Quilting crosses the oceanEmigrants brought quilting techniques with them to the “New World.” Typical quilts in those days were made of bits of old clothes or other cloth items, and they often took a long time to make by hand. The result was a widely varied mix of stitches, colors and shapes.
The oldest existing American quilt is called the Saltonstall Quilt and is dated to 1704. In those days, the paper pattern for the quilt was used as an intermediate layer. The reason we can date the Saltonstall Quilt so precisely is because the paper inside it was the local newspaper.
Trapunto is a special technique that produces a textured quilt. The patterns are often grapes, leaves, cherries and flowers. The technique originated in 16th century Italy. Today we can produce trapunto quilts by machine.
Detail from a Trapunto quilt by Hari Walner, USA.