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Types of Quilts

The Quilt Heritage Museum (QHM) has nearly 100 antique and contemporary quilts in the collection. QHM currently displays the collection through small exhibitions and trunk shows, but our vision is to have a permanent home for the quilts.

Antique Quilts

By our definition, an antique quilt is one made in 1949 or prior. The one here definitely qualifies as an antique.

Contemporary Quilts

Those quilts made after 1949 are considered contemporary. Just like their older counterparts, contemporary quilts vary widely in the methods of construction, embellishments, and many more aspects.

Contemporary Quilts & Related Items

Red, Green & White Quilt

This is an example of a red, green, and white quilt which was popular from 1830 through 1900. The early examples in this period were made of cut-out chintz motifs from the 1830's. Block-style album quilts became popular in the 1940's and the red, green, and white trend lent itself well to album quilts.

Embroidery on Quilts

Embroidery on quilts have appeared in many eras in America. Like many other popular techniques or styles, they were more popular in some periods than in others.

For example, in the mid-1840’s Baltimore Album quilts often included elements of fine hand-embroidery. Historians think many signature quilts were created specifically for family members who joined the Gold Rush or traveled the Oregon Trail. Some of the kit quilts of the 1920’s also included embroidery accents. Today, with high-tech sewing machines, entire blocks within quilts are being machine embroidered. So what is old is new again.

Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilts

Grandmother's Flower Garden is the pattern of this quilt. This quilt pattern first became popular in the 1920's and is still popular today. Because of the labor-intensive nature of the block construction we also find many unfinished quilts in this pattern.

Signature Quilts

Signature block quilts are related to a number of other historically popular quilt styles: friendship quilts, fundraiser quilts, commemorative quilts and album quilts. Early signatures were penned in inks, which sometimes ate through the fabric due to the ink content. Signatures were sometimes hand-embroidered. On large fundraiser blocks, sometimes one person with nice handwriting was designated to affix all the signatures of those contributing. Other signature quilts bear many types of signatures leading us to believe each person made their own signature on a block.

Log Cabin Quilts

Log cabin block quilts have been made since the 1840's, although many associate it with Abraham Lincoln's presidency. There are many ways to set this rather simplistic block to get a different result. However old, it is still used by quilters today--it's a classic!

Applique Quilts

Applique quilts have been part of American quilting from our beginning. Early applique typically involved fussy-cutting motifs from a theme fabric and hand applying it to a background fabric. Often embroidery, as seen in this example, were added for interest and detail.

Other Quilts

This landscape quilt features a winter scene of aspens, deer and a snow-shrouded barn.