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Colonial Quilting

“During Hard Times?”

Colonial quilting refers to the quilting during the colonial time period.

This is an era when settlers were trying to provide for their families in the harshest of living circumstances.

Quilting was sometimes necessary, but more frequently it was a luxury of the upper class.

We’ll cover these aspects as well as what happened to change the general public’s perception of history.


Women were responsible for maintaining the living environment as well as raising big families.  Larger families were needed for working the farm and such.

The daunting tasks that plagued wives and mothers made quilting more of a luxury.  However, there were times when quilting was necessary and not seen as extravagant.

Those times were when either family members out grew their clothes and it couldn’t be handed down, or when weather deemed it top priority.

It was vital that every bit of fabric be used and recycled when the material outlived its previous use.

This is when patchwork quilting in colonial times reared its interesting head.

Quilts were pieced together not by cutting out beautiful shapes to make intricate designs, but leftover pieces from clothing.  Anything that was whole was quilted. 

This created the quilts that had no true design to them.  These were used for everything from window coverings to bed quilts.  Sometimes that even included more clothing.


Have you seen quilts that belong to this era that have complex designs?

These are quilts that were made by women that had servants.  They could afford the materials and time to relax with this hobby.

It was a true luxury to sit by the fire and hand quilt a new work of art.


It wasn't until around 1840 that fabric specific for quilting was readily available for the masses.  The prices dropped enough to make it affordable for the majority of people.

This is when quilting really started to take off in popularity.

The creative outlet that American women craved was now at their hands.

The idea that this existed before the end of this time period is false.  The information that quilting was in every household was media propaganda brought to the public by the textile companies in the 1920’s and 30’s.  That’s when there was a boom in colonial style decor.

Quilts that were made in the mid-nineteenth century were published as being from the colonial time period.

This is still a hard image to erase from the general public as they still believe that those quilts were genuinely from the proper era.

Wrap Up

That’s the real information about colonial quilting.

Until next time.

Happy quilting,

Color Block Quilts

› Colonial Quilting
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