With their unique patterns, cozy textures, and beautiful craftsmanship, it’s no surprise that quilts have been household staples for hundreds of years. But while we may love quilts today for their time-honored aesthetic, in Colonial America they were purely utilitarian.
As early settlers were busy trying to survive and build a new life, every scrap of cloth was put to use for either clothing or items in the home. Blankets were often repaired with such scraps, which served as both filler and patches. As fabrics became more readily available and affordable, early Americans began adding artful elements to their quilts, including fanciful embroidery and elaborate patchwork.
Below, discover a few of our favorite ways to decorate with quilts, whether you’re incorporating a treasured family heirloom or a brand-new piece.
A pairing of patchwork and block-print quilts (such as those from Roller Rabbit) showcases the brilliance of the pattern-on-pattern approach. Photo by Lesley Unruh.
Pillows and quilts in varying patterns and colors feel perfectly mismatched in this eclectic space. Photo by Lesley Unruh.
In a bedroom of bold blue patterns, a white quilted coverlet provides restful simplicity. Photo by Nicole LaMotte.
Folded at the foot of the bed, a block-printed coverlet adds an extra dose of pattern to this global-inspired bedroom. Photo by Max Burkhalter.
A vintage quilt adorned with ribbon and flower motifs pulls together the sweet palette of this farmhouse bedroom. Photo by Lesley Unruh.
This quilt’s silky texture and sleek channeling give it a glamorous, modern look. Photo by Tony Vu.
A beautifully patterned quilt can be a refreshing alternative to framed artwork. Photo by Tony Vu.
A printed quilt adds yet another layer of pattern to this amazingly opulent space. Photo by Lesley Unruh.
A simple quilted coverlet brings a comfortable coziness to this suite’s palatial bed. Photo by Tony Vu.
Pastel hues, antique furniture, natural textures, and a classic quilt give this bedroom a charming Americana vibe. Photo by Tony Vu.