Our Favorite Things: Quilt, c. 1790

By Christian Hernandez, Social Media Volunteer

Quilt, c. 1790, 1996.61. American Textile History Museum.


c. 1790

Making quilts is often associated with a past when electric heaters, insulated walls and television weren’t available but even though times have changed people are still quilting. Since the late 18th century when this quilt was made technology, like sewing machines, and materials, like polyester batting, have improved, but what has changed most are our reasons behind why we quilt and our tastes in designs. We no longer need quilts for protection from the cold and as a result people often create them as a form of art.

QR Code quilt by Sherry McConnell, exhibited in "Frugal & Fancy" at the Indiana State Museum.

This quilt has pieces, known as blocks, that alternate between a large solid square and four smaller squares. This pattern, combined with the mix of solid, striped and plaid fabrics reminds me of a pixilated image. I happen to love crafts that play with the idea of “old” and “new” technology such as this QR Code quilt, which can actually be read with a smartphone, exhibited at the Indiana State Museum. I chose to talk about this for my first post because I often find that in history “everything that’s old is new again.” While contemporary quilters are taking advantage of the medium by making pixel-quilts inspired by 8-bit video games is this really a new idea? Take a look at this Victorian postage stamp-style landscape quilt from 1880 and decide for yourself.

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