Saturday, February 26, 2022

Wool Quilts


Most of the pictures are from online auctions unless otherwise captioned.

It's still February around here---the reason people made wool quilts.

Nebraska Historical Society
Marie Tejkova Prokopek (1869-1940)

Here are some favorites from the files made of the heavy
suiting wools widely available from about 1890-1950.

Some were made from samples.

Other sources: household sewing scraps,
worn out clothing,
factory cutaways.

They can be rather austere and minimal:

Columbia Gorge Museum
Or monuments to late Victorian taste

when embroidered

Dated 1909
and/or appliqued.

Dated 1906

They're relatively easy to date: 
Wool fabrics (with cottons and some mixed fibers)
often embellished with simple embroidery or complex.
Sometimes quilted but usually tacked.

Tied wool crazy quilt dated 1890
They grew out of the wildly fashionable crazy quilt style with
wools substituting for earlier silks as silk became relatively more
expensive and hard to find with global politics.

Dated 1892

Dated 1899

I'd conservatively date these wool, tied pieces to after 1890.
In the 1880s there was plenty of silk available.

Dated 1942

People continued to make warm wool bedcovers into the 1950s.

Dated 1959
But the detail was a thing of the past.


  1. Thank you for sharing! These are beautiful quilts and so inspiring. Upcycling is so timely in today's world and once again proves timeless for sustainability and increasing supply costs.

  2. My first quilt was all wool. I upcycled old suits and skirts from thrift shops into 4-inch squares. It was tacked with wool yarn. Very warm! My son loved it.

  3. The last few nights have been in the 20's here in the PNW and I've pulled out my flannel backed corduroy quilt for an extra layer. I would have used a wool one if I had one.

  4. I inherited a Crazy Quilt from my grandmother but do not know when it was made nor by whom. It has shattered silks and wool, embroidery and a couple of dates, whose meaning is yet unknown.

  5. Oh and it is backed by cheatercloth in Mariners compass print.