The Beginnings of Signature Quilts: The 1840s
The practice of signing multiple names to quilts began in earnest in the 1840s. Quiltmakers worked on these signature quilts as a group, and signed in ink, stencil stamp, or embroidery, preserving a record of their friendship and time spent together. These quilts were often made for a young woman’s trousseau, and chintz was a popular fabric of choice in these earliest signature quilts. Many factors contributed to the development of the signature quilt at this particular time in American history, especially the sentimentality of the early Victorian period and the internal migration that was taking place within the United States at the time.