Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Sunny Yellow Dyes in QuiltMania


Quilt with Mineral Yellow Dye (Chrome Orange)
from my collection.

I have an article in the current QuiltMania (#144-July & August)

It's always a pleasure to work for editor and publisher Carol Veillon who has revamped the
look with plenty of large photos of quilts old and new. (Speaking of new---isn't that a great
background choice for the appliqued cover quilt by Barbie Mitchell?)

Carol looking very summery as does issue #144

where I wrote about the chrome colors orange and yellow.

Most of the photos are Carol's  with some from my files.

Like a detail from this late 19th /early 20th century quilt
 Sarah Schmidt's family in Alabama.

Here are more detail photos that didn't make the cut.
They illustrate some of the points in the article.

"The true yellow shade was sometimes called canary but the mills that relied upon it called the dye chrome yellow."

Chrome orange (we call it cheddar) loses color from
"acids which can draw out the orange leaving a pale yellow-green or white area."

"Mills did create a fashion for yellow-orange printed in fine lines on a white ground, which the eye reads as a pastel, like a butterscotch candy if we are going to continue to compare shades to food. ... The butterscotch yellow print is a good clue to the 1840-1890 era."

"Yellow-oranges also might turn brown, a chemical reaction to air pollution perhaps. Cabins heated with burning coal fires and city smogs seem to have had their effect."

See more about subscribing to QuiltMania or ordering this issue here:


  1. I enjoyed reading the article, Barbara. The two that caught my eye are the Medallion on p. 31 and the Orange Basket on p. 34. (At first I thought it was orange because of the color. Then I looked very closely and saw the oranges in each basket.) It's fun to read the translated parts of Quiltmania--the words are English but the phrasing is very French.

  2. It was indeed a fabulous article. Great job!

  3. Sew interesting! love your research.