Perfecting the Past - Nineteenth-Century Patterns


Four-Block Quilts

Woven Coverlets

Nineteenth-Century Patterns

Needlework Traditions

Colonial History

Inspiration: Nineteenth-Century Quilt Patterns

Quiltmakers and designers turned to old patterns for inspiration. However, quiltmakers’ use of colors, fabrics, and interpretation of historical designs varied according to individual tastes.

The quilts in this group show the variety of nineteenth-century appliquéd and pieced patterns from which quiltmakers drew inspiration. The Wreath of Roses quilt is updated with solid twentieth-century colors and stylized floral appliqué. The Star of Bethlehem quilt, a bold design favored by several generations of earlier quiltmakers, uses green and orange tints popular in the 1930s. The Feathered Star quilt, made at the turn of the twentieth century, does not differ markedly from early nineteenth-century design, but shows quilting and piecing skills admired in earlier quilts by Colonial Revival tastemakers.

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

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