April 12, 2016

Vintage 1950s Fabrics

Every now and then, the most exciting thing about a quilt is on the back!  This collection of fabric prints and colors could be considered iconic of the era.

A 1950s string quilt came to me for repairs.  The back was also pieced, using rectangles of many sizes and shapes.  Some of the fabrics are totally iconic of the 1950s.

Here's the full shot of what I'm calling "The Liberace Print":

And another fun conversation print:

Here's a print that I find very mysterious.  Any one have a guess as to what these shapes are meant to be about?

I can imagine my mom making kitchen curtains with this one.

These two printed plaids and the little rows of colored dots are all about favorite color schemes of the 1950s, aren't they?  

These are two of the pieces of barkcloth on the back of the quilt.  This is a textured cotton that was very popular as a decorator fabric.

And here are two pieces that I include just because I like them.

The owner decided the quilt was too damaged to justify having the repairs made.  The back has about 5 worn out fabrics, but the top has at least 45 pieces in varying states of disrepair.  Patching the 20 or so worst pieces would lower the repair bill, but leave many fabrics ready to open up even more.

This is a plea for giving some thought to using family heirloom quilts.  The choice needs to be made between enjoying sleeping under an old quilt and the desire to keep it as an heirloom.  It's generally not possible to do both.  Old fabrics are weak and only get weaker as time goes on.  Sad but true.

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