange sateen fabrics, a scalloped border, and fanciful flowers and vines to show the maker’s modern and unique tastes. The Cherry Tree quilt, a modern quilt kit based on an old design, is an example of how professional designers and pattern companies standardized shapes.

Click images below to enlarge these quilts and read more information about the quilts included in the exhibit.

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