Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

August 1995


Published in Great Plains Research 5:2 (Fall 1995). Copyright © 1995 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


This study of Nebraska-made quilts spans the years from the 1870s through the 1980s, which extends from the early settlement of the state through the recent farm crisis. The descriptive profile of Nebraska quilts that emerged highlights the many similarities of Nebraska-made quilts to other American quilts of the same periods. Analysis shows that Nebraska quilts reflected the technological, artistic, and social trends of the times and points to changes in popularity of quilt types and pieced and applique patterns over the years. Although distinctive quilt types, styles, and quilting practices were reported in other states, Nebraska quilts are notable for their conservative character, the absence of exceptional qualities, and their tendency to reliably reflect national trends in quiltmaking. Quantitative summaries and analyses of a state’s quilts can be important in the construction and rewriting of American textile history.