Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fabric Dating Help, Please!

This is one of those multi-decade blocks that just has me wondering!

The corner triangles with that brown print, and the rectangles are definitely 30's era. The plaid? Undetermined.


It looks late 1800s to me...it's a green-y brown background with a grecian key design embelished with pink flowers. The texture of the fabric is a bit coarser than that of the 30's prints.

Anyone want to take a stab at dating this piece? I'd love to know more. It's a gorgeous little print!

((Click the pic to view it in biggie-size!))

There are no "reproductions" in this quilt. Even though some of these may have been copied and re-printed lately, this quilt top is OLD!


  1. I have no idea on this (I'm a newbie to vintage fabric). I agree - the fabrics are fun! I'm going to be getting some old quilting fabric from my grandma (she died when I was in high school, but my Grandfather kept most of her stuff so when my dad cleaned out his old house when Grandpa moved to a nursing home he found some of her old fabric) from who knows when. If you're decent at dating fabric, do you think you could help when it gets here? My mom just told me today so it'll be a few weeks, but I'm trying to get ready...I'm so excited!

  2. It is difficult when these multi-generational scrapbags come together in a quilt! I think you are right putting this "scrap" to the 1800's...best guess the last quarter. I have a couple of quilt tops from Massachusetts with similar prints in it.

    Very fun quilt...lots of fabric to looks at!

  3. ps...just looked at the photo again. I love the center fabric and the funky plaid...can someone reprint these please!

  4. I love that 3 of the 4 side plaids are pieced....she used every little scrap! Love it!

  5. without actually feeling the fabric and seeing it in person it is hard to date.

    IF the fabrics are actually vintage and that's the kicker...here goes my humble opinion:

    Inside square: 1880-90 (however I think I have a reproduction of this in my stash)

    Tan floral: 1920's (but it looks so good...reproduction?) flower is not outlined in color or black

    Brown Triangles: late 1930's/early 40's (again, this fabric has been reproduced of late)

    Teal plaid: 1940's-1950's I believe..

    I do dating for insurance companies...but it's so hard to tell without feeling the fabrics.

  6. Anonymous5:08 PM EST

    I think the centre is 1800's as I am sure I have seen a repro by Baum Textiles.
    The braun spot maybe 50's?

    have fun

  7. My guess would be late 1800's. I seems like brown/red/pink floral combo's were common then. Your could also ask *the* fabric expert, Barbara Brackman, through her blog:
    She answered an email question for a friend once.
    What an interesting mix of fabrics in that top!

  8. The center square looks early 1900, as in that period you had a lot of "japanese" motifs going round. Same applies to the stippling imho.
    Anyhow, looks very beautiful.

  9. I found a similar print in Textile Designs (by Meller & Elfers). P. 50, #5. Says it's French, c. 1880, roller-printed cotton. The comment is "Floral-Box Layout....This type of layout was more acceptable to nineteenth-century tastes."


  10. you might send a swatch to the museum of american textile history in lowell, i'm sure they would know...or even the new england quilt museum, they have extensive files on materials produced in that area

  11. I love that the quilter pieced the rectangular plaid patches when she didn't have a big enough piece of fabric. I can imagine that this was leftover material from making a shirt for her family or a housedress for herself, and she used what she had the best she could. That sort of humble frugality is so sweet.

  12. I love pumpkin pie, too! I love it so much that I make it with no crust and skim evaporated milk, to cut the calories, and then I can have it for breakfast!( After Tgiving, of course. For the big dinner it's the real deal.)

    I love the multi gen quilt. I am still using my grandmother's stash, and I giggle to think that some of my tops might someday be someone else's puzzle!


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