Although the technique of quilting existed throughout history quilted items have been discovered in Egyptian tombs, for example, and French knights used quilted jackets under their armor , quilts as we think of them didn’t start showing up on the American scene until just prior to I believe the earliest existing European quilts are a pair of whole cloth trapunto ones, telling the story of Tristan and Isolde dating from the early ‘s. The oldest quilts in the Smithsonian collection go back to about A side note from The Patchwork Pilgrimage :. In colonial America, thread and needles were expensive. Cotton was not readily available – the cotton gin was not invented until – and so the majority of fabrics used in clothing were linens, wools and silks.
Researching Quilt History
By this date, string quilts were becoming popular, yet another way for women to use smaller scraps of fabric in an artistic way. These are string stars, made.
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Eileen Jahnke Trestain. Dating Fabrics: A Color Guide. Barbara Brackman. EPM Publications, Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. In Print.
Dating Fabrics – A Color Guide: 1800-1960
Although few collectors can claim such expertise, most do enjoy knowing from whence their quilts came. According to Country Home magazine, even the novice collector will be able to place a wide number of quilts in their proper historical perspective by learning to recognize the most typical quilting styles of certain major epochs. During the years between the American Revolution and the beginning of the westward migration, bedcovers blossomed with cotton cutouts salvaged from leftover bits of expensive European chintz.
Using a method called broderie perse Persian embroidery , women carefully snipped around the bird-and-flower motifs of the imported chintzes and appliqued them on fields of plain domestic cloth to make the most of the patterned fabric available to them. Patchwork precursors of the pioneer quilts also were common, and many combined the patchwork and the broderie perse techniques.
Quilt tops that have not been quilted, “summer quilts” (with a backing but no quilt padding), identifying quilts. Dating Fabrics – two editions by Eileen Trestain.
Vintage and antique quilts serve as handsome decorating pieces, particularly in older or historical homes. If you’ve found or purchased a quilt, you may want to know when or where it was made. It’s tough to accurately date a quilt unless you’re an antiques appraiser, but by looking for a few clues, you can deduce its general age. Vintage quilts were made from the s to , while quilts deemed antique date back to years ago or more. A quilt made in the s or earlier is also considered antique.
Most antique and vintage quilts were made by hand with no help from a sewing machine. Look closely at the stitching throughout the whole quilt. If the stitches appear a bit unevenly spaced or different in size, the quilt was likely handmade. If the stitches are precisely uniform in size and spacing, the quilt was probably machine-stitched. Many antique quilts were made in odd sizes that don’t fit modern beds. Handmade quilts, particularly those from the 20th century, sometimes bear an identification tag on the bottom corner.
The cloth tag tells the name and location of the quilter, as well as the date of completion.
Dating quilts 1850-1900
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Eileen trestain dating fabrics
Temecula, CA. Thought I would post the Dates and Locations for you to join me. Discover the truth about fabric color in nineteenth century quilts and see some fantastic examples of true American Beauties.
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Participants of the quilt dating workshop pass around images of fabric design examples Sunday afternoon at Stuhr Museum. Workshop presenter Carol Elmore shows an example of a quilt that used English paper piecing method at Stuhr Museum during the quilt dating workshop Sunday afternoon. A successful exhibit at the Stuhr Museum came to an end Sunday with Carol Elmore presenting a quilt dating workshop at the museum.
The exhibit highlighted numerous textiles including quilts, blankets, flags, pennants and clothing.
History of quilting
One important part of appraising a quilt or any textile is accurate dating. Sometimes there is no doubt of the date, because the maker embriodered it onto the quilt or wrote it somewhereon the back in indelible ink. Sometimes a quilt was so obviously designed for a special occasions — such as the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago — that its date can be easily ascertained. Most of the quilts that are available for collecting were made in the 19th and 20th centuries, although it is possible to find an earlier treasure for sale or maybe even in your own attic.
America’s Printed Fabrics – 8 Reproduction Quilt Projects – Historic Notes & Photographs – Dating Your Quilts – Print on Demand Edition.
Hunting crazy an Easter egg mystery:. Who is MH? Very interesting! I love crazy quilts. Making them and studing others. Thanks for the info. I’m looking forward to your brief post.