A very old quilt with people

posted in: Documenting quilts | 0


To the best of my knowledge, I first saw a quilt that depicted a person in the early 1990’s. It was revolutionary to me. Just the idea! Finally I could combine my love of drawing people and portraits with my love of fabric. Since then, I’ve eagerly (greedily) looked for more quilts with people. I was thrilled when I stumbled over the Tristan Quilt, thanks to Pinterest. The picture above is just one panel! Here is the full quilt.


If you go to the Victoria and Albert Museum website (link above), they have a detail photo of each section of the quilt.

It is believed that this quilt was made between 1360 and 1400. It is linen with cotton batting, and it is stitched with brown and white linen thread.

Isn’t it amazing? There really is nothing new under the sun!

QuiltmakersDocumentation-smDon’t you wish you knew more about the maker? I would love to hear the inspiration and the story of how and why it was made. Now, just imagine — what if one of the quilts we made today lasted seven hundred years? What would those people know about us? It is so important to document your quilts while you can. I have a Quiltmaker’s Documentation form that you can download for free. Please take time to document your quilts, even if you don’t think they are “important.” Feel free to distribute the form to your friends and your guild. Someday, someone (maybe even you!) will be glad you took the time to write it all down.

(Yes, I checked V&A’s terms of use and it is permissible to share these images and the quilt’s story.)