African Quilts History and Symbolism

African Quilts History

This blog post will take a look at the hugely important and inspiring African quilts history. As many of you probably know, African Quilts are among the most colorful and intricately designed quilts in the world. They are a symbol of culture and tradition, as well as a reflection of the African people.

I’m a big fan of the African quilts, as they are made using various techniques, and have many stories to tell. The stories that these quilts tell are often difficult to understand but are fascinating to learn about. Let’s take a closer look at the different elements that make up what we know as the African quilts history.


African quilts can be made using various types of textiles and prints, ranging from colorful blocks to large patterns. These prints are bold and often represent an important cultural heritage. Don’t be afraid to experiment and mix and match different styles of African prints to create a unique look for your quilt.

African quilts often depict historical events and local history. After the Civil War, many women in the black community became domestics and worked on small farms. Their time was limited and it was often difficult for them to make quilts. Many women used scraps of fabric, old clothing, and feed sacks to make quilts. Some African Americans even made Bible quilts, depicting Christian stories. Some of these quilts were used as teaching tools.


Most African quilts feature vibrant colors and intricate designs. They are often made from many pieces of cloth and feature vertical stripes. Some quilts feature quilt patterns that are deliberately mixed. Georgia Patton’s “Memory Quilt” is a good example.

You can find a variety of images online and in books to use in your quilts. Some examples include the traditional Maasai with spear and shield, a round hut with a thatched roof, and a calabash. You can also create your own images using sketches or photographs. I find this to be one of the best ways of being inspired by the African quilts history.


It’s easy to understand that the African quilts history is an expansive one. The earliest African quilts dated back to the time of chattel slavery. They were created by African women in secret and used needle and thread as a visual language. Many of these quilts depict events and stories from the lives of the people who created them.

Today, quilt making traditions continue to be passed down through families. These traditional African quilts feature large, colorful shapes. They are made from a variety of fabrics. Traditionally, there was no regulated pattern for weaving in Africa, and the goal of the work was to produce a large fabric of separate weaves. Many tribes in Africa valued the ability to change patterns and designs as part of their identity.

Stories told in quilts

African American quilts have been called “fabric griots” and are a representation of West African history. These quilts are often characterized by their intricate designs, and are often attributed to slave mistresses. These women knew how to design finely detailed textiles, and passed these skills down to their descendants.

Quilts are an intimate form of storytelling. They often tell stories about a family member, a place, or an event. Many quilts contain personal stories and are displayed in museums and public collections nationwide. They often include vintage photos to tell the story.


African quilts often have distinctive color schemes that are reminiscent of their continent. These quilts rarely feature pastels or tone on tone fabrics, such as baby pink or sky blue. Instead, these quilts feature bright, African-dyed fabrics. These vibrant hues can be interpreted as a celebration of culture, power, and status.

African quilts history have been a part of African culture for centuries, and their rich designs and patterns have long been used to express the stories of their people. In the past, quilts were used for military protection and to mark escape routes. Women who were enslaved often used quilts as a way to express their artistic talents. Today, African-American women make quilts to showcase their own artistic talents, and many Ghanaians also do so with traditional African fabrics.


African quilts can convey a great deal of symbolism. The diamond pattern is a common motif. This geometric pattern represents cycles of life and the points of the diamond symbolize stages in a person’s life. Another common symbol is a protective script. This script may be in the native language or a symbolic representation, and it conveys power, intelligence, and knowledge. African quilts also served as a means of communication during the Underground Railroad. A Log Cab quilt, for example, marked the location of a safe house.

Symbolism in African quilts extends beyond color and design. Often, the number of patterns on a quilt correlates with the owner’s status. This is particularly true for priests and royalty. Many people believed that a quilt that contained several patterns would keep evil spirits away. This was because they believed that evil spirits traveled in straight lines and breaking patterns would confuse them. In addition, African quilts often incorporated European American patterns into their designs. Colors, asymmetry, and large shapes are other common features of African quilts.

What Are African Quilts?

African quilts are quilts based on African culture, stories and tradition. The African quilts often tell stories about groups of people, tribes, communities or families. They are often very colorful and a representation of the African continent.

Why Are Quilts Important To Black History?

African Quilts are important elements in the black history and culture. They tell stores of times that used to be and gives people an insight in their local tribes and communities. African Quilts can also tell stories of slavery, meaning they are an important history lesson as well as being beacons of a better future. More than anything they are a symbol of freedom, culture and community.

African Quilts History Video

In the video below you can see an insight into the stunning African quilts history exhibit at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg from 2018.

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