One of the new kinds of quilts in the late 20th century and early 21st century are crossword puzzle quilts. Quilters use the puzzle layout to spell important words: family, together, memories, and the names of family members as well. Today I thought we would take a look at earlier versions of crossword puzzle quilts.
I can see why the crossword puzzles may have inspired quilters. Here's a common early 20th century lay-out:
Or this one:
The crossword puzzle was actually introduced into the states by a British journalist in the 1890s. By the 20th century, more newspapers adopted the word game. It's hard to figure out when exactly crossword puzzles patterns were created by quilters. This seems to be a movement that started from the ground up and was later imitated by pattern designers.
A 1925 Pittsburgh newspaper noted that this particular quilt predated the "crossword puzzle quilt pattern craze."
According to the paper, this quilt was made around 1920 and therefore was considered to predate the pattern fad. It must have been quite popular because jokes were even published about the quilts:
Here's a 1929 quilt from North Carolina:
I can see why the puzzles inspired quilters. I read that one woman in Kentucky saved boxes of the puzzles to use for quilt designs. We quilters find inspiration everywhere!
Have a safe and happy day!