21 Ways to Decorate with Primitive Country Quilts


Let’s face it - quilts are just too beautiful to be stashed in a closet or chest when they’re not in use. Luckily, there are endless ways to bring your quilts out into the open and display them in every room in your home.

Folder quilts 

Having quilts on display is perfectly consistent with primitive country home décor. Primitive country decorating is all about creating a welcoming, cozy feeling that provides sense of warmth, permanence, and family. Quilts are an integral part of this decorating style because they convey all of the values of a simpler time when things were handcrafted and cherished for years.

Below please find 21 of our best ideas for displaying – and using! – your primitive country quilt collection.

1. Larger quilts make wonderful decorative tablecloths with farmhouse style primitive country kitchen and dining tables. Change the quilts with the seasons, or choose a cherished quilt to display permanently on seldom-used table.

Quilt as tablecloth

2. A primitive country quilt also makes a great alternative to a bed frame when used as a headboard. To hang, simply attach a sleeve to the upper edge of the quilt and use a drapery or quilting rod to anchor it to the wall.

3. If you have a pie safe, cupboard, or hutch you use in your kitchen area, drape a smaller quilt over a door and close the door most of the way to add a bit of color.

Hanging quilt over cupboard

4. Aside from the holidays, your staircase is probably bare the rest of the year, making it the perfect spot for a colorful primitive country quilt.

5. A quilted table runner is perfect for side tables, buffets, and dining tables. Make sure the end of the runner hangs down so that you can see the quilt’s lovely pattern.

6. Your quilt is a work of art, so why not treat it that way? The simple style of primitive country décor lends itself perfectly to a quilt installed on a bedroom of living room wall to be the focal point of the room.

7. During the holidays, use a mini quilt as a wreath to decorate your door. You can even decorate the hanging hook with grapevine and greenery for a festive holiday touch.

8. A lap quilt makes a beautiful bed runner and an invitation to curl up with a great book on the bed during a rare and cherished free afternoon. Contrast the colors with your bedding quilts for a cheerful look!

9. Create a lovely primitive country sewing vignette by displaying a mini quilt or single block on a small quilt stand alongside antique spools, balls of yarn, and other sewing artifacts you’ve collected through the years.

mini quilt display

10. Frame your fireplace and mantel by hanging a wall quilt in a similar size above it. The quilt provides the perfect backdrop for collections, artifacts, and photos.

Quilt above mantel

11. A folded quilt looks inviting and authentic when displayed partially draped out of a dresser drawer. It’s also handy when you need an extra blanket on a cold night.

12. Quilts make wonderful upholstery updates to plain couches that could use some color. Simply drape your quilt over a couch and tuck it into the cushions.

13. Frame vintage or unused quilting blocks in groups of matching frames and hang them in a grouping above a sofa or bed, or along a hallway. Be sure to use glass without glare, and mount the blocks onto mat boards.

14. Another great use for those quilt pieces is to turn them into chair cushions. These thin cushions are easy to make, with forms available at craft and fabric stores. Then add ties and go! Use your pattern matching skills to make reversible cushions, too!

15. Primitive country décor is at its best when items are repurposed. Look for ways to create a non-traditional quilt rack out of picket fence remnants, wooden baby changing tables, feed bunks, or sawhorses.

16. Create custom quilted sofa cushions by creating slipcovers or asking your upholsterer to attach quilting blocks to your sofa’s pattern pieces for a one-of-a-kind piece you’ll love for years.

17. Rolling or folding quilts and displaying them in bookcases either alone or as part of a display is a unique way to keep them eye level, front and center.

18. An antique ladder, the more worn the better, is the perfect primitive country quilt display for any room in the house. Hang the ladder horizontally, or lean it against the wall and then hang the quilts with an old pillowcase underneath to prevent staining.

Quilts displayed on a ladder

19. To use a small quilt as a wall hanging, create a rod pocket and run a dowel along the upper edge of the quilt’s back. At either end of the dowel, use a piece of ribbon or twine to make a hanger. Now it’s ready to hang from nails or brads secured to the wall.

20. For a cozy, colorful, country bathroom, use a quilt as a shower curtain. Backed by a stiff rubber liner, your quilt will be safe and sound, with both layers suspended by metal shower curtain hooks.

21. Create a rotating curtain display along walls, open door frames, closets, and pantries. Not only will your quilt hide unsightly clutter, changing the display is a snap when you use curtain clips to suspend it from the rod.

Living with your primitive country quilts is a pleasure that no member of the family, or guest, should be without. Use these tips to integrate your collection into every room of the house, and rotate them by season and as your decorating whims strike.

What's your favorite way to display quilts in your home? We'd love to hear from you! Enjoy those quilts and happy decorating and collecting!

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  • Jacki Alcorn
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