* * *Quilts are typically considered an American innovation, and while it is true that American woman have contributed much to the development of the craft, credit goes to English and Dutch colonists for bringing quilting to the New World. Prior to the 1700s, quilting was generally used to embellish and add warmth to garments, but was seldom used for bedding. Blankets were mostly woven, as yardage was costly, and any quilts that existed in the colonies were wholecloth and likely imported. These quilts were status symbols, indicating that the owner was either wealthy enough to buy a luxury item, or possessed enough leisure time to complete a quilt herself.
|Wholecloth quilt, circa 1600, Int’l Quilt Study Center & Museum|
|my block printed textiles, Surface I @ ACC|
|British copper plate printed textile, 1780-90s, V&A Museum|
|English roller printed textile, 1830, V&A Museum|