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Showing 1-10 of 30 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 39 reviews
on June 4, 2007
As a history buff, Civil War reenactor, and (very) beginning quilter, I wanted a basic reference book to help me learn about quilting styles and techniques from the Colonial through Victorian periods. This book provides that information and much more. In simple yet evocative language the authors lead us through the development of American quilting and discuss how social, economic, and political circumstances affected how quilts were designed and constructed over the years.

This book is a fascinating glimpse into the past, tracing the evolution of our country through the stitches of quilting. The supplies and tools that were available at any given time, together with the imagination and ingenuity of women at each point in history, resulted in the emergence of new techniques and designs. It's amazing to page through this book and see how something as seemingly simple as a quilt block takes on a whole new meaning in the context of its time. For example, in the 1840s, a time of migration to the West: "As family and friends were uprooted and separated from one another, a great many women carried quilts composed of blocks with precious messages from those left behind, whom they would likely never see again."

Chapters include:

Fabrics - fiber production; weaving and dyeing; fabric printing; fabric designers

1750-1825 Preindustrial America - how the settling of the colonies related to trade and in particular the production of fabric; seaports; the role of women in the New World; quilt styles of the period including whole-cloth, medallion, and mosaic piecework

1825-1850 Rise of the Cult of Domesticity - how social and economic changes were reflected in the fabric arts; women working in the mills; friendship and album quilts

1850-1875 A Tranquil Nation is Ripped Apart - reform movements; effects of the Civil War; children's and dolls' quilts; new block designs; indigo and white designs; influence of the sewing machine

1875-1900 The Grand Epoch - prosperity in the centennial period; effect of availability of education; crazy quilts; log cabin quilts; decorative styles shown at the Centennial Exposition of 1876; Hawaiian quilts; mourning quilts; fundraising quilts

1900-1950 A New Century of Quiltmaking Begins - influences of the World Wars, Depression, and the New Deal; small piece "competitive" quilts; fairs and exhibitions; African-American women's quilting; Amish quilting; flour and feed sack quilting; 20th century quilting personalities

Additional resources include tips on dating and investigating antique quilts, how to conserve and maintain antique quilts, where to view antique quilts, and more.

'The American Quilt' has hundreds of beautiful color plates of quilts, quilt blocks, and textiles. This is a lovely and engrossing book for anyone interested in American history or women's history, as well as in quilting and other fabric arts. Highly recommended.
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on May 7, 2010
I LOVE this book. I've read every single word--studied every picture. It's been fascinating matching the history of American women to the evolution of the various styles of fabrics and quilts. I have a large collection of rather shabby but beloved quilts that span 170 years. After reading this book, I finally feel that I could arrange them all in a timeline format. I have little post-its sticking out from all edges of my book so I can continue to use it as a reference. If you have a passion for older quilts and an interest in understanding their importance you will enjoy reading this big, heavy book. If you're not a reader, the photographs alone will suffice.
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on July 31, 2017
If you're looking for quilt patterns, forget about it. It's more on the history of the fabric used in quilting than on quilting techniques or samples. The information is good though, if that's what you're looking for.
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on May 18, 2015
This book was exactly as advertised! It's a great book for any Quilter to understand the history behind these fabulous Quilts. I read the book in preparation for a week long "Camp" on the Baltimore Album Quilt and it was extremely helpful in u derstanding the nuances prior to attending the course. I highly recommend this book to anyone unfamiliar with the story of the Baltimore Album Quilt.
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on June 7, 2016
I read this book from cover to cover the first hour after I received it I loved it and I expect to be looking at it many more times is not a lot written about the early American quilter and so it was interesting to have some pages from their journals concerning their quilts lovely book
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on June 28, 2017
Beautiful book .
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on August 12, 2017
Beautiful photos. Interesting articles. Good range of subject matter. Only thing it didn't have was lists and descriptions of most used quilt patterns which I had hoped for..
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on January 11, 2014
This is the best, hands down, of any quilt book out there. I've used mine for years, recommended it to others, and purchased two for friends. I'd buy it again for myself if mine went missing. There's always something new to see, and new answers to old questions about quilts.
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on December 19, 2016
If you are into the quilting craft you must have this in your library. Nothing else to be said.
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on July 9, 2015
I don't know why I hadn't seen this book before. It is a treasure trove of beautiful pictures of older quilt. So many ideas and so much information. I loved reading it and will return to review it often.
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