Getting Ready for the Edmonton Festival of Quilts


Part 13: Quilt styles and the New Brunswick block

In these series of blogs I have only focused on piecing blocks using rectangles, triangles and square as they were the most likely  type of quilting done my our settlers. There are in fact many styles of quilts and quilting depending on where you live in the world

Some of the styles popular in North America and Europe include:

1) Whole cloth quilts, counterpane, broderie perse (Persian embroidery) were styles popular styles popular in 1700- early 1800s.

2) Applique quilts made with cut shapes  stitched on to a whole cloth top. It was popular from the mid 1700’s and peaked around 1850.  These quilts were considered a show piece in the home. Only the wealthy with more leisure time could afford the expensive fabric.

3) The patchwork quilt was considered a “utility” quilt that leant itself well to using scraps. As living conditions improved and more materials became available these quilts became more elaborate.

4) Medallion quilt was an especially popular style of quilt in the early days of quilting (through the early 1800s). The central motif is typically surrounded by multiple boarders. The style was brought to America from Europe by the colonists and could use patchwork, applique, embroidery, either alone or in combination.

5) Star or Lone Star quilts were as the name suggests one large star pattern. Not for the faint of heart. It requires a high degree of skill as the single star was made up of hundreds or thousands of diamond shapes. Star quilts were poplar since the early 1800’s.

6) Crazy quilts became popular during the time of Queen Victoria. Silks and velvet scraps were often used along with ribbons, beads and elaborate embroidery.

7) Native American star, Seminole, Hawaiian, African, Amish and Baltimore album are all other easily recognizable styles the used colour or patterns in distinctive ways.

As they are still today, quilts were often made for fundraising, or as farewell gifts, comfort gifts for soldiers. They can convey political statements, be commemorative or even a means of documenting events and friendships.

Quilt styles that did not appear until the 1900s include the Double Wedding  in the 1930’s and Cathedral Windows .

Want to reproduce a vintage quilt. Check out

New Brunswick block

The 1st time I visited New Brunswick was in September of 2001  I booked a flight to NB.  I booked airfare to St John the afternoon after the towers fell and planes were grounded. I decided terrorist were not going to stop me from travelling.


One of the founding provinces to enter confederation in 1867, it was 1st visited by Jacques Cartier in 1534.There is a long history of conflict between the French and English in this area. Entire French speaking  communities forced to leave during the Acadian expulsion to the 13 colonies as is evident by the  Louisianan Cajun accent. Years later English Loyalist refugees from the American revolution sought refuge here. As a result this is the only province that is officially bilingual.


When I think of New Brunswick I think of lobsters and the odd flower pot formations in the Bay of Fundy. A tall ship is on their provincial flag but I have already used that symbol for Nova Scotia.  But mostly what I think of are the covered bridges. In fact the longest covered bright in the world. I couldn’t find a traditional bridge block but I thought a log cabin block with slight modifications would not be a cheat.



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