Quilts, Counterpanes & Throws


A Selection from the National Collection

18th-Century Quilts The earliest extant quilts found thus far date from the 18th century.

Notable Quilting In many quilts, the stitching together of the layers was carried to a high art.

Pictorial Quilts Many outstanding pictorial designs were achieved in 19th-century American quilts by the effective use of a variety of techniques such as piecing, applique and embroidery.

Embrodiery and Quilts Following are quilts of the 18th to the early 20th century in which embroidery is an important part of the embellishment.

Patriotic Quilts National symbols such as stars, stripes, and eagles were used in American quilts throughout the 19th century.

Presentation, Album, and Special-Occasion Quilts Many outstanding quilts from the mid-19th century marked a special occasion. Some were composed of squares resembling the pages of a sketchbook, scrapbook, or family album; others were signed like the pages of an autograph album.

Appliqued Inscriptions Toward the middle of the 19th century, women began to inscribe their quilts with the moralistic and mournful themes they had recorded earlier in their schoolgirl samplers and embroidered pictures.

Crib Covers Quilts made for children in the 19th century were usually versions of those made for adults. shown are four 19th-century crib quilts, and a 20th-century example designed for a child.

Silk Quilts The making of silk quilts throughout the 19th century ended with a craze for elaborately embellished slumber throws called "crazy quilts," not for their popularity but for their irregularly-shaped pieces.

Amish Quilts Striking color combinations and meticulous workmanship characterize many of the quilts made by the Amish people of Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio.


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