Friday, January 13, 2017
Quilt dated 1848
Reproduction print designers know that applique artists looking to create red and green masterpieces are on the lookout for greens. Not just any green. We hope to find a green with a slight yellow cast.
Sunflower quilt from about 1860
That classic look came about more by accident than design. Mid-19th-century green cottons were usually over-dyed -- dyed once with a blue and once with a yellow dye. Results: medium green. But the blue dye was not so colorfast as the yellow and a little laundering could shift that green towards yellow. A little more laundering and the green becomes lime green as the blue dye fades away.
The mills and the customers just called these prints "Green." Quilters sometimes call these Poison Green, but the real poison green was a more minty shade, a single-step green dyed with arsenic -- bad idea!
Well-washed applique - about 1850
Today's greens aren't over-dyed and they don't fade away. You can go with a medium green to echo the quilt just off the frame or a yellow-green to capture a time-worn look. Check out a few in stock at Fat Quarter Shop that are accurately colored to reflect an old-fashioned look!