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Many of the quilts brought to the United States by European immigrants in the 18th and 19th centuries were wholecloth designs, which were made by filling two layers of fabric with tufts of wool and sewing the layers together with decorative stitching. The more familiar piecemeal quilts, which peaked in popularity in States after the Civil War, were made by stitching together geometric shapes of fabric in different colors to form repeating patterns (JAMA cover, November 17, 2004). A third type of quilt, known as appliqué, was made by cutting pieces of printed cloth into shapes and sewing the shapes on to a solid background.
Cole TB. Pictorial QuiltHarriet Powers . JAMA. 2014;312(19):1952-1953. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.279853