Decorative and utilitarian textiles played an important role in rural upstate New York. Two hundred years ago many families relied on home production of clothing and other textiles. Itinerant weavers traveled the region making fine coverlets and tablecloths. By the end of the 19th century, more rural New Yorkers bought ready-made clothes and household goods. Yet some home textile production persisted. Quilting provided a social activity as well as an opportunity to make fine bed coverings throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.