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Quilts in the Appalachian Collections   Tags: appalachia, artifacts, material culture, quilts  

Twelve interesting Appalachian quilts documented by Student Curator Brittney Westbrook, 2005.
Last Updated: Aug 5, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Whole Cloth 1997.9.1

The quilt has a red base fabric with forest green binding.

The quilt is made by Susannah Skidmore. The quilt is believed to have been made while she lived in Harlan County. It is made from wholecloth strips that are pieced together. It is a Linsey-Woolsey. It is considerably worn, with several large holes and fabric that is very faded. The quilt has Seam Binding, which is very worn and almost completely worn off. The corners of this quilt are folded. The quilting is in a shell design.

Dimensions: 84 x 78 in.

Brick Style Patchwork 1996.16.1

The quilt is a patchwork like quilt with pieces cut in rectangles.

This quilt was made by Emily Marcum Hensley prior to 1860 in Clay County, Kentucky, near the Red Bird River. This quilt has patchwork rectangles with borders. The colors are dark, with an emphasis on brown, green, navy blue, and grey. The first edging is folded and the second backing is folded to the front. It has folded corners. The quilting is tacked (or tufted) with first backing and then quilted with second backing. The quilt has a well worn binding. It has hand-woven backing that has been backed twice.

Dimensions: 73 x 64 in.

Dresden Plate 1997.6.1

This quilt top has twelve large squares that form a circular patchwork design. The quilt also has a few small squares placed periodically. The quilt is pieced and appliquéd by machine.

This is a pieced quilt top, made by Ann Martin. Being a quilt top, it is unquilted. The colors featured are cream and pink. The prints used feature yellow, red, blue, orange, purple, green, black, tan, and brown. There is little discoloration and the quilt has small stains, due to age.

Dimensions: 95 x 73 in.

Whole Cloth Linsey-Woolsey 1971.4.16

The quilt is made up of two panels of cloth that have been sewn together to make a front and back.

This quilt was made prior to 1875. This quilt belonged to the Samples family. The red fabric has been dyed with sumac. The batting is made out of sheep's wool. The edging is self edging that has been turned back. The corners of this quilt are folded. The quilting has been done with dark linen stitching that has been done in the "Sea Waves" or fan pattern. There are five stitches per inch. One side is unbound. The quilt is faded on the back side and has several holes.

Dimensions: 86 x 70 in.

Slashed Diagonal Patchwork 1996.4.3

There are many variations of this pattern.

This is a pieced quilt top made by Nancy Texanna Smith Williams, Nancy Holloway's grandmother, in 1890 in Acworth, Georgia. It is hand-sewn with triangle pieces that are sewn together. The quilt has an abstract geometric pattern that is made by altering the direction and placement of both blocks and rows. Being a quilt top, it is not quilted. It features dark colors, especially blue, black, and purple. It is torn and worn around the edges, and also has a few holes. The quilt is very fragile and thin.

Dimensions: 71 x 67 in.

Patchwork 1997.7.1

The quilt is a combination of patched and plain triangular patterns.

This quilt was made by Hannah Mary Cope before 1920. The quilting is found around the object (also known as in the ditch). The colors are primarily off-white with pink and blue, however, other colors are seen. The quilt is bordered with a flower patterned material. The backside of the quilt is a solid off-white. It is intact with some areas of patches that are missing, which leaves the stuffing exposed.

Dimensions: 78 x 63 in.

Trapunto 1997.27.2

This quilt hs raised and stuffed patterns which resemble feathers, flowers, or bunches of grapes.

This is a whole cloth quilt that was made between 1790 and 1830. It has a stuffed paisley design in the center, encircled by a leaf pattern that is surrounded by another paisley motif edged with a shell motif. It is white. Its quilting is stuffed with outline quilting. The quilting is also channel quilting, with 8 stitches per inch. The edging is homemade seam binding. The corners are folded. It is intact, with a few small tears, several stains, and age discoloration.

Dimensions: 79 x 86 3/4 in.

16 Patch Postage Stamp 1995.3.2

This quilt has a whit border and qhite edging with various pieced colored squares.

This quilt is a Postage Stamp Blocks quilt made by Jan Pierson in the 20th century. It features bright yellows, reds, blues, and greens, solids and prints. The border is quilted in diagonal lines in white. The edging is homemade seam binding. The corners are folded in such a way that square corners are made. It is hand quilted along squares (also called in the ditch) and is quilted diagonally along the border. There are pencil markings still visible on the quilt. This quilt is in excellent condition. It was apparently never washed, due to visible stains.

Dimensions: 72 x 89 1/2 in.

Log Cabin Pattern 1997.8.1

This quilt is made up of multi-colored squares.

This quilt was made in Charleston, South Carolina in the 20th century. The quilting is found around each object (also called "in the ditch"). Mostly dark colors (brown, maroon, blue) with some white and yellow colors are featured among others. The back of the quilt is solid off-white. Some threads are coming undone.

Dimensions: 69 x 70 in.

Grandmother's Flower Garden 1997.27.1

The quilt has a mosaic paper-back in which the paper has been written on. The paper is made in the shape of hexagons in a flower like pattern.

This quilt top has hexagon shapes pieced together with no border and no edging. There are no corners. There is no quilting. It has various colors. It is very worn and fragile with holes in several places.

Dimensions: 56 x 53 3/4 in.

Babyblock with an Inner Star Pattern 2004.1.1

Six pointed stars and white hexagons form the pattern.

This is a pieced quilt made by Martha Lou Meek Holton and Lelah Holton Keller in Somerset or Pulaski County, Kentucky in the 1930s. The colors consist of blue with white polka-dots.

Dimensions: 75 1/2 x 87 in.

Wholecloth with Fancy Quilting 1997.27.3

The quilt is made from yellow fabric and has a red border. There are eight patches of various sizes made from the same material .

This quilt was made in the 19th century. This quilt has been cut down from a larger quilt. The quilt has one original corner and the front of the quilt has one original seam line. The border is made form the quilting design around the original corner and two sides of the quilt. The red seam binding was most likely added when quilt was cut down and patched. The corners are mitered. The border of the quilting is made up of overlapping ovals and a leaf design. The quilt has several large holes and is fading.

Dimensions: 8 x 43 1/2 in.

About This Guide

This guide is based on the Digital LIbrary of Appalachia quilt documentation project of 2005. Student Curatorial Associate Brittney Westbrook selected the quilts, compiled the information, and photographed the quilts.  Student Curatorial Associate Travis Rigg edited and produced this guide in 2013. These quilts also have full catalogue records in Berea Digital and the Digital Library of Appalachia.  

Collection Curator

The Appalachian Studies Artifacts Teaching Collection is under the care of the curator in the Appalachian Center.  For additional infomation, or to access the collection, contact the curator.  

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Christopher Miller
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Based in the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center,
Office: 859-985-3373
Also serving as Associate Director of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center
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