This quilt is estimated to be made in the 1940’s by Eula. There are clues that help identify the time period:
- the fabrics used, their colors and patterns
- the wear, tear, and aging of the quilt
- the type of batting or filling in between the top and bottom (some now exposed, see detail photo)
Eula Mae HOLDER LINN sewed strips of fabrics onto 7 x 8 newspaper rectangles for each square in the quilt top. This method is called ‘paper piecing’ or ‘foundation piecing’. After sewing the fabric onto the paper pattern, the edges would be trimmed and the newspaper torn away. The backing fabric of the quilt appears to be off white muslin. Batting is the middle layer between the top and back and then ‘quilted’ or stitched to hold it all together.
Many of the fabrics have the tell – tale signs of having been manufactured in the 1930’s; the smallish patterns with a ‘halo’ of white background surrounding it. It was around this time that the fugitive (fading) properties of colors were being overcome.
Scraps are often collected by sewers over a number of years to use in quilts. Since Eula made dresses and other clothing, she had many left overs fabrics from those projects. Some of those scraps, if not all, made their way into this quilt.
The growing charm of this quilt includes it’s imperfections. It’s filled with cotton batting that is spilling out in areas of extreme wear. It’s the type of cotton that behaves as though it just came from the gin, lumping and bunching together, hence the closeness of the quilt stitches in the ‘shell’ pattern.
The odd size of the blocks, the unevenness of the quilting stitches and now, the stains and gaps seem to give hope for our own lives in the face of imperfections.
As can be seen, this was a utilitarian quilt and it got plenty of use.
I have 2 similar looking quilts from my Southern great-grandmother!