Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Alice's Scrapbag: Papa's Kerchief

I noticed on Etsy that Cheryl at Willow Ridge Quilts is offering a 49" square quilt pieced from Alice's Scrapbag.

In my imaginary scrapbag, the family clothing cottons from which Alice Browne made
her four-patch quilt, we have Papa's Kerchief.

Alice's Scrapbag from Moda

I named each print after an article of clothing that might
have wound up in the scrapbag.

Men often wore a kerchief around their necks, but a neck scarf instead of a necktie was work wear or casual wear---not formal wear for the photographer. When we see a period photo of a man in a kerchief it's often an occupational photo, a man dressed in his work clothing.

Neck scarves were often of paisley pattern,
as in the print picked for Papa's Kerchief.

The paisley comes in four colorways.

You sometimes see neck kerchiefs as part of an official uniform, as in this sailor's portrait.

Or in unofficial uniforms as in this cowboy wanna-be
dressed up in the photographer's props.

 Women also wore neck kerchiefs. This one looks like a classic bandana.

A look Moda's captured in Bunk House Bandanas.

Possibly a European nursemaid with her charge.

Kerchiefs were also headwear,
particularly for African-American women,
slave or free. This example is a classic polka dot.

A look the cowboys loved too.

Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy

Here's the link to Cheryl's quilt.



  1. Thanks for the "kerchief" lesson. I love the names in this line. (and, of course the prints)

  2. I always enjoy your vintage photos!

    Look at what I made a few weeks ago:

    Not Alice's Scrapbag, but the same little quilt! :)

  3. That's such a versatile pattern. Looks great.

  4. I recently ordered some half yards of Alice's Scrap Bag from Hancocks of Paducah when it went on sale. I have some of Baby's Pantalettes 1850 pink cut up for a center flower in an applique block and the red will be used for more flowers. As I was sewing down that pink I thought to myself how much I loved it...that shade would go with ANYTHING ...so I ordered two more yards before it's gone! :) I think it is my favorite fabric, ever.

  5. Fun post and wonderful print, that would be fun to work with.


  6. So far, I have not been able to cut into my two Alice's Scrapbag Layer Cakes because they are too precious and perfect. I love my Old Cambridge Pike Layer Cake and charm packs, too. Sometimes I just sit and flip the corners to view them. Thanks for the fun!

  7. A lovely pattern! Nice choice! Thank you for interesting insight into the history of kerchiefs.

  8. Can't wait to use my Alice's Scrapbag layer cake! Right now I'm sewing a quilt with Richmond Reds and Union Blues.