Although the 1930s was the era of the Great Depression, women’smagazines were full of optimism. Cheery fabrics and colors could be found on new quilt patterns in an attempt to keep creativity alive as homemakers struggled to sew practical items for their families Although quilters were still interested in creating quilts that reminded them of their heritage, they wanted them in happy pastels and lighter colors.
Newspapers also picked up on the surge in quilting and began to feature quilt patterns, as did catalog companies. At the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933, Sears included an exhibit of the winning quilts from their national competition, which had reached women all around the country and netted a response of 24,000 entries.
Lincoln Era, 1860-1865
This Rare Estate Collection comes from fabrics found in antique clothing from General Stores in New York City, Philadelphia, Charleston and Richmond.
The General Store was quite popular in rural areas around the country, especially during the mid-to-late 1800s. Folks depended on their local mercantile, not just for the necessities such as coffee, spices, baking powder, flour, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, fruits and vegetables, honey and molasses, cigars and tobacco, but also for a host of other “essential” items. Store owners tried to anticipate the needs of their customers and often extented credit or bartered for their goods.
Historically, reed pens, quill pens, and dip pens were used with a nib of some sort to be dipped in the ink. The writing instrument that dominated for the longest period in history (over a thousand years) was the quill pen, introduced around 700 A.D.
The quill was a pen made from a bird feather. The strongest quills were those taken from living birds in the spring from the five outer left wing feathers. The left wing was favored because the feathers curved outward and away when used by a right-handed writer. Goose feathers were most common; swan feathers were of a premium grade being scarcer and more expensive. For making fine lines, crow feathers were the best, and then came the feathers of the eagle, owl, hawk and turkey.