Signature quilt

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A signature quilt is a quilt that has multiple names signed, stamped, or embroidered on it.[1] While examples exist prior to 1800, the tradition was popularized in the 19th century often as a means of fundraising or given as keepsakes to people moving west.[2] They were also used to commemorate and document historical and communal events, or to indicate affiliations with organizations or groups.[3] They would rarely include signatures of famous people with one unusual specimen created by Adeline Harris Sears containing 350 signatures including those of eight U.S. Presidents.[4][5][6]

Quilt, Tumbling Blocks with Signatures pattern, containing 350 signatures by Adeline Harris Sears

Signature quilts are considered useful as primary source documents for genealogists and other researchers.[7][8]


  1. ^ Sikarskie, Amanda; MacDowell, Marsha; Alexander, Karen; Hornback, Nancy. "The Signature Quilt Project". The Quilt Index. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  2. ^ Bryant, Gilda. "Clues in the Quilting" (PDF). Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences". Department of Human Ecology Signature Quilt. University of Alberta. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Quilt, Tumbling Blocks with Signatures pattern". The Met: Browse The Collection. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Adeline Harris' masterpiece signature quilt". The History Blog. 8 March 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  6. ^ Peck, Amelia (1998). ""A Marvel of Woman's Ingenious and Intellectual Industry":The Adeline HarrisSearsAutograph Quilt" (PDF). Metropolitan Museum Journal. 33: 263–290. doi:10.2307/1513018. JSTOR 1513018. S2CID 193113619. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  7. ^ ""Signature Quilts and Genealogy"". Signature Quilt Pilot Project Wiki. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  8. ^ Walsh, Roxy. "The Signature Quilt. [Art Object]". Research Online. University of London. Retrieved 14 June 2018.