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The patchwork quilt was introduced to North America by colonists from the British Isles. The colonists had a longstanding tradition of whole cloth quilting, and in their new homes turned to piecing small scraps together in geometric patterns as part of a move to a thrifty way of life. Pieced-and-quilted textiles are made in many other places in the world such as northwest India, Pakistan and Central Asia, but the technique is most strongly associated with Canada and the United States.





Where was this textile created?

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The Bedroom

Patchwork quilt
North America: Canada
Early 20th century
Cotton and wool fabrics, pieced and quilted
176 cm x 150 cm
Gift of Max Allen
T04.20.1 Textile Museum of Canada



The “Feathered Star” pattern of this quilt is a variation of the Star motif that figures prominently in the patchwork quilt library of designs. The pattern is geometric, made only of triangular and rectangular patches, yet this seemingly restricted format allows almost endless inventiveness with shapes and colours. Here the quilter has limited herself to red and white, highlighting the clear beauty of the star pattern.

“The plan on which this life is built is somewhat like a patchwork quilt.” E. J. P. Pratt, The Anomaly, 1938






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