Coffin Quilts

Graveyard, or coffin quilt, mid-19th century, USA. Graveyard, or coffin quilt, mid-19th century, USA.

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.

Coffin quilts were used to cover the deceased during the viewing, to drape over a coffin during a funeral service and in some cases used to wrap the deceased in the grave. Coffin quilts were sometimes owned by the local church, others were family quilts. Sometimes coffin quilts were deliberately made to celebrate the life of the deceased and were especially made, for example, for a baby who had died during or shortly after it was born. They are sometimes known as Cemetery quilts or Graveyard quilts.

See also The Coffin Quilt

Digital sources:

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 30 June 2016).


Last modified on Tuesday, 24 January 2017 17:12
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