Patchwork and Quilting

Patchwork and Quilting

African-American quilts are a form of decorated soft furnishing made in the nineteenth century and later. The quilters often employ techniques such as appliqué and patchwork, with narrow bands of cloth sewn together in strips (string quilting), in strong, contrasting colours. 

An album quilt is a type of commemorative quilt, which is still popular among American quilters. It is also called an autograph quilt. This type of what is in fact a patchwork quilt started to appear around the 1840's in Baltimore, Maryland (USA), among Methodist women, who travelled from one religious service to another, sharing designs at the same time.

An American crazy quilt is a form of patchwork quilt, frequently lacking an inner batting, made of irregular shapes with no repeating motifs. Such quilts were often made of a mix of materials, for example, combining linsey-woolsey with calico or linen. Some authorities believe the crazy quilt’s roots lie in colonial America, when every scrap of fabric was utilized and re-used for as long as possible.

An Amish quilt is a style of quilt developed in Amish communities in the USA. The Amish (sometimes called the Pennsylvania Dutch), are a group of Anabaptist Christians whose ancestors immigrated into the USA in the early eighteenth century. They are now concentrated in eastern Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio (USA).

Autograph quilt is an American term for a type of commemorative quilt. These quilts come in two forms, friendship quilts and album quilts. Friendship quilts are informal, single pattern quilts; album quilts, or sampler album quilts, are regarded as being more formal in nature. In both cases, however, the characteristic feature of this type of quilt is the presence of numerous signatures of friends and family members.

Bargello quilts represent an American tradition, in which the 'flames' and other patterns associated with Florentine work (known in America as bargello work), are imitated by using either small squares or strips of cloth. 

Boutis quilts originate from along the southern coast of France, around Marseille. They are characterised by the stuffing (boutis in Provençal) being sandwiched between the two layers of the quilt in specific parts of the design. Boutis are regarded as a form of Provençal quilting, and they seem to have been made since the nineteenth century. The term boutis is nowadays often used for all forms of Provençal stuffed quilting.

A chestnut bud is a quilt pattern popular in North America, based on the buds from the chestnut tree (genus Castanea). There are a number of variations on this theme, all with the same name.

A coffin quilt is a type of North American quilt that seems to have been developed in the nineteenth century. In general, they are made out of dull coloured cloth with a simple design. They often have either a black border and/or a black central panel ('the cemetery'), as well as the name of the person who has died, which is included in the design.

Convict quilts are a form of patchwork quilt made in the nineteenth century by female convicts, often en route to Australia. One of the most famous examples of such an item is the Rajah quilt, which is linked to the British prison reformer Elizabeth Fry. The concept of convict quilts was revived in 2010 when the Victoria and Albert Museum commissioned a quilt from (male) prisoners in HMP Wandsworth.

Curved blocks refer to the rounded designs often used in patchwork and quilting. Examples of curved block designs tend to have imaginative names, such as the Double Wedding Ring; Drunkard's Path; Grandmother's Fan, or Robbing Peter to Pay Paul.

A friendship quilt is a form of single pattern quilt, usually made of several blocks with the same pattern. These blocks could be made quickly with each friend involved in the project, using fabric scraps available at home. In North America, a friendship quilt might be made as a gift upon a girl’s coming-of-age or marriage. Often the quilters sign their names on the block they made.

Gee's Bend quilts are a particular type of patchwork quilt noted for their striking colours, asymmetry and geometrical shapes. The quilts are produced by women living in Gee’s Bend and by the freedom quilting bee in nearby Rehoboth (Alabama, USA).

Grandmother’s flower garden is a quilt pattern that has been popular in the USA from the early nineteenth century and especially during the 1920's and 1930's. It is based on blocks of many (sometimes a thousand or more) small hexagons, often in bright pastel, repeating colours. The patchwork quilts are hence also known as hexagon quilts, or one-patch quilts, as only one shape is used throughout the design.

Hap is an American word, used especially in Pennsylvania, of Scottish/Northern English origin for a thick padded quilt. The word is common in those areas where Scottish and Northern English settlers lived in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They named the Pennsylvania counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland and Northumberland after northern English counties.

Page 1 of 3