Quilt dating, quilt restoration ~ collecting quilts ~ quilt care
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Indigo blue and turkey red were very reliable dyes as they were made by the process for which the color was named. Certain patterns can help identify an antique quilt. Indigo dyed blues began to give way to simple blue vat dyes. One quilt was retrieved from the back of a dead mule!
Nile green, a type of pale green, was common on vintage quilts in the s through s. A lesser quality fabric and homespun which may or may not have been spun at home made an appearance, often on the backs of quilts.
However, the idea that all early quilts were made of worn clothing is a myth. It is often paired with white in prints. Generally, quilts were made by wealthier Americans on the Eastern Seaboard who had access to a tremendous variety of fabrics brought in by ship.
References 7 Collectors Weekly: It might be a medallion or a stripy style quilt. The applique quilts we now see with blue or tan leaves may have once been green. Turkey red was highly prized and is differentiated from madder red, a similar color made from the same plant, by its superior dye-making process.
Some quilt edges were finished with a fringe, particularly on the East Coast. Sometimes you would find quilts made of plain blocks such as a simple Ohio star or nine patch alternating quilt dating a plain block. I'm very glad to have found your blog.
Pinks and dark roses were also seen most likely made from a madder dyes. Indigo dye has a long history in the United States, and was used in quiltmaking from the eighteenth century onward.
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The picture below shows a Sunbonnet Sue made with feedsacks. I believe the earliest existing European quilts dating are a pair of whole cloth trapunto ones, telling the story of Tristan and Isolde dating from the early 's. Stripes and plaids were also used as well as textured fabrics, shirtings and lead-weighted silks.
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