The making of regular or coverlid quilts is done as follows:
When the patchwork is finished, it’s laid on a lining with layers of wool, polyester, or cotton batting between it and the lower lining. The patchwork or coverlid is basted on and then everything is fastened onto wooden frames ready for quilting. The frames are adjustable so that the workers can roll up the quilts until they reach the center.
The blue and white bedspreads woven by our ancestors are sought after as eagerly as patchwork quilts. While it’s considered more or less a revived skill, there are still weavers in the mountains of Kentucky, East Tennessee, Virginia and Louisiana, where weaving coverlids is still carried on just as it was in the olden days. It’s one of the oldest hand crafts, when you read about the Gauls in the Bronze age weaving, some of the identical designs are still seen in traditional American coverlids today.
It’s common knowledge that coverlid weaving was introduced into America by the Dutch. The Pennsylvania Dutch, who migrated to North Carolina have always carried on this interesting art. The French peasantry who settled in Arcadia, and finally found a home in Louisiana have kept this up as well as a number of artistic dress materials, dyed with home made dyes that are sold through Arts and Crafts centers. As each weaver tried to be original in their designs, they also liked to name each of them.
These woven coverlids were made of wool and cotton, the chain or warp usually being of white cotton, while the filing was half cotton and half wool. Invariably the wool was dyed with madder or indigo, these two colors in their various hues nearly always being used by the various weavers.