Quilting Trivia Quiz: Sew You Want to be a Quilter

Quilting Trivia Quiz

Are you a quilting novice or an experienced stitcher? Answer the questions (adapted from “Sew You Want to be a Quilter™” by Northwest)  below to determine your knowledge of quilting history, techniques, and patterns. (Also a fun guild meeting game!)

1. What is the generally accepted “lifespan” of cotton fabric (in years)?
a) 70
b) 80
c) 90
d) 100

2. What quilt pattern commemorates the founding of New Orleans in 1718?
a) Dresden Plate
b) Cathedral Window
c) LeMoyne Star
d) Drunkards Path

3. What is sometimes referred to as the “Perfect Portable?”
a) Janome SEW MINI
b) The Singer Featherweight
c) Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW
d) Singer 5400 Sew Mate

4. Flour and feed sacks featuring geometric or floral designs did not appear in America until what decade?
a) 1920s
b) 1930s
c) 1940s
d) 1950s

5. What was the first electric household appliance? (It was introduced at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.)
a) Flatiron
b) Electric scissors
c) Toaster
d) Blow-dryer

6. This slave woman made two “Bible Story” quilts—one is in the Smithsonian, the other in the Boston Fine Arts Museum.
a) Harriet Tubman
b) Harriet Powers
c) Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley
d) Gladys Ferner

7. What is the purpose of the “groove” on a needle?
a) Prevents poor/inconsistent thread tension
b) Reduces the chance of the needle breaking
c) Glides easily through fabric, minimizing the puncture size
d) Allows thread to lie close to the needle as it passes through the eye of the needle

8. The first cotton prints in America were made by John Hewson between 1778 and 1780—what were they called?
a) Solids
b) Prints
c) Calicoes
d) Rotaries

9. True or False: it is better to machine quilt on the bias first and then with the grain last?
a) True
b) False

10. The thimble is thought to have originated in what European country?
a) Holland
b) Spain
c) France
d) Ireland

11. Selvage runs parallel to what grain in fabric?
a) Warp (lengthwise)
b) Weft (crosswise)

12. Susan B. Anthony did what at a church quilting get-together in Cleveland?
a) Designed a coin with a quilt on it
b) Wrote the lyrics to a well-known quilting song
c) Declared quilting a national pass time
d) Gave her first speech about women’s suffrage

13. Does bobbin tension vary with the type of thread used?
a) Absolutely
b) Definitely not

14. Superstition: You should not quilt at all on what day of the week?
a) Monday
b) Friday
c) Saturday
d) Sunday

15. What is finger pressing?
a) Technique used in creating half-square triangles
b) Part of a sewing machine’s presser foot
c) Using your finger to press a seam quickly without an iron
d) Traditional stitch used in hand sewing

16. Polyester batting was first marketed in the United States in 1955 by what company?
a) Stearns & Foster (Mountain Mist)
b) Quilters Dream
c) Hobbs
d) Warm

17. When she wrote the book How to Make an American Quilt, how many years had Whitney Otto been a quilter?
a) 0
b) 2
c) 8
d) 24

18. In reference to quilting, what is meant by the term “loft?”
a) Batting “puffiness”
b) Puckering of fabric when quilting
c) Thread count in quilters’ cotton
d) Another term for “quilt guild”

19. “Gunboat quilts” refer to what?
a) Old-time gangster themed quilts
b) Quilts made quickly (under a week)
c) Quilts made by southern women during the Civil War to raise funds to buy gunboats
d) A style of quilt made exclusively by men during WWII

20. Name a stitch typically found on a Victorian crazy quilt.
a) Feather stitch
b) Satin stitch
c) Outline or running stitch
d) All of the above



So, what level of quilter are you? Each correct answer is worth 1 point, incorrect answers are worth 0.

0-5 points: Novice quilter (the quilting world is your oyster!)
6-10 points: Confident beginner (keep up the good work—it only gets better!)
11-15 points: Intermediate quilter (you definitely know what you’re doing)
16-20 points: Expert quilter (you should be teaching us!)


1. d) 100 years

2. c) LeMoyne Star (named after the LeMoyne brothers who founded New Orleans.)

3. b) The Singer Featherweight

4. b) 1930s

5. a) Flatiron

6. b) Harriet Powers (born a slave in Athens, Georgia, in 1837.)

7. d) Allows thread to lie close to the needle as it passes through the eye of the needle

8. c) Calicoes (originally “calico” derived from Calcutta, India, where hand-woven printed fabrics were made.)

9. b) False (quilt with the grain first to stabilize the quilt, then on the bias last, as it will stretch more.)

10. a) Holland (the Dutch are thought to have invented a bell-shaped thumb shield used by tailors and sailors.)

11. a) Warp (the lengthwise grain.)

12. d) Gave her first speech about women’s suffrage

13. a) Absolutely (each time you use a different type of thread, check the tension—keep a record for the future.)

14. d) Sunday

15. c) Using your finger to press a seam quickly without an iron

16. a) Stearns & Foster (Mountain Mist)

17. a) 0 (zero—she is a novelist, not a quilter.)

18. a) Batting “puffiness”

19. c) Quilts made by southern women during the Civil War to raise funds to buy gunboats

20. d) All of the above

Want to play another game? Make this free pattern—a game board!

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