We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Quilts?

Amy Pollick
Updated Feb 02, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

They pop up at craft shows and making them has seen a resurgence in popularity. What are they? Quilts! Quilts are the beautiful bed coverings we envy our grandmothers for. At their most basic, they are pieces of fabric sewn together into a whole, and sewn on to some kind of backing material with cotton batting in between.

However, quilts are as much art form as functional, and they have existed for hundreds of years. They began in the lower classes, as thrifty peasant women used scraps of leftover material or pieces of worn out shirts or dresses to make blankets for their families. Gradually, quilts evolved into beautiful handcrafts, and since they are so large and labor-intensive, making them became a social event - the quilting bee. Neighbors or family members would gather at each other's homes, sit around a large wooden quilting frame, and assemble the quilt. In this way, they accomplished necessary work and were able to socialize, as well.

Quilts may be functional or purely decorative. Smaller quilts are often used as wall hangings, in the decorative sense, while a larger quilt may be neatly folded over an antique quilt rack to give a country "Americana" look to the room. Functional quilts are used in the same way as bedspreads. They make the bed look neat, and also provide warmth. They come in every size, from tiny ones for a baby's crib, all the way to large quilts that cover a California king-sized bed.

Whether functional or decorative, what makes quilts famous for their beauty is their patterns. Some of these patterns pre-date the American Revolutionary War. One popular pattern is the double wedding ring, the familiar series of interlocking circles. The log cabin pattern is a series of blocks, with rectangular strips of fabric sewn at right angles to each other to form squares. Small octagonal pieces sewn together in groups form the flower garden pattern, and a five-pointed, stylized leaf forms the maple leaf pattern. Diamond-shaped pieces sewn together can create the shooting star or lone star patterns. Some people prefer the arts and crafts look of the "crazy quilt," which is made of pieces of any scrap fabric sewn together in no particular pattern.

One specialized form of quilt emerged during the nineteenth century in America: the slave quilt. These quilts were functional as bed coverings, but also served another purpose: they gave directions that helped slaves escape north on the Underground Railroad. The quilts were sewn with various colors and symbols that represented the local roads, fields, plantations and streams. These quilts were on every plantation, hung on a clothesline or tree branch to give their messages. The orientation of the quilt as it hung changed the messages. These quilts also gave information about hiding places, food caches and safe houses to any who could read their language. They began appearing about 1835, when people from the north came to the plantations and taught the slaves how to make the quilts. The few slave quilts still in existence are in museums or are cherished family heirlooms.

Quilting classes are available in many community education programs, and books abound on the subject, teaching quilters techniques, as well as new patterns. Whether functional or decorative, quilts are beautiful pieces of art and windows into history and culture.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Amy Pollick
By Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at WiseGeek. With experience in various roles and numerous articles under her belt, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers across various platforms on topics of all levels of complexity.
Discussion Comments
Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at WiseGeek. With...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.