October 16, 2017

Sweet Butterscotch Quilt

This quilt belongs to a friend of mine.  It's a late 19th century quilt.  I found the block in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  It's called New Album, published by Ladies Art Co., pattern #36 (LAC started publishing in the 1890s, and 36 is a fairly low number).

(Note: There is info on finding the book on Brackman's blog.  It's now available as an eBook.  It's an invaluable resource!  It's also available on paper via my favorite used book resource, AbeBooks.  I have no connection to AbeBooks.  So far, I have found their condition notes to be accurate.)

The quilt is a great collection of mid- to late 19th century prints and colors, including a great butterscotch yellow print in the alternate squares. 

Here's the back fabric. 

There were a couple of older repairs, which I, of course, found especially interesting.  These were done with a reverse appliqué sort of technique, which I like to use all the time.  The patch fabric looks like a very faded version of the original fabric.  I wonder what the story behind that is!

I turned to Barbara Brackman for information again, this time to her great fabric history book "Clues in the Calico".  In the 1800s yellows, dark yellows and yellow-oranges were dyed either with antimony or chrome.  When the dyes were printed in a tiny texture on white as in this fabric, the result is this softer color often called butterscotch.  Brackman says the butterscotch print style was popular from the 1840s to 1890s.

This is the kind of quilt that I always want to call a very quilt-y quilt.  It's the sort of quilt I imagine everyone has in their mind's eye when they first hear the words "old quilt."  It's straightforward, scrappy, and just plain cozy!

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