Nineteenth-century American quilters loved Turkey Red cotton.
The combination of Pennsylvania German taste, Anglo-American applique and the new availability of the bright red imported cottons created new quilt styles in the early 1840s.
Applique of Turkey red, green prints on white became an enormous fad.
The dyestuff for the bright red cotton is madder root but the Turkey red process that resulted in an intense red was more complex than traditional madder's mordant dyeing, which produced a flatter brownish red. The name Turkey red comes from the Turkish or Ottoman Empire, the Middle East, where traditional dyers developed the process. Turkey red came to Western Europe in the 18th century after French and British dyers sent emissaries east to learn the process.
Quilters used Turkey red plain cottons and Turkey red prints.
Prints with black or white or both on a red ground tend to be after 1870.
June sent this photo of a feathered star. The center reds are very much like the print above.
Typical of about 1880 or later.
More on Turkey Red basics in a later post.