Friday, February 12, 2010

Identify Antique and Vintage Quilts Quilting Crafts

Can you Identify Antique and Vintage Quilts?

Can you tell new from old quilts? Quilting has been a frugal living project for women, primarily, for at least the past 200 years, and occasionally we see an old quilt on the market or at an antiques show.  Many of the quilts we see are NOT OLD, although the seller claims they are.  This usually occurs because the seller has not studied the quilt to determine the age.  There are some interesting ways to tell the difference in an old quilt and a new one.

One of the most common ways to tell old quilting is from the fabrics, since we did not have polyester blends until the 1960s.  Most of the quilts made in the first half of the Twentieth Century were made of cotton, many of feed sack prints or chintz flower prints. The colors of fabrics available for a quilt also tell the historical setting. 

Another way to tell an old quilt is to hold it to the light. If you see bumps or dark spots, check to see if these are cotton seeds. Old cotton batting was not smooth like we use today.

I grew up in West Virginia, the home of the Mountain Artisans, and grew up with quilts and quilting.  This is a fascinating fabric art form with a long history.  Hope you find it interesting, too.

See you soon, with a quilt block in my hand.


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