Quilts Around the World – Revisited

Sep 16, 2021 9:30:00 PM / by Erica Bottger


  • AccuQuilt released a special “AccuQuilt Live After Dark” event on September 16 at 8PM CST
  • Learn how to translate new antique quilts using GO! dies
  • Scroll to "Our Favorite IQM Antique Quilts" to view our favorite and step-outs

AccuQuilt on the Road: International Quilt Museum

Earlier this year Lynn, Pam, and I ventured out to the International Quilt Museum located on the East Campus of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.


We shared some of the amazing quilts that are part of their collection along with some behind-the-scenes information about the facility in a Tuesday AccuQuilt Live event, but we had even more that we wanted to share!

Quilts Revisited

We cooked up a special “AccuQuilt Live After Dark” event and Pam and I joined you on September 16 at 8PM CST to share even more fascinating quilts and stories from the museum with you.

We even included how to translate some of the antique quilts we saw into GO! dies.

These quilts were all part of the museum’s exhibit “Abstract Design in American Quilts at 50, which showcased quilts that were first displayed in New York City’s Whitney Museum of American Art in 1971.


with Carolyn


While Joe and Justin patiently manned the cameras, Lynn, Pam, and I were just this side of giddy at the opportunity to see these amazing quilts - all while being guided by the museum’s own Carolyn Ducey, Ph.D. who is the Ardis B. James Curator of Collections. She guided us through the entire exhibit, sharing her vast knowledge of the quilts with us as we happily followed along from quilt to quilt.

It didn’t take long for us to start working to translate all those amazing quilts into GO! Dies. Some were easy to figure out, some were more complicated. There’s even one that we are still working on in our “quilting heads”.

Who knows, it might just inspire us to design a new die!

Here are some of our favorite quilts from the collection with our translations.

Our Favorite IQM Antique Quilts

Rocky Road to California, Pennsylvania, 1930-1940

Rky Rd to CA

This quilt caught our eye immediately.

We fell in love with the color palette and the skill involved with cutting and sewing so many pieces so perfectly.

Taking a look at all the small squares, we decided it would be best to create the four and sixteen patch blocks using the GO! Strip Cutter 2” (1 ½” finished) to first cut strips, then sew together strip sets of one yellow and one light blue together.




Using the 90-degree guideline on the die, we fan folded the strip set back and for the over the die. We were careful to fold outside of the outer blades and used no more than six layers.

Once pressed to the dark side, these two patch units matched up for perfect four patches!


rocky block


We found the easiest way to make the sixteen patch block was by combining four of the four patch units.

What look liked Flying Geese in this quilt were actually half-square triangle units.

We made ours using the small half-square triangle (Shape #3) from the GO! Qube Mix & Match 12” Finished Block.

It took us a minute, and it worked just as we thought it would!


Double Irish Chain, Pennsylvania, 1850-1870

Dbl Irish


My personal favorite from the collection was this Double Irish Chain quilt.

Carolyn shared how it most likely had been folded for some time or laid on a bed so that the one section down the center had faded from the sunlight. She also talked about how blue and red fabrics generally have maintained their vibrant hues, while the greens are much more likely to have faded and changed over the years.

I found myself drawn to the asymmetrical color placement - wondering if the quilter’s vision was as interesting to her contemporaries as it was to me. Or if they simply thought she made a mistake, placing the blue and red sections as she did.

The tiny square involved with this quilt drew us to the GO! Strip Cutter 1 ½” (1” finished) for a strip assembly.

First, we referenced Barbara Brackman’s “Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, moving on to cut our strips and work on the layout.




By piecing different strip combinations together, it was simple to sub-cut them on the die to re-create this quilt in minutes - making us appreciate the hand-cut and sewn version even more.




I wonder what they would have thought about a GO! cutter and dies to ease the work?




I think it would have been a hit then, just like it is today!


Thousand Pyramids, Pennsylvania, 1880-1900

Thousand Pyr


This quilt captivated us as a great example of a charm quilt – one where no fabric is repeated! Quilters would often trade fabrics to allow provide them with the variety needed to make a quilt like this.




We decided to re-create the look using the GO! Equilateral Triangle, but we’ll need a lot more scraps from our friends to make a full charm quilt!

We decided that this die might be our new favorite for scrap-busting!


Kaleidoscope, Pennsylvania, 1900-1920



Recreating this project tested our quilting heads as we tried some different options. When we first looked at this quilt, we thought of the GO! Morning Star die, but we hadn’t allowed for the piecing involved.


Next, we tried using the Triangle in a Square Center from the GO! Companion Set – Angles, but found that the angle wasn’t correct, the block would not lay flat.




The third time was indeed a charm, using the GO! Isosceles Triangle with the small half-square triangle (Shape #5) from the GO! Qube Mix & Match 12” Finished block that makes a 3” finished square.

This worked like a charm!

We were able to recreate the block in a snap, creating the circular effect without sewing a single curve.




Do You Own Any Antique Quilts?

A huge thank you to the team at the International Quilt Museum for taking the time to share their wonderful exhibit with us.

We loved every minute of it, and encourage you to not only watch our special nighttime live event (if you haven't already). You can view it on our Facebook page (under the Live tab) or on our YouTube Channel.

Do you own any antique quilts? Have you ever worked to re-create an antique quilt? We would love to see and read all about it in the comments below!


Erica Bottger

Written by Erica Bottger