Trained experts can tell the age of a quilt by looking at the fabric. Depending on the fiber composition, the colors used, the kinds of thread or technique or pattern, it's possible to tell how old something is. But I don't think you need to be an expert to guess when this fabric was made. Think hard about when these slightly psychedelic mushrooms would have been all the rage.
Yup, these fabrics hail from my mid-teen years and were two used in the first pieced item I ever sewed. My friend Sue Hughes and I made patchwork granny skirts in high school—mine was purples and browns. We meticulously cut out and stitched jillions of tiny squares...no rotary cutters, no strip piecing. I would give anything to have a photo of us modeling our creations, but one has never surfaced.
While on a quick visit to my folks in late Dec., I was helping my mom sort through the shelves of her sewing room and found these pieces. The memory of what they were was instantaneous, despite the fact that I probably sewed with them 40 years ago. Fabric is like that...it can be such a connection to the past. My mom stitched each of her daughters patchwork pillows with scraps of dresses she'd made us many years before, and those fabrics, too, resonated. Perhaps I spent too much time smoothing the skirts' cotton between my fingers rather than paying attention in school, but whatever the reason, I remembered wearing those textiles. Fabrics create such connections...between people, between parts of our lives, between friends and family. I'm so glad I found these scraps and despite the fact that my mom had saved too much stuff (and I've inherited that trait) I'm really pleased she'd never pitched them.
I'll be away for awhile...going on an adventure next week that will be all about quilting. Pictures to follow.