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Trend Alert: The Great American Patchwork Quilt Comeback—as Art, Clothing, and, Yes, Bedding


Trend Alert: The Great American Patchwork Quilt Comeback—as Art, Clothing, and, Yes, Bedding

February 19, 2021

The art of patching scraps into bed quilts is a revered American tradition. But for a time, much of that handiwork had taken on a quaint dustiness. No more. Vintage patchwork has been embraced by, of all unexpected corners of the world, men’s fashion as primo material for kaleidoscopic jackets at couture prices.

Patchwork quilted clothing had existed before, but Emily Bode, winner of the inaugural Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation in 2020 and the CFDA emerging designer of the year in 2019, is credited as the first to transform it into high fashion under her hugely influential label Bode. She’s now one of many: as the New York Times reported this week Men’s Wear Is on a Quilt Trip. Here at Remodelista, we’ve also been taking note of antique American quilts surfacing in fresh-looking rooms near and far: as art, upholstery, and, yes, also bedding.

Cutting up vintage handwork has understandably raised some alarms. Those who put old quilts to new uses say they only repurpose castoffs, often from thrift stores, and in doing so, give them new life. See what you think.

the apartment dk in copenhagen, tina  seidenfaden busck&#8\2\17;s gall 12
Above: The Apartment DK in Copenhagen, Tina  Seidenfaden Busck’s gallery designed as a residence, often showcases antique American quilts. This 1890s quilt hangs against Josef Frank Kloverblad Wallpaper from Svenskt Tenn.
the bode boutique at 58 hester street in nyc&#8\2\17;s chinatown was design 13
Above: The Bode boutique at 58 Hester Street in NYC’s Chinatown was designed by Green River Project, Emily Bode’s partner Aaron Aujla’s furniture and interiors firm currently also making a splash in the style world.
a bode patchwork quilted jacket from farfetch. mindful of resources, bode write 14
Above: A Bode Patchwork Quilted Jacket from Farfetch. Mindful of resources, Bode writes: “While the foundation of the brand is based around repurposing vintage textiles…select fabrics are replicated domestically and in India to preserve and recreate historic techniques.”
a wingback armchair with quilt upholstery at the apartment dk&#8\2\17;s off 15
Above: A wingback armchair with quilt upholstery at The Apartment DK’s offshoot, The Residence, in Copenhagen. For a tour, see A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That.
from time to time, textile gallery sharktooth of williamsburg dyes a stained ol 16
Above: From time to time, textile gallery Sharktooth of Williamsburg dyes a stained old quilt indigo to give it a new modern look, such as this example, a hexagonal pattern, a reader tells us, known as Grandmother’s Flower Garden. Read Sharktooth owner Kellen Tucker’s Tips on How to Clean Wool Blankets and How to Moth-Proof with Natural Deterrents.
san diego surfer and fashion designer tristan detwiler, \23, designs, stitches, 17
Above: San Diego surfer and fashion designer Tristan Detwiler, 23, designs, stitches, and models the Stan collection,  his of  line of patchwork jackets and work coats that just debuted its fall line at New York Fashion Week. The show was shot at Bumann Ranch in Encintas, CA—Detwiler is shown here (and in our featured image)  at the historic homestead with Dr. Claire McKarn’s, one of his mentors and models. The two are part of a quilting group and McKarn, a longtime collector, has supplied Detwiler with piles of her unwanted quilts. Photographs courtesy of Stan.

More quilt and patchwork inspiration:

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Frequently asked questions

What is American patchwork quilt?

American patchwork quilt is a traditional method of sewing quilts in which small pieces of cloth are sewn together to create intricate patterns and designs.

Where do American patchwork quilts come from?

American patchwork quilts have their roots in the early settlers of America who used scraps of cloth to create warm blankets and bed covers.

Why is American patchwork quilt trending?

American patchwork quilts have become popular again due to the growing interest in traditional crafts and the desire for handmade, heirloom-quality items.

What are the different types of American patchwork quilts?

There are many different types of American patchwork quilts, including log cabin, nine-patch, and star quilts, among others.

Where can I find American patchwork quilts for sale?

American patchwork quilts can be found for sale at a variety of sources, including craft fairs, online marketplaces, and specialty shops.

How do I care for my American patchwork quilt?

American patchwork quilts should be washed on a gentle cycle with mild detergent and hung or laid flat to dry in order to maintain their integrity and avoid damage.

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