March 24, 2012

Amazing Stars, part 2

My previous post showed the repair work I did on a c. 1870 6-pointed star quilt.  In this post, I will share photos of this wonderful collection of vintage fabrics.

I think it's easy to assume that everything in the olden days was drab and pale, mostly brown, and nearly always calico.  At least that's the traditional way to costume TV dramas about the 1800s!  But this quilt lays all that to rest.  When you're looking at these photos, take note of the range of colors and the variety of prints.  Enjoy!

Here are a few fabrics that help date the quilt.  A dark yellow-orange dye, sometimes called cheddar, paired with indigo blue.

Another era marker - the double pink, or raspberry pink.  These were available in a huge variety of tiny prints.

Older style, chintz like prints.  

Prints with very fine detailing.  By the later 1800s, the prints became much chunkier.

Design elements against patterned backgrounds.  By the later part of the century, the backgrounds were more often white or solid colors.

Green was a difficult color for dyers.  At the time this quilt was made, it was done with an overdye of blue and yellow dyes.  Towards the end of the century, actual green dyes were developed, but they were terribly fugitive.  Today, many of those late 19th century green dyes have faded to a khaki tan.  So here is a good solid green, indicating the older overdye process.

And finally, this print.  I like to think of it as early op art, not at all your sweet little calico.  It was apparently pretty popular, and shows up fairly often.

Now, here's a really fun thing about this quilt.  In the midst of all these amazing printed fabrics, here is one star done in solids, and quilted with hearts and paisleys.  I looked and looked, but I'm pretty sure it's original and not a previous repair.

And now, just sit back, relax, and continue the tour of these wonderful fabrics, each star better than the one before.  I just couldn't stop taking pictures of them!

A great combo of browns and rusts.

Check out those polka dots!

And yes, those intense yellows are real.  The color is known as chrome yellow, named after the dye process.

This star has one of my repair patches in it.  Can you find it?

Nothing dull about this star!

I hope you have enjoyed your mini-vacation with this lovely quilt!

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