History and Quilting

My love of history and quilting come together in Reproduction fabrics and the books & patterns that explore the use of those fabrics in quilts.

The period covered by the term “Reproduction” is generally the late 19th century (1860’s to near 1900). This covers some of the Civil War years, which is why we often call reproduction fabrics “Civil War” fabrics.

repro blog 1Certain prints and colors were popular in that time, although occasionally, a color we see in an antique print is very different from the way the fabric looked when new. Some dyes were “fugitive”, meaning they faded and changed when exposed to years of light.

One of our newest books has a wonderfully informative section on what fabrics you might have found during the 19th century. “Remembering the Past“, by Julie Hendricksen (A30660), shows the colors most often found in antique quilts as well as the types of prints that existed then.

repro blog 2Some of the names we recognize have a different meaning than we might think. Turkey Red for instance isn’t a specific shade of red, but a name given to a particular dying process from the Mediterranean. Poison Green was made from arsenic! These and other details offered by the author add interest to the study of antique fabrics.

repro blog 3She also shows antique quilts along with her versions of them, pointing out what is special or unique about the originals.

We also carry “Civil War Sampler” by Barbara Brackman (A20744, on the same web page) which features the author’s versions of antique quilts while offering period photos and sometimes quotes to add historical background.

repro blog 4Civil War Remembered”, by Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene (A28637), includes 19 projects using Reproduction fabrics and mentions a bit of the history behind the quilt designs. “Stories in Stitches”, by Jenifer Dick, Carol Bohl and Linda Hammontree with Janice Britz (A20782), describes the efforts of a Missouri group to save historical regional quilts. Their efforts are documented while many of the quilts are pictured.

I appreciate being able to combine two interests! I’m looking forward to creating my own history with projects made using reproduction fabrics, perhaps making my own versions of antique originals. I hope you enjoy a history lesson now & then too.

Thanks to Cathy Mark for this post!

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