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Subject: Dyed wool wadding.... From: "Sally Ward" <sallytatters@ntlworld.com> Date: Sat, 18 Oct 

As a footnote to this past thread, I've asked someone who has spent the last 25 years looking at, UK quilts (a member of the Quilt Treasures documentation team) if she has come across dyed wool wadding. I also gave her the reference to the Shelburne Museum's 'possibly British' quilt with dyed yellow wool wadding.

The answer was that - of those quilts where wool wadding has been visible through damage - she has no recollection of ever seeing a dyed wadding. She was also bemused by the suggestion of yellow-dyed wool, suggesting that this might simply have been the natural wool colour of that particular sheep, as wools can vary a great deal.

As regards the waddings seen in the US I have found myself wondering about the process. Is there documentation about wadding being dyed separately, or is it an assumption? Could the wadding and quilt tops have been dyed together either before or after assembly? Could the wadding have acquired colouration during wear and washing?

Enquiring minds.......

Sally W


Subject: UNL study on adhesives From: Jennifer Perkins <qltrstore@harlannet.com> Date: Sat, 18 

I will send this again as someone wanted the address of the study. I have signed onto the Quilt Art list, and they are having an interesting conversation about whether collectors and museums will pay big $$$ for art quilts which are heavily fused based on the information in this study about deterioration in a relatively short amount of time. Jennifer


Subject: Re: Dyed wool wadding.... From: Kittencat3@aol.com Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2003 07:50:15 

One of the quilts discussed at the Deerfield symposium last month had an indigo dyed cotton batting, but very little concrete is known about the whys and wherefores. Yet another quilting mystery....

Lisa Evans Easthampton, MA


Subject: duvets & comforts From: "Pam Weeks Worthen" <pamworthen@hotmail.com> Date: Sat, 

Well, I just have to chime in here. I was all registered for Dallas when my husband announced that our friends from Switzerland were arriving on the 10th of October, and bringing a Swiss quilter with them. And, could I please stay at home? <sob> I did, and we did have a lovely time. Thanks to those of you who e-mailed condolences to me privately, and especially to Gaye and Cinda for the description of the event. Rockford was my first Seminar, and I had vowed never to miss it again. "What she said!", as the teenagers would say! Last year was wonderful, and I already have the dates for Portland engraved in my 2004 calendar.

The Swiss quilter, Cathrine Marchand is a quilter/welder/woodworker/knitter/potter--you name it, she does it, and teaches in their version of a high school, where handcrafts are highly valued as part of a "normal education." We shopped at Keepsake, poured over my collection of books and pawed through my stash. She helped me learn the French equivalent of US quilting terminology, and I taught her the same words in English. Some of the direct translations of our quilt block names are hilarious! We joked all week about where in New England she could find Amish quilters, as Amish quilts are her personal favorite.

Anyway, in this American household we keep duvets for our European friends, and our son actually prefers his duvet to quilts/blankets. (I'm not sure if this is really because I have never finished a bed-sized quilt for him!) I spent this morning doing laundry and hanging the duvets to air. We have often seen them hanging out windows of houses in small villages to air on weekday mornings in Switzerland and Germany.

AS to dating comforts or tied quilts, I have purchased many tied quilts in NH antiques shops, as they are often scrap tops tied to scrappy backs, and I adore scrap quilts. These range in date from 1880's to 1950's (in the shops). The earliest tied one I have is NOT scrap, but a cheater cloth chintz (polished cotton surface) and based on the colors, I would date it c. 1850. The back is very coarsely woven muslin. The ties are cotton, more like string than heavy thread, and each tie holds what was probably once a small pom pom of cotton thread, now flattened into a disc a little less than an inch across. It is clean as a whistle, with the chintz shattering on the top, the thread rotting in the knife edge finish, and the dry cleaner's tag still attached to the corner.

I need to add my encouragement for all who are not AQSG members to join. All ASQG members are welcome to use my new guest room at any time. ;-) (unless the Swiss are here)

Pam Weeks Worthen


Subject: Re: Down comforters From: "batwoman522 aka arlene marin" 

I am surprised about all the discussion of how Germans sleep. In my  house, in New Jersey, we all sleep under down comforters and some of us  on feather beds as well. I really didn't think that it was so unusual.  By the way, I use them all year long, even in the summer. They are very  light and keep just the right amount of body warmth. I highly  recommend. My quilts go on top for decoration.

I have been reading the QHL for several months and this is the first  time I have felt qualified to post a response. Thanks for all the  wonderful information.

arlene marin, An amateur in New Jersey


Subject: tied quilts From: "Steve and Jean Loken" <sandjloken@worldnet.att.net> Date: Sat, 18 

Sandi, I happen to have the database of 3000 or so quilts we documented in Minnesota in my computer. I checked for tied quilts that we documented as 19th century and there were 15. About half were crazies, 2 were log cabins (both often not quilted because they were on foundations) and the rest other pieced designs. Most were end of the century, ie. 1890s and none were earlier than 1860. None were children's quilts. One was African-American, and it was discovered by the owner inside another tied quilt. So I would say that makes tied quilts somewhate rare in the 19th century. Jean in MN


Subject: Re: duvets & comforts From: Vivien Sayre <vsayre@nesa.com> Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2003 

Good Grief Pam, You have more "last minute" things happen to you then anyone I know. Hope your weekend was equally enjoyable and successful. Vivien


Subject: Re: qhl digest: October 17, 2003 From: "Cinda Cawley" <lrcawley@dmv.com> Date: Sat, 

Pat asked about Quilt Mania. All the exhibits are public and open for differing periods of time, most from now until spring. There is a website; search for Quilt Mania. Cinda on the Eastern Shore


Subject: Re: tied quilts From: "Judy Kelius (judysue)" <judysue@ptd.net> Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2003 

My hunch is that tied quilts were more common in the 19th century than it may appear today but they were more likely to be used than quilts with quilting . . . and we all know what happens to a tied quilt with cotton batting when it is washed! Of course, batting shift isn't a concern if there isn't any, which was often the case with log cabins and crazy quilts. The few 19th century tied quilts with batting that I have come across have never been washed, and they usually had heavy batting, obviously made for warmth, not "for show." Also, they have always had simple pieced designs, not something with a lot of hours of work invested in it.

At 09:19 PM 10/18/03, you wrote: >Sandi, >I happen to have the database of 3000 or so quilts we documented in >Minnesota in my computer. I checked for tied quilts that we documented as >19th century and there were 15. About half were crazies, 2 were log cabins >(both often not quilted because they were on foundations) and the rest other >pieced designs. Most were end of the century, ie. 1890s and none were >earlier than 1860. None were children's quilts. One was African-American, >and it was discovered by the owner inside another tied quilt. So I would say >that makes tied quilts somewhate rare in the 19th century. >Jean in MN > > >--- >You are currently subscribed to qhl as: judysue@ptd.net. >To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-qhl-1444947Y@lyris.quiltropolis.com


 From: <KareQuilt@aol.com> To: "Quilt History List" <qhl@lyris.quiltropolis.com> Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2003 10:04 AM Subject: [qhl] AQSG-second attempt at posting

> What fun to find "Blanket Statements" (#74) waiting for me when I returned home from Dallas. Another great issue thanks to the excellent talents of its editor, Marilyn Luecke! Seeing it in my mailbox helped ease the letdown that often comes following such a stimulating AQSG weekend. "Blanket Statements" is a huge perk to being a member of AQSG It comes out 4 times a year and runs 20 pages long. The lead article (4 pages) in this issue was "Signature Quilts" by Xenia Cord, accompanied by 6 photos. There were also one page articles about Documenting the 20th Century Quilt Revival; the "Freedom Quilt" made by Japanese students to honor the victims of September 11; French Art Textiles; the Quilt Index; Indigo dyes; an overview of the Dallas Quilt Mania participating museums and historical places; as well as half page articles about "Improvisation in African-American Star Quilts;" a report on a lecture by Sara Miller on Amish quilts and quiltmaking; a brief look at the 25 year retrospective of AQSG member Laurene Sinema and her contributions to Arizona quilting; a list of the exciting exhibitions scheduled for The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in the coming year; and the guide lines for the two-color quilt study project for 2004 (i.e. the reproduction by AQSG members of a two-color quilt from the period of 1800-1940, maximum size of the reproduction piece to be no more than 200" measured around all four sides). In addition to the just named articles, there are always bits and pieces of other important news of the quilt world as well. You owe it to yourself to be a member of AQSG so that you can receive this jam packed newsletter four times a year! You can't buy it anywhere and I still haven't found one on eBay yet! Check out their website: > www2.h-net.msu.edu/~aqsg/ > > Sorry. I can't end with the line "no affiliation" for I am passionately "affiliated" with this group. <g> > > Karen Alexander > b.?\&v 


Subject: Re: Dyed wool wadding.... From: "Lynne Z. Bassett" <lzbassett@comcast.net> Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2003 16:00:46 -0400 

Dear Sally,

Sorry it has taken me a couple of days to catch up with the quilt list. I found your questions and am happy to address them.

I have looked at probably 150 or more whole cloth wool quilts, very thoroughly documenting them with a worksheet that those who participated in my workshop at AQSG received. I have no doubt whatsoever that when I have found colored battings in these quilts that they were dyed on purpose. It is not possible that a quilt which is one color on the top and a completely different color on the back will end up with a consistent blue batting in the middle just from being washed! Nor is it likely that the batting was dyed at the same time as the quilt fabric. In fact, in going back through my files to look quickly for examples, I realize that I have several times found a blue batting in a quilt which has a green top and a yellow back. And I still firmly believe that the batting in the Shelburne quilt was dyed--it is a vivid yellow, not the soft yellow of sheep's wool. I also have seen brown sheep's wool (undyed--natural color) used on the inside of the dark whole cloth quilts.

I have found references in diaries to dyeing quilt backs yellow, but I have not yet found mention of a batting being dyed. I would love to find one! I was as surprised as anyone the first time I looked in a hole and found a blue batting. However, I have found now after years of looking at these things that this is not terribly rare.

Hope I have convinced you!

Best, Lynne


Subject: Dyed wool batting From: Trishherr@aol.com Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2003 17:14:20 EDT X-Message-Number: 5

I recall examining the 18th c. silk petticoats in the collection of the Chester County Pennsylvania Historical Society when I was working on a Quaker quilt project more than 15 years ago. I remember one of the petticoats had what appeared to be blue-dyed wool batting. Since it is well documented that ready-made silk petticoats and quilts were being imported into Philadelphia from England, I thought that perhaps this blue one might be an English import. I do not recall seeing others with dyed filling or batting. This blue did not appear to have run from the silk during washing. I think it was original to the piece. It is a long time ago, but if my memory serves me right the quilting was quite sophisticated and possibly professionally done, as one might expect in an imported piece.

Just a thought hope others can add to that.

Trish Herr


Subject: Re: Dyed wool batting From: "Sally Ward" <sallytatters@ntlworld.com> 

Thank you Trish and Lynne. Yes, I'm convinced <G> but very intrigued. I'll pass your information back to my contact and see what she thinks.

I notice you both refer to blue-dyed batting. Do other colours appear? I don't suppose the 'blue' wool could just in fact be from 'black' sheep? Some of our Yorkshire sheep come in many hues of black. (only speculating....)

Sally W


Subject: Re: Dyed wool batting From: "Lynne Z. Bassett" <lzbassett@comcast.net> 

> I notice you both refer to blue-dyed batting. Do other colours appear? I > don't suppose the 'blue' wool could just in fact be from 'black' sheep? Some > of our Yorkshire sheep come in many hues of black. (only speculating....)

Nope, can't be anything but a dyed blue. Your suggestion that it might be a "black" sheep made me smile--I'd love to see a sheep the color of the battings! :)

Except for that one case of the yellow, I can't remember seeing a color other than blue in a dyed batting.



Subject: Re: Dyed wool batting From: Kittencat3@aol.com Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2003 

Also, blue dye stains on a batting would be quite noticeable. I've done a bit of indigo dyeing, and unless the fabric wasn't rinsed at all when first dyed, any color loss into the batting would be weak and uneven. The colored battings sound like they're evenly colored, which strongly indicates they were pre-dyed. Finally, wouldn't wash water hot enough to make the fabric run leave water spots or stains, especially on silk? Or make the wool batting shrink or felt? This *would* be noticeable, especially with a silk top.

This is really intriguing. I wish there was more information - :(

Lisa Evans


Subject: Re: Dyed wool batting From: "Sally Ward" <sallytatters@ntlworld.com> 

> Nope, can't be anything but a dyed blue. Your suggestion that it might be a > "black" sheep made me smile--I'd love to see a sheep the color of the > battings! :)

OK. I concede defeat <G>.

What would be nice would be to have someone pull a bit of one of these battings and do some tests, see what the dyes were........ What sort of dyes were in use at the time ?

Sally W


Subject: Re: Dyed wool batting From: Kittencat3@aol.com Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2003 

Blue, it would almost unquestionably have been indigo or woad. Yellow, probably weld, chance of it being osage orange but more likely weld.

Hope this helps -

Lisa Evans


Subject: Re: Down comforters From: "Candace Perry" 

What makes the traditional 18th/19th century German bedding a tad different from comforters is that they were literally a bag full of feathers -- it was described accurately by Xenia (and I meant no offense when I described the reaction early non-German travelers had to this custom -- apparently not all PA Germans were "crazy clean", a trait I always thought was innate!) If anyone is ever hanging around my neck of the woods and wishes to see some of this bedding -- including a lovely indigo checked feather bed, minus the feathers, give me a call. Candace Perry Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center.


Subject: Re: tied quilts From: ARabara15@aol.com Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 

In my collecting/reselling, I have come across more 19th Century tied quilts than 20th Century. They were mostly 4th qtr 19th C, some were unused, others had wool batting which doesn't shift when washed. I agree with Judy Sue that these were made more for utility purposes and haven't survived.

Donald Brokate The Crazy Quilt Collector Trenton, NJ


Subject: digest woes From: Kris Driessen <krisdriessen@yahoo.com> Date: Mon, 

For everyone having problems with the digest...

I have been trying to figure out the problem - why do some people get digests and others don't? Why some days and not others? I have signed up for the digest at several different E-mail addresses and I do notice that if one address doesn't get the digest, often others don't as well. I am going to guess there was no digest on those dates.

I did E-mail Quiltropolis about one particular problem and they told me on those dates they had server problems and lost all the E-mails:-(( However, I do get the messages directly at this address, so I was able to make up a digest of sorts and post in on the archives. Archives going back to 1996 are available to all paid members. (see http://www.quilthistory.com/subscribe.htm)

One of my addresses has a spam filter at the ISP level. I think it is possible that sometimes the digest gets caught in that filter - for example, when people try to send an attachment to the list, it creates an awful mess of HTML and that will cause the digest to be blocked.

My only suggestion is that you consider a second E-mail address. I rarely have trouble with this yahoo address - and it *is* rather convenient to have all your QHL mail in one place.



Subject: 19th century poetry and prose From: <mreich@attglobal.net> Date: Tue, 

Late October is the time of year for spirits. I have the perfect nineteenth-century quilt poem to share with you. It reads a little on the side of melancholy, however, life and death went hand-in-hand until well into the twentieth-century. People died and were waked in the home. Losing children, infants, mothers in childbirth and young husbands to farm accidents affected every family. As an ER nurse, I often think of today's common-place medical issues that would have been automatic death sentences before the twentieth century. So, perhaps, this poem did not read as sad in 1862, as it does today. It is a very beautiful poem. Hopefully, it will make us all look twice when we see a mid nineteenth-century quilt. sue reich, from Connecticut at its autumnal peak of color.

Weekly Oregonian Portland, Oregon May 17, 1862

Sunlight on the Quilt

It covered a wretched pallet, In attic room forlorn; A sunbeam crept through the broken pane, And brightened its colors worn.

The light of the fair, fresh morning-- How the widow's eyes grow wet, As she watched the spot on her faded quilt Where its rosy foot was set.. And like the touch of a fairy, To the widow of threescore, That sunbeam wakened her coffined dead, Her dreams of the days of yore!

This patch was sowed in the garden, On a sunny noon in May; And that, in a field, where a hand, long dead, Was gathering in the hay; This delicate star was fashioned By a group now stiff and white, And that was the scrap of the muslin dress She wore on her wedding night.

Ah! the old familiar muslin! Ah! the timid, blushing bride! The surpliced priest and the silent group, And the dear one at her side; How swelled the heart of the widow, With quiet, thoughtful tears, To look on the picture the sunbeam brought From the halls of buried years.

And the attic was filled with shadows, With the tender, dim-eyed guests, Who flitted around the time-worn quilt, And spoke from their hollow breast, In a noiseless, joyous whisper, Of the past and its pleasant store, Till the widow lifted her voice and wailed For the things that come no more!

Oh, friend! 'tis a mournful picture, Believe me, if thou wilt-- But joy and sorrow alike are hid in the folds of a patchwork quilt!


Subject: Fusibles From: Jennifer Hill <jennifer.hill@shaw.ca> Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 12:25:48 -0600 X-Message-Number: 5

I guess Pellon didn't like the conclusions of the recent study on the longevity of fusilbles.


Jennifer Hill Caglary, AB


Subject: Re: Fusibles From: <chrisa@jetlink.net> Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 11:48:38 

Thank you Jennifer for exposing us to these comments from Pellon. I found their objections to be reasonable as explained from a logical standpoint and yet I could not hang a hat on the amount of information I know to be true in the conservation field. I look forward to the response from the study participants and hope that further information on the aging effects of new products continues to be shared on QHL. Although such information of harm may not effect the use of it for some, at least it offers the opportunity for informed decision making. And it may also urge manufacturers to be more conscious of these considerations when formulating new products.

Recently there was a post about the use of spray adhesives for basting. I have used various spray products for basting quilts since Katie Pasquini Masopust taught us about it in 1990, and I have never had a problem with fabric turning yellow. It is somewhat more difficult to hand needle, but far from impossible and machine quilting hasn't been a problem. I think it makes machine quilting so much easier then pinning. I hope the claims of yellowing don't prove to be universal among the spray products. I had called the maker of one before using it, and was told the chemicals were not dangerous in any way when on the body and that aging tests did not show a change in their behavior. Washing would cause the adhesive to slowly leave the fabric was the impression I was left with. I have not used the pre-gummed or adhesive battings yet. I would like to know if there have been claims of yellowing or harm from these.

Kim Wulfert www.antiquequiltdating.com


Subject: Re: Did the Irish Chain pattern really come from the Irish? From: 

Sorry to be late in answering this question but -- have been on vacation. While in Ireland l learned that the Irish made the chain pattern but, indeed, called it "American Chain". In "Irish Patchwork" catalogue assembled by Alex Meldrum in 1979 at the Kilkenny Design Workshop they had two of these chains and called them "Mosaic". On the first one they wrote "Americans call this pattern 'Irish Chain'; it is occasionally referred to in Ireland as 'American Chain'." The quilt with this description was done with red square and white background. The second was done in a light green squares and red background -- this one also had a backing done in a brick pattern.

Hazel Carter in NO. VA.


Subject: Re: Did the Irish Chain pattern really come from the Irish? From: 

Even more amusing...what we call Log Cabin is known in certain areas of England as Canadian Log Work. And God only knows where and when it came to be called *that*.

As for "Irish Chain" - it's probably as much Irish as it is anything else....:)

Lisa Evans


Subject: FUSIBLES AND CONSERVATION From: "judygrow" 

Many of you know that I am a picture framer. I try to use conservation practices in all I do, but often my customers opt out of conservation framing because the materials cost more. They want it done in a hurry, they don't care what it looks like in 10 years or so -- it is just a decorative item and their tastes or decorating scheme might change.

It is true that prints on the wall really do look better if they are permanently mounted to a board like matboard or foamcore. They don't wrinkle or ripple even in the most humid weather. But permanently mounting is something we never even mention to a customer who is considering conservation framing. Mounting with an adhesive of any kind is not a reversible process and is therefore not considered part of conservation framing.

My thinking about using fusibles in quilt making runs along the same lines. If I am making something that I hope will become an heirloom I won't use any chemicals whatsoever. I try not to press often, and hard, and I use the best quality materials I can afford. I wash my hands before working and I don't even put a piece of sucking candy in my mouth, or have a coffee cup near where I am working. As I've often heard, you can't unpress, you can't unwash, and I know, you can't unfuse.

However, I've used fusibles on things I need to get done in a hurry, things that I know will get hard use, and lots of washing, and may get used up.

Once a chemical of any kind is added to the mix, the original is changed forever, no matter how "benign" the chemical. It turns the original into something else. That may be just what is wanted for the intended use,and the artist's intentions.

I wouldn't stop using all fusibles just because of these tests. I'd just keep thei results in the back of my mind and use the products appropriately. What I don't want to happen is for "quilt artists" to start sueing the Pellon corporation 10 years from now for a change in the appearance of their "art-quilt."

For goodness sakes, look at all the glorious crazy quilts which are self destructing because of a chemical process in the manufacture of the textiles they are made with. Look at all the white, red, and dun colored quilts that started out white, red, and green, because the chemical formulation for a stable green was elusive.

I am just thinking about James MacNeill Whistler, the painter, who experimented with using asphalt as a medium. Whistler saw his work as being completed at inception. Working quickly to get on to the next idea was paramount. He sometimes expedited the actual process by using thinned oil paint, thinned with asphalt or a Japan drier I believe. Using his specially prepared "sauce", he was able to finish a canvas in only one or two days without having to wait for paint to dry for extended periods before adding on another layer. Some of his paintings are now turning black from his use of this untried, untested material.

We must continue to be educated consumers. If the tests at U NE were faulty as Pellon says they were, still, that should raise a red flag for quilters who want to know positively that their quilts will remain unchanged in appearance for their heirs to inherit.

Judy in Ringoes, NJ judygrow@patmedia.net


Subject: Re: Fusibles From: "judygrow" <judygrow@patmedia.net> Date: Tue, 21 

Let me also weigh in on using spray adhesives. I use spray adhesives all the time in picture framing. I know from 25 years experience that 1. They don't yellow the art. 2. They do a good job in mounting the artwork. 3. Using another chemical, a solvent, the art can be removed from the mounting board. 4. The adhesive is impossible to remove from the back of the art.

For 25 years I've used spray adhesives in a spray booth, an enclosed space, with a 24" exhaust fan and paper filters. Even with taking those precautions there is overspray which remains in the air.

Most of you who use spray basting do not take these kind of precautions. I don't care what the manufacturer says about the safety of his product (and I noted that Kim quoted the mfr as saying it wasn't harmful in any way when ON the body) if you inhale any of it you get sticky lungs!!!! And sticky lungs can kill you. If you spray indoors without taking precautions you get a sticky house as well as sticky lungs.

If you spray baste........ 1. do it outside. 2. make sure the wind is blowing from behind you 3. wear a mask.

Better yet ------- do it the old fashioned way, with needle and thread. Or as I've been doing >> send it out to a long arm quilter for basting only.

Judy in Ringoes, NJ judygrow@patmedia.net .


Subject: Re: Fusibles From: <chrisa@jetlink.net> Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 14:28:33 


I actually was asking the mfr. about the adhesive seeping through the fabric over time and getting onto my body. That's how concerned I was with using it! "Spray outside only" is all over the can and of course he mentioned it yet again on the phone. Fortunately this is not a problem for me in CA, bit it could present an obstacle in other climates. A little spray goes a long way and I spray in sections, not the whole thing at one time.

Thanks for the info on the non-yellowing properties you have come across in the framing business.

Kim Wulfert www.antiquequiltdating.com


Subject: blue batting From: Trishherr@aol.com Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 20:43:01 

Dear Sally,

As a veterinarian and farm kid showing sheep and having had a flock of dual purpose meat and wool breeeds of sheep on our farm, I feel confident in saying that I know of no breed that would produce a blue fleece. I too am sure this was purposely dyed. But that is all I can really say about it.

Enjoy your interest and questions in the matter.



Subject: Re: blue batting From: "Sally Ward" <sallytatters@ntlworld.com> Date: 

Thanks Trish. I never argue with a vet <G>

I'm just looking for explanations, really, because I'm amazed that anyone bothered to dye a batting, and amazed that we've not seen it over here, and amazed that we didn't know it happened in America when it seems to be common knowledge over there that it did.

The problem of course is that someone says blue and we all picture a different colour. The wool I've seen spun and knitted up on 'natural wool' trade stands is a lovely dark slatey grey-blue-black. Since the original message was that they were for dark tops I think I assumed we were talking something like that sort of colouration. Maybe someone who has seen these blue waddings could find something we could all look at which demonstrates the colour.

This morning I found a phone number for a UK association called the Coloured Sheep Breeders. The lady I spoke to cited Shetland sheep as having a slatey-grey fleece, but pointed out that another candidate - the Bighorn - produced a carpet wool which might be the right colour, but would be highly unsuitable for quilt batting. (She described having felted some and ended up with a very creditable pan-scourer <G>). She also talked about how how random cross-breeds could produce anomalies (apparently there's someone in Australia who has claimed to produce 'true blue' wool naturally quite recently, but she's being accused of secret night-time dye-dipping <GG>) What did make me prick up my ears was that she talked about how fleeces could change colour over the years, and as an example described a fawn fleece which she had kept for three years before it was washed and spun, and she was quite taken aback that it turned a very (quite startling, she emphasised) bright yellow. Her theory was that the lanolin left in the wool while it waited had had an effect, but she also mentioned a form of dermatitis in sheep which could have the same effect - you'd know more about that than I.

I'm now quite happy to accept that your early quiltmakers dyed their battings. I'm just amazed that they bothered............

Sally W


Subject: Basting spray From: The Lesters <jeanlester@ntown.net> Date: Wed, 22 

I have read the research on the effects of light and aging but I have not seen any recent reports on the human toxicity from the basting sprays. I know that when Sullivan's came out it supposedly had Toluene in it. I have worked in medical research and know that toluene can be absorbed through the skin as well as being absorbed by the lungs. Not good stuff for the human body!!!

Does anyone know if the present sprays still contain this substance.



Subject: Irish Chain Pattern- Scotch Blocks? From: "Ann-Louise Beaumont" 

At a nearby fall festival, I heard someone call an Irish Chain quilt "Scotch Blocks". Since this was a new name to me, I asked her about it. She was an antique dealer who was just starting to learn about quilts, and she couldn't tell me where she had found that name. I suspect she either was in error, or made it up to appear more knowledgeable than she really was. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed because I thought I might have found something new. Has anyone else come across "Scotch Blocks"? Best Wishes, Ann-Louise Beaumont in Greeley, CO


Subject: Re: Irish Chain Pattern- Scotch Blocks? From: Vivien Sayre 

Ann-Louise, I have not heard this before but I can understand how you could come up with this name. Thanks for the 'heads-up'. I'll keep and ear and eye out during documentations or appraisals.



Subject: Re: blue batting From: "Lynne Z. Bassett" <lzbassett@comcast.net> 

> The problem of course is that someone says blue and we all picture a > different colour. The wool I've seen spun and knitted up on 'natural wool' > trade stands is a lovely dark slatey grey-blue-black. Since the original > message was that they were for dark tops I think I assumed we were talking > something like that sort of colouration. Maybe someone who has seen these > blue waddings could find something we could all look at which demonstrates > the colour.

I don't have a picture for you, but I can tell you that the waddings tend to be something like a "sky blue." (Think Crayola.)

> I'm now quite happy to accept that your early quiltmakers dyed their > battings. I'm just amazed that they bothered............

It has been my theory that these frugal quiltmakers were using up excess wool from another project, or that they were using wool that didn't turn out quite the color they wanted, but I really don't know.

Best, Lynne


Subject: RE: Basting spray From: "Vera Brown" <ilene3@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 

Hi, I just wanted to add my experience with spray basting. I like a fool spray basted a small wall hang in my tiny living room because it was raining outside. I have a cat with for want of a better way to describe her, brain abnormalities. I did not think of her or myself for that matter. She had at least three Grand Mal type seizures in one day. At first, I did not think of the spray. The vet put her on Phenobarditol. The seizures did stop, but she was so loopy that I took her off it after a couple of weeks. But now it has been months since I sprayed and took her off the medication and she is fine. I did begin to suspect the spray by the second day and read the can back. It said it could attack the nervious system and I think my cat is extra sensitive. I will not do that again. And I will limit my breathing of the fumes, OUT SIDE, from now on. Ilene Brown of Raleigh


Subject: dyed batting From: <chrisa@jetlink.net> Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 

What occurred to when searching for why had to do with conserving and recycling water. As I understand it, dying takes a lot of water to both dye and to rinse and re rinse. If you had some wool for batting there, it would need to be washed, so maybe she just used the rinse water to be frugal and save her weary arms from carrying more in from the well.

Indigo was being imported into America early on and came up to the Northeast from the south in the second half of the 18th century, so it was available enough. It wouldn't run so it was a safe dye to use for the inside. Lynne's description of it being sky blue lends more credence to this theory of reusing water with intention.

I have been throwing in a piece of muslin when I was something mew in the sink because I expect color to run off. Even when the water is a dark red or black, I have yet to see the muslin take on more than a dingy color. Darn, why doesn't it work when you want it to!

Kimberly Wulfert www.antiquequiltdating.com


Subject: faded colors From: "Charlotte Bull" <charlou@mo-net.com> Date: Wed, 22 

Hi...a recent mention of Red, Green & White quilts which became Red & Tan reminded me that I'd not told you about a top that a friend bought at a thrift shop for $4. A classic Big Block applique. 6 blocks. Each 29" finished and the fabric was from selvage to selvage. A very good quality white at one time, however it was badly aged, stained, spotted & chewed and now is an off-white color. No borders. Just the blocks. Each a very unique version of a Prince's Feather with a huge Brown flower of 16 arcs in the center and a smaller Orange flower of 8 arcs in its center. This was in Reverse Applique. Perfect stitching too.

What made it very different was that there were only 4 feathers. Each was 14" in length. Each had a reverse applique center portion of 1 1/4" that was also gently curved. These were on the diagonal lines of the block. 2 were Brown with a center portion of Orange. 2 were Bluegreen or Teal with a Brown center portion. The Orange is what I'd call Cheddar! Every block had the same placing with the colors alternating & opposing. In the torn/chewed areas you could turn it under and see that the Brown was a very Rusty Redbrown. However the Browns were of two shades so some were more of a Tan with no hint of red. These Tans were the Center Flower and the spines of the Feathers. But one spine was pieced of the Brown and the Tan.

The Bluegreen was a very deep dark Bluegreen and even darker underneath the seams. The Cheddar seemed to have no fading or changes except where one area seemed spotted as if by sprinkled drops of a liquid or mildew that had been washed out. There were Tan stains underneath the seam stitching of the Brown pieces, but only along the stitched edges, not into the rest of the fabric background. (This is unlike another quilt I just found that has obvious bleeding of Reds in one block only as well as pure Turkey Reds in others.)

Now for the unique addition. Each block had 4 pairs (total of 8) of long thick curved pieces in Orange Cheddar coming from the underneath of the center flower. They look like the Antennae of a Butterfly that you see embroidered on some quilts. There was no intention that they be anything else than thick (1 1/2") curved pieces. Nothing torn or removed. One pair per side. 12" long. Each one curves towards a Feather. Really, I can only say that they look like antennae!!! Not a bud or a vine or a leaf! I cannot find any example similar to this! And believe me, please, I did search. Do any of you recognize it? Does it ring your bell? I hate to say this, but the shapes are rather lacking in grace or beauty!

My friend has complained for almost a year that I still had it, so she finally came to get it yesterday, which was what I wanted as I needed to show her my research results! She is totally untutored but I've got her HOOKED!!! Okay, those curved sticks look a bit like fish hooks! (LOL) My pay for my efforts were 2 old "Honey Bee" blocks from the 1890s that she just found in a bag of 1930s oddly curved Dresden Plates which I was also asked to research. Brackman's Circular Saw - #3544 I knew it already!

The Honey Bee blocks were the fabric I cannot resist...Eli & Walker Green with Black & Yellow! But totally appliqued. Even the center square. Not pieced at all. Background a routine shirting fabric of White with Black widely spaced mini polka dots. Super Pieces that I'll set with acceptable fabric for a small hanging. I think I can match the green. The total applique version is in Brackman's Applique book as Unnamed #5.32 c. 1840. It is not curved so not Turkey Tracks.

I may have to start volunteering at the Thrift Store like she does! But she is forced to buy old clothing for her quilting. This week she got a much cut up and faded string pieced quilt from the 1930's. Already cut in 8" strips! Also a real puzzler of oddly cut up long triangles made of yellow & green squares that reminded us both of John Deere tractors. Sorry, but we do live in Tractor Mania Land. I have guys begging to buy my Bill's 1941 Ford 8N. Which still is used to brush hog my pastures. And if you don't understand this you can write to me privately! A VBG! Charlie of the Ozarks


Subject: 3 Subjects From: "crossland_n_j Crossland" <crossland_n_j@msn.com> 

I am mainly a lurker but now I have three comments at once. Maybe it's the moon or the cold rainy, almost snowy weather in NH.

First, the subject of tied quilts. I agree that many of them were used up. Here in New England, I've seen many tied quilts that were in very poor condition. I love to have a tied quilt to document. Not often, but sometimes, there is another quilt inside. At one historical society there was at least three quilts inside the one we were inspecting. The date span between the quilts inside a quilt are usually not more than about 10 years. This supports your theory that they were the quilts they used a lot and then used up. Just last week, I had the privilege of documenting a tied quilt that was dated ca 1820. The quilt's fabric is red and white made of a home-furnishing, drapery fabric. The same toile but of a different color is pictured on page 280 of Textile Designs by Susan Meller and Joost Elffers. I could post a scanned image if it isn't against copyright. I think it probably is, so I'll wait to hear if I should post a scan.

For Kris and questions about problems receiving emails. I was one of those who couldn't receive emails. After I was upgraded to MSN8, the application had been set to filter span. Once I annotated the application that emails from this address was not junk, I was then able to receive the digest again.

Finally, an Amish Quilt Question. I haven't had the opportunity to see any Amish Quilt backs. Have only seen them in shows or books. Are wool Amish quilts backed and binded with wool or is cotton, other fabrics used? Do they normally have batting and if so, wool or cotton?

Julie Crossland Hudson, NH


Subject: New Online Quilt Image Database From: "Carolyn K Ducey" 

DATE: October 22, 2003

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Marin Hanson, Curator of Collections International Quilt Study Center 402-472-6301; mhanson4@unl.edu

International Quilt Study Center Launches Online Image Database & New Website

The International Quilt Study Center is pleased to announce the launch  of its new online image database that allows anyone, anytime, anywhere to search its extensive quilt collections.

Online audiences are now able to go to the IQSC website and link direct ly to the database of more than 1200 quilts, viewing detailed information about each quilt as well as full-color images. Searching capabilities include searching by pattern name, quiltmaker, location of origin, date , and predominant technique, among others. For those who are unable to at tend one of the IQSC's many local and traveling quilt exhibitions, users are

also able to search the database by exhibition name, creating a virtual

quilt gallery on their computer screen. Another highlight is the abilit y to search by collection name; for instance, viewing all of the quilts in t he 930-piece Ardis and Robert James Collection, the 156-piece Robert and H elen Cargo African-American Quilt Collection, or the 90-piece Sara Miller Am ish Crib Quilt Collection. The IQSC also looks forward to adding the newly-acquired 400-piece Jonathan Holstein Quilt Collection to the data base in the coming year.

In conjunction with the online database, the IQSC has also introduced a

newly redesigned website. It features an updated look and new informati on, as well as old favorites such as the Quilt of the Month program, an e-m ail subscription service for keeping in touch with the IQSC's collections, exhibitions and public events. The new website retains the IQSC's curre nt web address: http://quiltstudy.unl.edu

Carolyn Ducey Acting Director & Curator International Quilt Study Center HE 234, Univ. of Nebraska Lincoln, NE 68583-0838 402/472-6301



Subject: Re: 3 Subjects From: Slnquilts@aol.com Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 18:52:57 


The Amish quilts I have have cotton backs and cotton batting. I saw all that Catherine Anthony had and they had wool challis or cotton backs. Some of them were printed or woven. I think all she had were cotton batts also. Sharon


Subject: Thank you From: QuiltEvals@aol.com Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 20:06:43 

Dear QHL,

I'm just finishing 2 years of work on a fabric dating program that includes a CD which allows access to a searchable vintage fabric database as well as DVD video about dating quilts and fabrics.

I'd would like to take an opportunity to thank QHL members for being my inspiration for this project, and my therapy during work on it as well as an other DVD program I consulted on about the quilt appraisal process.

If you go to my website, http://quiltappraiser.com/houston.htm you can print a $$$-off coupon for purchase of these programs in Houston. They will be available at both Xenia Cord's Legacy Quilts booth, and at Mary Koval's Antique Quilts. The booth numbers are available on the coupon.

Sorry, I can't offer the couponA0mail order.

Deb Roberts 


Subject: Empty Houston Room From: QuiltEvals@aol.com Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 

Hi all,

I have a reservation at the Hyatt that I will not be using that covers both Market and Festival. I have had an offer to stay somewhere else that works out better for me. I am sure the reservation can be amended - so if anyone is interested in taking it over let me know. I will be canceling by tomorrow night if I do not hear from anyone.

Debbie Roberts <A HREF"http://quiltappraiser.com">http://quiltappraiser.com</A>


Subject: RE: Down comforters From: "Jocelyn" <jocelynm@delphiforums.com> Date: 

> Germans still sleep under down comforters. On the beds in small guest > houses and inns, you will find a sheet covering the mattress, a pillow and > at the foot of the will be a folded down comforter.

Sue, Is it also customary to have a HUGE washcloth? The first two-three days I didn't use it, as I couldn't figure out what this giant square of terrycloth was doing on my bed. :) The down comforter was pretty obvious, as it was snowing in the higher altitudes when we got there on Pentecost!

The kitten keeps tryung TO HELB O me tyep0.......7:e.,mmmmmmmmmmmmmm





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