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About This Quilt

This is a work-clothes quilt, also known as a “britches quilt,” which is typically made from reused denim overalls, trousers (britches), and cotton and flannel shirts. Looking closely at this quilt, we can identify seams, pockets, and various shades of blue where knees have left their mark. The light blues and grays testify to a life of physical labor. The soft hues also recall the environment in which the clothes were worn: clouded skies, dusty roads, and fields of crops. In this way, work-clothes quilts can be viewed as portraits of the people who wore the clothes as well as of the time and place in which they lived. They not only provide warmth, but also hold the memory of long days in the fields. The transformation of worn-out work clothes into objects of comfort and protection speaks to the strength of the human spirit to overcome hardship.

Let's Look!

  • What moods or feelings do these colors remind you of?
  • Where might you see colors like the ones in this quilt?
  • Why might someone make a quilt out of used clothes?

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