Hand Written Quilting Pattern circa 1840

I have an old hand written quilting pattern (circa 1840) and would like to find out more about it.


You are so lucky! To have a piece of quilting history like that!

Unfortunately, I am no quilt historian. However there are a couple of places you might wish to direct your question.

The first is the 'American Quilt Study Group' out of Lincoln, Nebraska. Their mission is to "...establish, sustain, and promote the highest standards for quilt-related studies."

For more information, visit their website at:


Or you can reach them by email at:


Also out of Lincoln, Nebraska, but a separate group is the 'International Quilt Study Center and & Museum'. Their mission is to "...collect, preserve, study, exhibit, and promote discovery...of quiltmaking traditions..." not from just America, but the world.

Their website is:


There is a 'Contact Us' form on their website.

Identifying Quilt Blocks

The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer
In her recent book, 'The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns', author, quilt artist and designer, Jinny Beyer, comments that very few printed quilt patterns exist before 1850. That would make your hand written pattern a treasure in my humble opinion!

If you are trying to identify the quilt blocks in your pattern, I'd be happy to help if you would be so kind as to upload a photo. Just use the form on the machine quilting forum page and I'll do my best to identify it.

Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman
If you'd prefer to tackle that yourself, then I would suggest either Jinny Beyer's book mentioned above or Barbara Brackman's 'Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns' as the place to start.

You may find Barbara's site (full of quilting history)...


...interesting as well.

I would personally love to see a copy of your pattern. I'm sure our readers would, too. Women's history is so very interesting and poorly told. These rare glimpses into their lives are fascinating.


Julie Baird

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