Antique and Fabric Dating Club


In 1995 accredited ASA quilt appraiser Hazel Carter and ASA Candidate Bunnie Jordon (Certified in 2002) of Fairfax County, VA, came up with the idea for a study group following numerous requests for more information from the students of their quilt dating classes. As any quilt scholar will tell you, a steady diet of viewing and handling a variety of old quilts and fabrics is "the" way to learn how to date quilts. Studying fabrics alone is not enough. The quilts themselves hold many clues to the possible date of their origin that fabric alone cannot reveal.

The original idea was to meet quarterly but the group has evolved to every other month, with a mailing list of 60 interested quilt lovers from which to draw. Among those who attend are quilt historians, conservators, appraisers, and dealers, as well as though who simply have inherited a family quilt.  And, of course, all of us are collectors to one degree or another. 

Our name has evolved from "The Antique/Vintage Quilt & Fabric Dating Club " to simply "The Dating Club." There is a core group of a dozen enthusiastic participants who attend regularly, but attendance can range as high as 25 with some participants bringing between 3 & 5 items to share (some of them borrowed).  A little preplanning and organization was soon instituted - a theme for each meeting (color themes, chintz, depression era, crib, crazy, oldest quilt in your collection, etc.), thus giving everyone a chance to do some preparation, if they so desire. Hazel and/or Bunnie present a brief synopsis of the theme at the beginning of each meeting based on reading she has done since the last gathering, and then anyone else who wants to add something jumps in. We then go around the table and let each one show and share. We also talk about any new books we have learned about or acquired, and occasionally plan a museum or show outing together.

Fabric/quilt study groups are not only fun, they exponentially increase the knowledge and experience represented by all those present, especially if everyone is doing a little homework of their own and shares with the rest. At the least such a group gives one a chance to see and handle examples of some fine (and sometimes not so fine) period pieces and to ask questions, though one may not always receive a complete or final answer to the questions raised. As a group we are quite aware that there is always room for further research! The enthusiastic sharing of what knowledge we do have, however, is exhilarating and stimulating, and we enjoy encouraging those who want to press on and do more in-depth research on their own. We always hope, of course, they will bring their findings with them to the next Dating Club gathering. In addition we encourage all participants to visit as many antique stores, auction houses, and private viewings of quilts as they can possibly fit into their already busy lives. You can never see or handle too many textiles when you are learning how to date quilts! 

WHEN: Every other month, usually on a Sunday afternoon from 1-4.
WHERE: Location can change, so contact one of us.
CONTACT:  Hazel Carter (, or Karen

Click here for pictures of the March 23, 2003 meeting.  Theme: Oldest quilt in your collection

Read Cinda's comments on the May 18, 2004 meeting here.  

Read Cinda's comments on the November 2004 meeting here.

Read Cinda's comments on the March 2005 meeting here


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