Sunday, August 12, 2012

Metropolitan Fair Reproduction Greens

There's a certain green that fans of old quilts recognize---a yellow green that is quite distinctive.
In the antique quilts it's really a rather accidental color---the result of greens dyed blue and yellow fading towards the yellow over the years.

The fabrics start out a more mid-green

But washing fades away the blues pushing the greens more and more yellow-green.
Lime green, we call it today.
My mother called it chartreuse.

Mid-19th century crib quilt

In my new Civil War reproduction fabric collection
 Metropolitan Fair we echo the yellow greens.
You couldn't call them lime green---more a tasteful olive.

I called this color Celery Salad as all the color names in this repro collection come from the menu at the fundraising fairs during the Civil War.

Someone chopped a lot of celery for that event

The Metropolitan Fair in Manhattan was the largest fundraising fair of the Civil War, benefitting the Sanitary Commission, which maintained Union soldier's hospitals. There were many other Sanitary Fairs in cities throughout the North.

Winterthur Museum has a menu from an 1864 fair.

Fairs were a traditional, acceptable way for women to raise money.

Above is a picture of the New England Kitchen at the Brooklyn Fair in 1864.
Women dressed in old fashioned costumes and cooked over an open hearth in one of the most popular features at a number of Fairs. The dining rooms were also good fundraisers.

See the menu from the Winterthur Collection here:

And read a lot more about the greens in 19th-century quilts here

We used a lot of the greens in the Metropolitan Fair Project.
Read more here:


  1. My prayers are answered....alas some greens for leaves and vines...and cat's eyes

  2. I really like your version of the green shades and I love that crib quilt. I found a copy and have it in my files for a future project to try.


  3. Just checked out your new collection - the prnts are wonderful all of them but especially the paisley & scalloped vertical design. Looking forward to seeing this on the bolt!

  4. OHHH my goodness your Metropolitan Fair fabric is gorgeous !!! A really good pick !Isabel

  5. I was just commenting that my green repro stash was getting a bit low...thanks! Love the other colors as well...and great choices for the wide backing!

  6. i wish there were a lime green...I have to dye it myself. I use indigo overdying a synthetic yellow.

  7. Love the menu. The stories of raising money. How colour changes/mellows with time. Cannot wait to see the greens in real life.
    Thank you again for the talk and references.

  8. Glad you like my little Democrat Rose crib quilt. Surprised to see him as I scrolled down.
    Will you be at AQSG in Nebraska?


  9. Looking forward to seeing actual fabric, it looks wonderful. We all need these shades of green.