Seeing Stars

As you may have already guessed I buy a lot of vintage and antique quilt tops and blocks from eBay. (could this be an understatement?)  One of the things about eBay buying is that sometimes you just have to take a gamble.  I just got a lot of 20 star blocks and this is what the seller had for the description.

Lot of 20 handsewn vintage “8 pointed star” feedsack quilt blocks. They measure 15″ x 15″ each and are in nice vintage condition. It looks like these were once either hand sewn together or maybe removed from an existing quilt. There is stitch marks around each of the edges of the blocks where they were once sewn to something? There is some light yellowing discoloration on the cream fabric background and very light fading of the dark green on one block only. They are beautiful and would make an outstanding quilt!!

There was just one picture

Those don’t look very “feedsacky” to me.  To me feedsack is the flowery pastel fabric from the 30’s….like this

I know that a lot of the fabric in this top was feedsack because I re-made the top recently and there are several areas where you can see the seams from the sacks, and the holes left from where the sacks were sewn shut.  Anyway to me this is the kind of thing I think of as feedsack. (I should do a post about this top some day what a job it was to re-make!)

There are however many people who sell on eBay and anything that is fabric and looks old becomes “feedsack” even when it is not.

So I took a gamble and bought them $26…..that is $1.30 per block!  Hope they are good…well I think they are great!!

Nice bright red.  Beautiful yellow.  Teal Blue.

So how old are they?

look at the yellow.

That Yellow fabric (Chrome yellow) is pictured in The Trestain book “Dating Fabrics A color Guide 1800-1960” on page 66 in the 1830-1860 section…but oddly enough there is also one on page 117 in the 1880 -1910 section but it is duller and less defined.  And look at the red.  the above picture has a tanish fabric…that was red when new.  The maker of these blocks had more than one red fabric and one was clearly not as good as the other.  The more expensive dyeing process made for stable red and the color is still as bright as when it was new.  but the cheaper fabric turned tan with age.  some of the blocks have both fabrics used together

She was very frugal with the fabric…lots and lots of the pieces are pieced

The cheddar fabric stayed very bright.  The centers look rather blue or teal.

I imagine that they might have been more green when new.  Many antique green fabric will turn teal as it ages because the yellow dye dissipates and leaves the blue.  If you look at antique quilts you will often see blue leaves and stems in applique work …but they were green when new. This fabric was likely teal to start with but you never know for sure what antique fabric looked like when it was new.

Anyway I have 20 of these so there is plenty to make a quilt.  I could do a side by side setting and perhaps add some sashing.

Or I could set them on point (which makes a bigger quilt of about 85″ x 100″)

Here are pictures of all the blocks. (click to enlarge)

Im glad I took the gamble and bought the “feedsack” blocks that were not

Happy Quilting

Tim