Quilt History

Quilts and quilting, once seemingly on the way to oblivion, are today enjoying a virtual renaissance. Quilts have become not just quaint folk art, but art objects, found in major collections. It has been estimated that one in four American families has a quilter, and it is a multi-billion dollar business world-wide.

In doing the research for this article, I was continually amazed at how far back quilting goes, and in how many forms it has been used. I quickly realized that I could not hope to write a comprehensive history of the topic (even if I were an expert), as it includes so much material from so many times and places. (Or should that be sew much material...? Sorry!)

I also learned that no two fiber historians agree completely, if at all (much like historians in every specialty). Therefore, after sifting through reams of material, I have selected what seems to me to be the most accurate and logical information, then compared the sources with one another and with other historic sources.

I have also incorporated material that I learned from my own studies of history. The sources alone would be a volume, so I have listed just a handful of the most interesting, informative, and authoritative works and links.

This will be no more than a survey of the topic, covering some of the high points. I leave the deeper history to the real experts.  I hasten to add that I am hardly an expert myself - I am not even a quilter or fiber historian. However, my background and interests include history, so I do know something about how to research.

I also have some small knowledge of fabrics and periods due to my research in history, especially Celtic Studies, including Celtic dress at various periods. I must admit I found this project more interesting
than I had anticipated. Although I like quilts, and admire their craft and art, I am not as deeply involved with them as Lisa and her friends and clients. Still, I found the history and research process
very informative. I encourage readers with an historic interest, knowledge, or artifacts to write with corrections or suggestions.

(Note: The name of this business and site, Glen Quilts tm and glenquilts.com tm are trademarks and may not be used without permission. This site represents the result of many years of work and research. We have tried to be as accurate throughout as possible. Statements, quotes or any material other than Lisa's own reflect the views of those who made them. Neither the author nor this site assumes any responsibility for any errata made in good faith, nor for any of the views expressed other than our own. All photos, documents, text, and other materials are copyright, and they belong solely to the authors, photographers, etc., who retain all rights to the materials.  All material is copyright, and may not be used without express written permission of the owners or their heirs and assigns. All material used with the express permission of the owners. )