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QuiltRepair.com Expert Quilt Repair and Restoration Since 1960

Whether made by a distant relative or a Mother who took her time to make one with her daughter—the quilt has often been referred to as a comfort and has a significance of recapturing a spirit of long ago. Broadly speaking, anything made of two pieces of material with padding between, and held together with stitches is a quilt.

The quilt as we know it in America, was in the beginning a strictly utilitarian article, born of the necessity of providing warm covers for beds and hanging in doors and windows.

Understandably so—quilts are soft, quilts keep us warm, and the scent of a favorite quilt can even bring back favorable childhood memories. Quilts were born out of necessity, comfort us, and have grown to be appreciated today even as fine art. Quilts as heirlooms are passed down from generation to generation and sold daily throughout the world.

With a few exceptions, quilts have always been made by women. Alone or in groups, called quilting bees, they have been a part of the social fabric of everyday life both historically and into this century. Deborah Harding, a published author on the subject says, “There are almost as many quilt patterns and pattern names as there are quilts. They are passed down in families like recipes. In the hands of a dozen women, the same pattern can produce a dozen different results. A change in the number of patches, the angle at which they are placed, the combination of elements, or even the art of a curve creates a new design.”

The quilt or at the very least, the quilt pattern, has been rumored to have gotten its beginnings in places like Egypt or Asia thousands of years ago.

It is a known fact today that many traditional quilt patterns were made by slaves and are copies of tribal maps and scenes that appear in ancient African textiles. In 1835, shortly after Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, the Log Cabin Quilt became so popular it soon became a household name across the nation, until the Civil War broke and the popularity of the Log Cabin Quilt was replaced by the Crazy Quilt.

This and many other patchwork quilts have come to be accepted as museum-quality masterpieces throughout world.

-Deborah Harding, “America’s Glorious Quilts”

“Quilts, their traditions and transitions reflect the history of the country; they are the windows through which we see our ancestors. Quilt making is a living tradition that has flourished for centuries and grows in popularity every year. Although most of this needlework is unsigned, the anonymous women who created quilts have left an indelible imprint on our society. “

“Most families owned at least one quilt that was passed from generation to generation. Bedrooms were furnished with summer and winter quilts, as well as “best quilts”—usually appliqué—which were brought out only for company.”

After your quilt is restored now you’re worth your weight in gold;
To lie in state your only duty,
In pleasant ways your lot is cast
And to the world your tale is told.
To those who love your patterned beauty
You recreate the fragrant past.

-Carrie A. Hall

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