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Quilts in the Applachian Artifacts Collections

Twelve interesting Appalachian quilts documented by Student Curator Brittney Westbrook, 2005.

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 catalog records in Berea Digital and the Digital Library of Appalachia. Student Curatorial Associate Kathryn Dunn completed additional editing in 2015. 

Whole Cloth Quilt 1997.9.1

The quilt was made by Susannah Skidmore Day(1836-1924). Skidmore Day was born in Harlan County. Over the course of her life she lived in three counties: Harlan, Madison, and Garrard. The quilt may have been made while she lived in Harlan County. It is made from whole cloth strips, of a Linsey-Woolsey fabric, which were pieced together. This piece is considerably faded and worn, with several large holes. The quilt has forest green seam binding, which has almost completely worn off. The quilt work is of a shell design and has folded corners.

Dimensions: 84 x 78 in.

Brick-Style Patchwork Quilt 1996.16.1

This quilt was made by Emily Marcum Hensley prior to 1860. She was the great-grandmother of Mayme Hensley Shutt, an owner of the quilt. The Hensleys settled in Clay County, Kentucky, near the Red Bird River in the late 1700s. This quilt has patchwork rectangles with borders. The color scheme is of dark colors, with an emphasis on brown, green, navy blue, and grey. The first edging is folded with the second backing folded to the front with folded corners. The quilting is tacked with the first backing and then quilted upon with the second backing. The quilt has a well worn binding. It is unusual because its hand-woven backing has been backed twice.

Dimensions: 73 x 64 in.

Dresden Plate Quilt 1997.6.1

This is a machine-stiched pieced quilt top, made by Ann Martin. This quilt uses 12 large squares, each with the circular patchwork star which characterizes the Dresden Plate quilting pattern.  The featured colors are cream and pink. The varying prints used feature yellows, reds, blues, oranges, purples, greens, black, tans, and browns. There is little discoloration, though the quilt has some small stains, due to age.

Dimensions: 95 x 73 in.

Whole Cloth Linsey-Woolsey Quilt 1971.4.16

This quilt was made prior to 1875. This quilt belonged to the Samples family, a large family which had 11 children. The red Linsey-Woolsey fabric has been dyed with sumac and the batting was made out of sheep's wool. The edging is turned back self edging. The quilting was done with dark linen stitching in the "Sea Waves" or fan pattern. There are five stitches per inch. One side is unbound. This quilt is intact, however it is faded on the back side and has several holes.

Dimensions: 86 x 70 in.

Slashed Diagonal Patchwork Quilt 1996.4.3

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 patchwork. 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 uses 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 Quilt 1997.7.1

This quilt was made by Hannah Mary Cope before 1920 out of various fabrics including previous articles of clothing. The quilting is found 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 Quilt 1997.27.2

This whole cloth quilt was made between 1790 and 1830 out of cotton fabric. It's design consists of a stuffed paisleys encircled by a leaf pattern. Surrounded by a paisley design and shell motif. The outline quilting is stuffed with washed cotton. There 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.

Sixteen-Patch Postage Stamp Quilt 1995.3.2

This 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 on 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 Quilt 1997.8.1

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 Quilt 1997.27.1

This quilt top has hexagon shapes pieced together with no border and no edging. On the back there is a mosaic like paper back, in the shape of the hexagons; this paper is written on. 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

This is a pieced quilt made by Martha Lou Meek Holton and her daughter, Lelah Holton Keller, in Somerset or Pulaski County, Kentucky in the 1930s. The baby blocks are white and the six-pointed stars are blue with white polka dots. The artifact has hand quilting done around each object (also known as in the ditch) in white. Its seam binding is done in a navy blue store bought binding.

Dimensions: 75 1/2 x 87 in.

Wholecloth with Fancy Quilting Quilt 1997.27.3


This quilt is circa 1775-1850. It was 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 from 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. The backing is mustard yellow; the front it pale yellow. The binding is red. The quilting itself is very fancy and consists of overlapping ovals with a leaf design. It is damaged and is fading.

Dimensions: 8 x 43 1/2 in.