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By Kimberly Wulfert - May 2nd, Kimberly Wulfert is a quilt historian and collector whose website, www. Many antique quilt collectors think of themselves as caretakers of historical documents, made at the hands of the needlework sisterhood before them. Their quilts speak to them and tell their story through clues in the style, fabric, pattern, quilt stitches and sometimes stitched or inked words, names, cities or dates. The first time I went to an all antique quilt auction was in Southern California. One of those large Mid-western quilt dealer auction houses was holding an auction at a nearby hotel and I was very excited to go.

Jul 30,   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. However, unless there is a direct connection to the maker, the dating of quilts is not precise science. Quilt History is the site you should turn to first for information on our quilting heritage. The List discusses antique quilts, methods and fabrics used and the life and times of the women who made them. Archives are available on line. This site has links to a number of other historical sites for those who want to research quilt related topics. Then you have a name for it and an era! This helps you to tell others about it and look it up in books. You can see more quilts by style here and examples of my Antique Quilt Dating Guides by Style, and Kimberley Wulfert can be reached at: [email protected]

Of course there is always a disclaimer with any antique viewed on-line, but things can be overlooked in an antique shop as well. This means that a quilt with signatures and dates in the blocks, may actually have been joined together and quilted a generation later. It is easy to assume otherwise, but take care not to jump to conclusions.

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Provenance is not always reliable, even when given in good faith, or when written on an old scrap of paper attached to the quilt with a pin. A similar style is referred to as a One-Patch Hexagon and if each fabric piece is made from a different fabric, it would be a Charm Quilt. So names can change for a given style. Collectors tend to focus on a particular characteristic of whatever they collect, but talk to any quilt collector and they will tell you that if a quilt catches their eye and grabs their heart they will probably adopt it too.

These fold-out condensed charts will quickly point you to a good estimate of the era in which your quilt was made and describe the style so you can find it on the chart.

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. Sep 29,   Dating Fabrics: A Color Guide. Paducah, KY: American Quilters' Society, Barbara Brackman. America's Printed Fabrics C & T Publishing, Barbara Brackman. Clues in the Calico: A Guide to Identifying and Dating Antique Quilts. EPM Publications, Barbara Brackman. Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. In Print. Dating quilts with accuracy includes examination of many parts of the quilts, but the process starts with one value and goes from there. For me, the style is usually the vintage place I start. The style of a quilt and its pattern are not the same thing. As always, there are some quilts to this; very the block value name is also the name of the.

Then you have a name for it and an era! This helps you to tell others about it and look it up in books. You can see more quilts by style here www. Rare Civil War commemorative fabric, with and canons.

Strippey Style c.

Bethlehem top c. Elongated 9-patch blocks c. Ever popular indigo and white quilt, two-color style c. Let us know.

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Do you have any information on this or any suggestions where I can research this quilt? I would appreciate any help you may be able to give me.

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Sincerely, Victoria. I love to research my purchases. It appears to be fabric. I have not been able to find any detailed information on dating antique doll quilts.

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They are what I think is called primitive quilts, very old, maybe yrs,with coarse backing flour or feed sackspieced by hand, with cotton batting. They have not been washed anytime recently, have some staining and minor tears which are unrepaired. They were definitely made by relatives in Alabama.

Please help. We have a family made civil war commemorative needlepoint.

I believe it was made around for either the 20th anniversary of the end of the war, or perhaps for the 25th of the beginning either way, I would love any info you might be able to offer. It is all needlework except for some 3-d looking pieces the eagle and star portion of the medal. We have inherited quilts some 20th century some older from mother in laws estate. Family has chosen ones they wish to keep.

What is best way to sell the remaining quilts? It is very heavy, about crib size, but far to heavy to cover a baby. Any ideas? Joan Barry. I inherited a very old quilt passed down for generations but never used the last 30 years. Some of the finest quilts still extant from this period came from the families of soldier who retrieved them from encampments or purchased them from soldiers who were using them as if they were a common blanket.

One quilt was retrieved from the back of a dead mule!

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It was after the civil war that the scrap quilt became popular. Due to the inevitable shortages of war, quilts really were made of discarded clothing at that time. Silk prices had come down around due to trading with the orient and many women had at least one good silk dress.

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But it was not useful for the hard work and shortages of everyday living most were forced to endure. The silk quilts popular during this period were probably made more out of sentiment and a need to keep busy while the men folk were away. The scraps of silk dresses and mens wear recalled happier times of balls and parties.

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The sewing machine, which was really invented in the late 's as a tool to make shoes, was redesigned and patented by Elias Howe, Jr. Howe's rival, Isaac Singer, received a patent in for an improved sewing machine, later adding a foot treadle for hands-free operation and a carrying case that doubled as a stand. Singer's primary contribution to sewing machine history, however, was his marketing techniques. He was the Bill Gates of the 19th century.

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The installment plan, and a trade-in allowance, was his clever marketing plan to put a sewing machine the home of every American woman, and it did work! BySinger was sellingsewing machines a year. Godey's Lady's Book praised the sewing machine as "the queen of inventions," noting that "it will do all the drudgeries of sewing, thus leaving time for the perfecting of the beautiful in woman's handiwork.

A sewing machine was a status symbol, if a woman had one, she made sure to show it off.

Dating vintage quilts

Post civil war quilts took on more somber cts. Women lost their husbands and sons in the war, Queen Victoria lost her husband Prince Albert and strict mourning protocol was followed. Rich, deep, vivid colors became popular. This period marks the first of reliably colorfast synthetic dyes, making the fabrics of this period easier to wash as they wouldn't have to be redyed.

Stripes and plaids were also used as well as textured fabrics, shirtings and lead-weighted silks. 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. There was a veritable explosion of reasonably priced, colorfast cotton goods after the war as manufacturers which had geared up during the war sought reasons to keep up production. Wool quilts became more common, especially around the turn of the century.

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Quilts became more utilitarian - they were often tied rather than quilted. Applique was rare.

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If they were quilted, it was in large designs such as Baptist fans unless the quilt was being made as a "best" quilt. Mercerized thread, a thread treated to improve strength made its appearance in and began to be mass produced. The type and thickness of thread used to make a quilt is often a clue to its age. As life improved, women found themselves with more time to spend on needle arts.

Redwork became popular. Crazy quilts became a fad.

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These were quilts made of silk and satin and often carefully embellished with beads, embroidery, ribbons and hand painted blocks. The World exposition in Philadelphia had a pronounced influence on quilts.

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. However, unless there is a direct connection to the maker, the dating of quilts is not precise Thaichi. A forum for research and ideas about quilt history, the women, and textiles: - An educational site on antique quilts and their history, quilt historians, quilt news, quilt books. New Pathways Into Quilt History - Antique Quilts & Textile Dating. Mar 16, - Explore Julie Butler's board "Dating Old Fabric", followed by people on Pinterest. See more ideas about Fabric, Antique fabrics, Fabric book pins.

Many quilts, and embroidery designs began to show an oriental influence. The silks of that time period were often weighted with lead, to provide the rustle that the ladies loved so much.

The more lead the better, since silk was sold by the pound. Unfortunately, it is this lead that causes the deterioration we see in silk quilts today.

Chemical dyes also play a large factor in deterioration. The early 20th century saw prints getting lighter and cheerier. Absolutely no copies, reprints, use of photos or text are permitted for commercial or online use. One personal copy for study purposes is permitted.

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