Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fugitives

This is another of my graduation quilts that I came across during the recent 'time of great cleaning'. I was actually making room in a cedar chest to put some things away, when I came across it and decided to take a closer look.

It is a very bright 'cheddar' and red with jadeite green and dark teal stars.
(Miss Ruth E Kruse)

I had never noticed that this quilt is dated and 'signed' by my Aunt Ruth!
(December 7, 1923 - Aunt Ruth was 26 years old)
I have not inspected all of them, but I believe that this is the only quilt that I have, with a date.

I love the colors in this quilt - at least the ones that still remain...

I know that fabric dyes have not always been stable. And I know that light is not good for quilts. (And all my cedar chests are lined in foil to prevent wood acids from damaging the linens.) But it fascinates me how the dyes in this quilt have such varied amounts of color remaining!


In this block, the dark fabric in the star points is pretty well still dark.

In this one, the dark fabric is pretty much all... not dark any longer.

And in this one, they are pretty evenly split between badly faded and not so much.

And this photo shows that the border piece on one side is faded, although the half star block conjoining it (right side in the photo) looks as if there is no dye loss!

I would expect to see fading where it was exposed to the light, but there doesn't seem to be any rhyme nor reason to the distribution of fading in this quilt.

But, the red and the bright orange seem as bright as they were when they were new!

I think that I need to go through the rest of my cedar chests to see if there are any other treasures that I have forgotten!

9 comments:

Lynne said...

I find that "cheddar" color very interesting for 1923! Seems pretty bright for that era, don't you think?

I like how your type color matches your post! ;)

paula, the quilter said...

O what a lovely, lovely quilt. It seems that the green dye was very fugitive. I have an antique family quilt that is in no where near as good of condition as this one of yours, and it, too, has those tan places.

Gaynell said...

For an eighty-five year old, it looks pretty good. I am so glad that Aunt Ruth signed and dated it.

Iron Needles said...

Isn't that something? And to think of Aunt Ruth as a 26 yr old...

I used to be jealous that you got the quilts, you know. Now I am really glad.

Allie said...

That quilt is beautiful - sure is interesting about the fading though!

Mary said...

What a stunning quilt!

Kate said...

Wow! 1923! How lucky for you to have these marvelous vintage items. I am in love with that color combo. Seems quite bold and creative for 90 years ago...

Martha said...

That's a wonderful quilt, Jan -- the pattern and colors are so bold. I love the way she quilted her signature -- I'm going to have to try that.

Roy said...

An amazing keepsake made by an amazingly wonderful, loving aunt. How well the colors go together - who would of thunk? Great investment, I must admit.