Dating quilt fabric



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That scarcity led to uniquely American patchwork masterpieces. Each one a work of art created out of the scrap bag, these quilts were stitched of geometric pieces painstakingly cut from years of cast-off clothing and tired household linens. Only on occasion were these precious scraps teamed with new cloth.

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Techniques as well as tastes changed during this part of the 19th Century. Overblown chintzes and monochrome copperplate prints made way for tiny domestic calicoes, roller printed in a new range of hues made possible by the advent of colorfast synthetic dyes. The cramped quarters of prairie homesteads called for quilting on a smaller scale, so women turned to piecing and appliqueing lap-sized blocks rather than beginning with a quilt-sized piece of cloth. Applique quilts remained popular during these years, particularly in the more affluent East and South.

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But because they usually required new cloth to execute their careful color schemes, applique quilts often lack the earthy exuberance of the scrap-bag quilts from the same era. By the s the sewing machine had begun to lighten the daily sewing tasks of thousands of American women, but quilting itself remained primarily a manual task.

Practicality aside, quilting by machine would have put an end to the quilting bee--a social event that made pioneer life a little easier to bear. Hastily thrown up shanties along the westward trail made way for gingerbread mansions filled to the rafters with sumptuous furnishings and awash with a rainbow of brilliant colors. The quilts of the late s illustrate the extravagance of the Victorian age.

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Dating Fabrics - A Color Guide: 1800-1960

In fact, the quilts that most typify those years when Victoria last reigned in England are not really quilts at all, but thin parlor throws meant to thrill the eye--not warm the body. At home on the tabletops, sofa arms and piano backs of overstuffed parlors, these throws had neither quilting nor batting.

Pieced from the best silks, satins and velvets materials newly available to the growing middle class , the patchwork throws of this era are rich mosaics of color and texture. Fine quilting was no longer the skill of importance; proficiency in embroidery and the mastering of a multitude of stitch types was emphasized. Email to a Friend. Only registered users can write reviews. Please, log in or register. My Cart - Subtotal: Dating Fabrics - A Color Guide: Are you a fabric collector, quilt collector, appraiser, or antiques collector who needs to know specifics about fabrics or quilts?

A brief essay on dating quilts

Then this book is for you! It will help you identify, date, and recognize antique fabrics and their uses in quilts and clothing.


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  • Over 1, color fabric swatches are listed in this handy, easy-to-use reference guide. You'll be able to identify fabric dating from the pre era through the Second World War.

    Match your antique fabric by selecting a suspected time period and comparing colors and prints.

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