January was the last class in the first series, and day before yesterday we had the first class in the second series - the mid-century album class. This covers quilts and fabrics from the 1840's and the 1850's. As in the first class, Eileen brought many pieces of vintage fabrics, vintage blocks, and vintage quilts for us to examine. As in the earlier class, we learned that the fabrics of the period were bright and colorful. What looks like a dull faded brown today was originally pink or purple. (The true browns are still dark and unfaded looking.) Turkey red, chrome yellow and orange, and poison green were very popular. I was amazed to learn that teal was also very popular - there were many teal fabrics in the quilts we examined. Prints include large paisleys, oddball shapes that reminded me of one cell animals we examined years ago in biology, plaids, wide elaborately designed stripes, and florals, as well as many other things. This was the era of the Baltimore album quilts, so we saw much of the "fondue" fabric that shaded from dark to light across the fabric, or from one color to another. The quilts were made from dress goods fabrics, so we learned how the dressmakers used the wide stripes to add details to garments such as sleeves cut on the bias with a stripe going around the arm and stripes that chevroned in the bodice, among other things. Our packets all included the letter from a relative, a post card, a large packet of information and patterns and two pieces of fabric appropriate for the era. Eileen told us we will receive over 400 pages of information and patterns over the course of this class.
Of course, when I got home I had trouble going to sleep because I was so excited about the class. And it was all I could do last night to prevent myself from diving right in and starting this project. Each month we will received patterns for several pieced blocks as well as appliqué blocks in two sizes. This month's packet included at least 8 different layouts we could choose. The blocks are two sizes - 8" and 16". We can do all pieced, all appliqué or a mixture of both. It's going to be a hard choice every month - already I want to do every block in my packet!
The pictures show many of the blocks that we'll be able to choose from during the year.