quilthistorylogo.gif (6848 bytes)


Home Page


Join QHL  
Member Links  
Quilt Restoration  

Study Groups









Quilters Find a way to care


The Top Twenty (or so) books recommended by QHL members.  

Click here for more Quilt History books

A Maryland Album : Quiltmaking Traditions

Click on the title to order for $34.95

A Communion of the Spirits: African-American Quilters, Preservers, and Their Stories
by Roland L. Freeman; Hardcover
African American Quiltmaking in Michigan
by Marsha McDowell; Hardcover
A Piece Of My Soul: Quilts By Black Arkansans showcases more than seventy-five individual pieces of patchwork quilt art in full-color photography. Each is accompanied by Cuesta Benberry's informative commentary as she details the importance of quilting to black Arkansas and the extensive holdings of African American quilts in the Old State House Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas. Enthusiastically recommended reading for students of Black History, southern popular culture, and the needlecraft arts, A Piece Of My Soul explains the quilt's uses, materials, and construction, as well as what each piece featured says about the needlecraft artist and her beliefs.  Click on the title to order.
Carrie Hall Blocks Historical PatternsCarrie Hall Blocks  Over 800 Historical Patterns from the College of the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas  This is an excellent resource book for those interested in quilt history. The more than 800 blocks were made between 1900-1935. Both pieced and appliqued blocks are shown in color. The pattern section of more than 200 blocks range from easy level to difficult. The template section is very easy to use. Each block is shown in color and then in sections with all template numbers listed. All blocks in this section have been converted to more standard sizes and could be converted to other sizes with relative ease by any quilter. A fantastic book and a must for any quilter's personal library!  click on the title to order for $24.47, a 30% savings.  
Celebrating the Quilt: Twenty Quilts for Twenty Years
by Sally Schneider (Compiler); Hardcover
Classic Quilts
by Ruth McKendry; Paperback
Clues in the Calico
The system unveiled here for dating heirloom quilts is based upon five characteristics--fabric, style, color, technique, and pattern. In recounting the method's evolution, which involved the examination of 900 date-inscribed specimens, Brackman imparts a colorful history of quilt making. Best source for quilt history information. Details of textile technology, trends in style, along with elements of social history allow the reader to interpret handmade quilts. The quilt history researcher will return to this text time and time again. Click on the title to order for $29.96, a 30% savings.
Quilts and Quiltmakers:Quilts and Quiltmakers: Covering Connecticut

Click on the title to order.  
Dating Fabrics : A Color Guide 1800-1960(HB)    Improved before it was even released, this book now has 205 pages showing over 1,000 color swatches to help you recognize, identify and date vintage American fabrics as used in quilts and clothing.  This pocket size book (5 1/2" X 8 1/2) book is priced at $17.47 (30% off )
Elizabethan Treasures : The Hardwick Hall Textiles Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, England, houses a world-famous collection of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century textiles. The fact that these exquisite pillow covers, wall hangings, bedcovers, carpets, and upholsteries, many decorated with superb embroidery, have survived in such good condition is little short of miraculous.  In this first illustrated and scholarly account of the collection, Santina Levey places the textiles in their day to day context. Using ledgers and other archival material she describes the origins of the different types of textiles, whether purchased ready-made or put together and decorated by embroiderers, whose work is illustrated by stunning close-up details. Inventories, letters, and personal reminiscences are used to chart the later history of the house and the inevitable alterations that four hundred years of use wrought on the original furnishings. Complete with a glossary and bibliography, this is an invaluable source of information for anyone interested in Elizabethan textiles.  Click on the title to order for $24.50, a 30% savings. 
epq.gif (9889 bytes)An Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
This pattern identification book places at the quilter's fingertips illustrations and sources for over 4,000 pieced patterns. Developed by Barbara Brackman (who has been researching patterns for more than 20 years) this user-friendly book is great for identifying patterns in quilts and for furnishing inspiring possibilities for quiltmakers. Included are an extensive table of contents, an index, and a bibliography. $24.47
 Encyclopedia of Applique

Click on the title to order for $26.36, a 20% savings.

Enduring Grace: Quilts from the Shelburne Museum Collection
by Celia Y. Oliver; Paperback

The Everyday Life in America Series:

The Everyday Life seriesEveryday Life in Early America  In this clearly written volume, the author provides enlightening and colorful descriptions of early Colonial Americans and debunks many widely held assumptions about 17th century settlers.  Click here to order for  $10.40, a savings of 20% The Everyday Life seriesThe Reshaping of Everyday Life, 1790-1840 (Everyday Life in America)  The intimate facts of everyday life that defined what people were really like  Click here to order for $11.60, a 20% savings.  
The Expansion of Everyday Life, 1860-1876 A richly detailed, absorbing portrait of the daily life of Americans before, during, and after the Civil War   Click here to order for $12.00, a 20% savings.   The Everyday Life seriesVictorian America : Transformations in Everyday Life, 1876-1915.   A valuable and compelling portrait of the daily life of Americans during the Victorian era.  Click here to order for $12.00, a 20% savings.  
Everyday Life During the Civil War
This exceptional book will be applauded by writers, students, historians and casual readers alike. From soldiers and statesmen to farmers and firing lines, Everyday Life During the Civil War offers an in-depth exploration of this fascinating era. Using dozens of illustrations, timelines and maps, Michael J. Varhola illuminates the details of Northern and Southern economy; town and country living; food and the impact of war on diet; popular entertainment; clothing; military life; tools and weapons; slang and much more. Also includes a thorough appendix of resources, featuring books, websites, historic locations and living history organizations.  Click here to order for $13.59, a  20% savings. 
FABULOUS FEEDSACK QUILTS Collectors of vintage textiles highly prize feedsack fabrics and the quilts made from them. Colorful feedsacks are a special part of American textile history, representing an era when grain, seed, flour and other dry staples were packaged and sold in cloth sacks. In a classic example of recycling, feedsack fabrics were used in a variety of homesewn items such as quilts, tea towels, curtains and clothing. The editors of Traditional Quiltworks magazine have selected 14 delightful feedsack quilts.  Click on the title to order for $12.95
Family Ties: Old Quilt Patterns from New Cloth
by Nancilu Butler Burdick; Paperback
Florida Quilts
by Charlotte Allen Williams; Hardcover
For Purpose and Pleasure: Quilting Together in Nineteenth-Century America
by Sandi Fox; Paperback

Hidden in Plain ViewHidden in Plain View
When quiltmaker Ozella McDaniels told Jacqueline Tobin of her families rememberance of the Underground Railroad Quilt Code, it sparked Tobin to place the tale within the history of the Underground Railroad. Hidden in Plain View documents Tobin and Raymond Dobard's journey of discovery, linking Ozella's stories to other forms of hidden communication from history books, codes, and songs. Each quilt, which could be laid out to air without arousing suspicion, gave slaves directions for their escape. Ozella tells Tobin how quilt patterns like the wagon wheel, log cabin, and shoofly signaled slaves how and when to prepare for their journey. Stitching and knots created maps, showing slaves the way to safety.  Click on the title to order.  $19.25  

How to Compare and Value American Quilts (Miller's Treasure or Not) This book is a must-have for everyone even remotely interested in collecting antique quilts. There are over 60 styles or types of quilts are displayed 2 each on facing pages. One is a "best", the other only a "good" or a "better" in the style. All of the text tells you why one is more collectible than the other. The photos are clear but there are very few close-ups.  There is much good history, and information on caring for and displaying your quilts, and a list of where to see and/or buy quilts.  Click on the title to order for $17.46, a 30% savings.
North Carolina Quilts(PB)    $22.00 (20% off )
Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them 
First published in 1929, this record of the most picturesque of all American folk arts is an enduring contribution to the study of women's history. The 200 photographs and diagrams of the original book are supplemented in this third edition by eight pages of color plates and an introduction by Barbara Brackman.  Click on the title to order for $15.96, a 20% savings.
One Hundred and One Patchwork Patterns(PB)    This Dover reprint of the classic quilting book by Ruby McKim is one of the best quilting books ever written. The book describes 101 block patterns in both patchwork and applique as well as two embroidered blocks. Scattered among the patterns are eight short, well-written chapters describing how to piece, quilt and applique. Originally written in the late 1920's and early 1930's the instructions are as good as ever and Ms. McKim's writing clear and pleasant. This is an absolute steal at this price.  Order from Amazon for $5.35 (10% off )
Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 World's Fair/the Sears National Quilt Contest and Chicago's Century  A gorgeous collection of quilts created for the World's Fair Contest sponsored by Sears. It shows the diverse backgrounds of some of the quilters involved, the scandal surrounding the winning quilt, and what happened to some of those quilts.  Click on the title to order for $19.95.
Quilt Designs from the Thirties (Dover Needlework)
by Sara Nephew; Paperback
Quilt Treasures of Great Britain: The Heritage Search of the Quilters' Guild
by Janet Rae, Margaret Tucker, Dinah Travis; Hardcover
Quilted Gardens: Floral Quilts of the Nineteenth Century
by Ricky Clark; Paperback
Quilting a New Canon: Stitching Women's Words
by Uma Parameswaran (Editor); Paperback
Quilting Patterns from Native American Designs
by Joyce Mori; Paperback
Quiltmaking in America : Beyond the Myths
America's people and their material culture have always been extraordinarily diverse. Societal changes in America influenced quiltmakers and, as a result, are reflected in their quilts. Quiltmaking in America: Beyond the Myths edited by Laurel Horton, president of the board of directors of the American Quilt Study Group and editor of Uncoverings, chronicles the prosperity and the hardships of a growing nation through expression in quiltmaking.  Click on the title to order for $34.95

Quilts: Their Story and How to Make Them
Webster, Marie. A milestone in the history of quilting, this was the first quilt book, originally published in 1915. With wit and wisdom, it traces the origins of appliqu and quilting in the ancient world, in medieval Europe and in the pioneer days of America. Twenty-four of Marie Webster's own quilts are illustrated in color, with 60 additional black and white photos of historic quilts and needlework from the original edition, as well as photos from Marie Webster's family album. Rosalind Webster Perry has reprinted the text and photos, adding fond family insight into how Webster came to be both America's first quilt authority and an influential designer. We always enjoy a two-generation quilt, where a granddaughter finishes up a set of family blocks. Here we have a parallel in print. Rosalind Perry is to be congratulated on the care she has taken to carry on her grandmother's legacy.  Click on the title to order for $20.00 

Quilts from the Civil War: 10 Projects, Historical Notes, Diary Entries
by Barbara Brackman; Paperback
Quilts in America
by Patsy Orlofsky; Hardcover
Quilts in Community: Ohio's Traditions
by Ricky Clark, George W. Knepper, Ellice Ronsheim; Hardcover
Quilts of Provence: The Art and Craft of French Quiltmaking
by Kathryn Berenson; Hardcover
Quilts: A Living Tradition
by Robert Shaw; Hardcover
Quilts: An American Heritage
by Terri Zegart; Hardcover
Quilts: An American Legacy
by Mimi Dietrich; Paperback
Red & White : American Redwork Quilts & Patterns (Volumes 1 & 2)

 Redwork, a type of needlework popular during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, is once again the hottest trend in the quilting world. In this two-volume, heavily-illustrated work, best-selling author Deborah Harding traces pattern sources and design inspirations for antique quilts with original catalog offers and period advertisements to help collectors identify, date, and document their own quilts. Blocks on twenty antique quilts are analyzed in detail. In the accompanying pattern book, 100 actual-size patterns and detailed instructions enable readers to create their own redwork quilts and linens.  Click on the title to order for $27.96


Soft Covers for Hard Times Soft Covers for Hard Times.  Quiltmaking and the Great Depression.  During the Great Depression, a time of widespread poverty, women managed to produce some of America's most beautiful quilts. Soft Covers for Hard Times explores matters rural and city quiltmakers had in common. 70 lavish full-color illustrations.  $16.06.  
The Red Dyes : Cochineal, Madder, and Murex Purple : A World Tour of Textile Techniques  Most of the book is historical: the circumstances when each dye was first used, the recipes used and anecdotes.  The style is like listening to a lively lecture from the dye master. The author discusses different pattern methods and gives practical recipes and advice on how to use these ancient dyes. Appended at the end is a discussion of the chemistry of these dyes. Click on the title to order for $20.96.
Quilter's: The Women and Domestic Art 
Those forms of creativity dominated by women-weaving, potting, quilting-have long been called "crafts," as if to imply that women weren't capable of artistic inspiration. These domestic arts were, however, often the only artistic outlet historically available to women, and the skills were passed down from mother to daughter. Poignantly revealed here, through interviews with quilters all over the Southwest, is how these women gained inspiration for their art from their daily lives. The quilts aren't idle pictures to hang on the wall; they are alive as dynamic parts of everyday life, reflecting family, community and history $14.36
Textile DesignsTextile Designs : Two Hundred Years of European and American Patterns for Printed Fabrics Organized by Motif, Style, Color, Layout and Period.  1,823 Illustrations in Color.  The book is organized by motif, which adds greatly to the fun...The categories are deliciously specific. Celestials, confetti, coral and sea-weed, circuses, clowns and crescents are followed, a hundred or so pages later, by trees, trimmings, trompe-l'oeil and trophies. Without looking at the captions it is sometimes impossible to decide whether a print is from the 1850s or the 1950s; the book could easily turn into a rarified guessing-game."  $59.50 (30% off )
Textiles for Colonial Clothing; a workbook of swatches and information (First in a series)
 A workbook that contains a description of most types of fabric referred to in the 18th century, accompanied by a fabric sample of the cloth.  that is a hands-on approach to textiles used in colonial clothing. Click on the title to order for $29.95. 



Textiles for Clothing of the Early Republic, 1800-1850
(Second in a series)
This workbook of swatches and information is a hands-on guide with over 30 swatches of modern textiles that replicate 1800-1850 cloth. Included are sections on men's and women's fashions of the period, decade by decade, PLUS a chapter on the changes in textile manufacturing due to the Industrial Revolution.  Click on the title to order for $34.95
Treasures in the Trunk : Quilts of the Oregon Trail  Between 1840 and 1870, a quarter of a million Americans crossed the continent to Oregon and California in what was considered one of the great migrations of modern times. The hardships endured on the trail by the pioneer women and the overall history of the migration is vividly retold in Treasures in the Trunk: Quilts of the Oregon Trail by Mary Bywater Cross, a quilt researcher with specialized interest in women's history. "This is the kind of history that jumps right off the page."   Click on the title to order for $16.09, a 30% savings. 


West Virginia Quilts and Quiltmakers : Echoes from the Hills
The author recognizes quilts as historic documents and is most persuasive in explaining and using material culture methodology to prove this. Most of the quilts documented by the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search-even the oldest ones-were found near the places where they were made. Some quilt patterns were found only in discrete regions of West Virginia. Others (crazy quilts, for instance) continued to be made much later than was true in other states. Through extensive interviews with quiltmakers, the WVHQS learned of quilt pattern names and quilt-related language not found elsewhere. Through their oral interviews they also learned of a system of "barter economy" West Virginia quiltmakers used. Click on the title to order for $42.00, a 30% savings.
Gathered in Time: Utah Quilts and Their Makers, Settlement to 1950
by Kae Covington; Paperback

Glorious American Quilts: The Quilt Collection of the Museum of American Folk Art
by Museum of American Folk Art; Hardcover

Hearts and Hands: Women, Quilts, and American Society
by Elaine Hedges, Pat Ferrero, Julie Silber; Paperback

History from the Heart: Quilt Paths Across Illinois
by Rachel Kamm Elbert, E. Duane Elbert; Hardcover

Homage to Amanda: Two Hundred Years of American Quilts
by Edwin Binney, Gail Binney-Stiles; Paperback

Kansas Quilts & Quilters
by Barbara Brackman, Jennie A. Chinn, Gayle R. Davis; Hardcover

Kansas Quilts & Quilters
by Barbara Brackman, Jennie A. Chinn, Gayle R. Davis; Paperback

Legacy: The Story of Talula Gilbert Bottoms and Her Quilts
by Nancilu B. Burdick; Paperback

Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, 1836-1936 Vol 1
by Karoling Patterson Bresenhan; Paperback

Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, 1936-1986 Vol 2
by Karoling Patterson Bresenhan; Paperback

Montana Star Quilts
by Linda Parker; Paperback

Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers
by Ronald C. Naugle, Patricia Cox Crews; Paperback

New Jersey Quilts, 1777 to 1950: Contributions to an American Tradition
by Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey, Rachel Cochran; Paperback

No Time on My Hands
by Grace Snyder, Nellie S. Yost; Paperback

North Carolina Quilts
by Ruth Roberson, Ellen Fickling Eanes; Paperback

Northern Comfort: New England's Early Quilts 1780-1850
by Jack Larkin, Lynne Z. Bassett; Paperback

Old and New Quilt Patterns in the Southern Tradition
by Bets Ramsey; Paperback

Ontario's Heritage Quilts
by Marilyn Walker; Hardcover

Pieces of an American Quilt: Quilts, Patterns, Photos, & Behind the Scenes Stories from the Movie
by Patty McCormick; Paperback

Plain and Fancy: Vermont's People and Their Quilts as a Reflection of America
by Richard L. Cleveland; Paperback

Quiltmakers of Australia: Celebrating the Traditions
by Karen Fail; Paperback

Quiltmaking in America: Beyond the Myths
by Laurel Horton (Editor); Hardcover

Quiltworks Across Canada
by Gail P. Hunt; Hardcover

Remember Me: Women & Their Friendship Quilts
by Linda Otto Lipsett; Paperback

Roots, Feathers and Blooms: 4-Block Quilts, Their History and Patterns, Books I
by Linda Giesler Carlson; Paperback

Sampler Quilt Blocks from Native American Designs
by Joyce Mori; Paperback

Southern Quilts: Surviving Relics of the Civil War
by Bets Ramsey; Paperback

Stitching Stars: The Story Quilts of Harriet Powers (African-American Artists and Artisans) - Reading level: Ages 9-12
by Mary E. Lyons; Paperback

The American Quilt: A History of Cloth and Comfort 1750-1950
by Roderick Kiracofe; Hardcover

The Natural History of the Traditional Quilt
by John Forrest, Deborah Blincoe; Hardcover

The Olympic Games Quilts: America's Welcome to the World
by Quiltmakers of Georgia; Paperback

The Quilt-Block History of Pioneer Days: With Projects Kids Can Make - Reading level: Ages 4-8
by Mary Cobb; Paperback

The Quilts of Tennessee: Images of Domestic Life Prior to 1930
by Bets Ramsey, Merikay Waldvogel; Paperback

The Unbroken Thread: A History of Quiltmaking in the Catskills
by Steve Hoare; Paperback

To Honor and Comfort: Native Quilting Traditions
by Marsha MacDowell, C. Kurt Dewhurst; Paperback 

Click here for more Quilt History books