Friday, October 31, 2014

Scary Stories

I save horror pictures---the kind where a quilt fades so badly the original design is significantly changed.

For Halloween I thought I'd scare you

with pictures of quilts made between 1880 and 1920

when the new synthetic dyes were so unreliable
you could start with two identical looking reds

and after one washing wind up with a little
red and a lot of tan.

Do notice that the spiky points in this New York Beauty/Rocky Mount
quilt are almost completely faded to white.


The worst culprit in the gang of fugitive dyes
was red.

But green also disappeared...

leaving few clues behind.

Could this happen to YOU?

Unlikely today because we use more color-fast dyes.
But that's the point of goblins---they could be under the bed.

Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin Sculpture, 1998


  1. Great post! I often look at vintage quilts and forget that I may not be looking at the original colors. I also really want that pumpkin sculpture but fortunately I don't have room for it.

  2. How fun to see these quilts! Boo to you too!!

  3. These are just fantástico and love the fabric combo.Thanks for the pics!

  4. It is a shame that the details fade away, but i like the worn look of the older quilts.


  5. It's a shame this happened to older quilts, but this is an excellent educational post.

    A huge THANK YOU to you for sharing your knowledge. I've spent many happy hours reading and learning from your blog, thanks for all your hard work.

  6. Oh, I just realized Historically Modern is also your blog!! You can tell I love your writing :) Thanks again for sharing so much with us.

  7. So fun to see these quilts. They could be also in 'Historically Modern Quilts'. I wouldn't think it is funny if it happened to my quilts but it is neat to see new and evolved patterns.