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I believe the earliest existing European quilts are a pair of whole cloth trapunto ones, telling the story of Tristan and Isolde dating from the early 1400's.The oldest quilts in the Smithsonian collection go back to about 1780.

Early 1800's quilts were usually large (120 X 120), and often whole cloth quilts, or quilts of whole panels, such as the Tree of Life. Sometimes you would find quilts made of plain blocks (such as a simple Ohio star or nine patch) alternating with a plain block.The maker was Elizabeth Belling Arundel, a member of one of the leading Catholic families of England, and the chasuble has remained in the possession of the Arundel family from that time.(Photograph by Jim Pascoe reproduced by kind permission of Lord Talbot of Malahide)." In colonial America, thread and needles were expensive.Sumac, birch, oak, woodshed in general and iron made black.Indigo blue and turkey red were very reliable dyes as they were made by the process for which the color was named.

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