Week 8: Yet More Fabric Analysis

After doing preliminary research to ground myself in the world of printed fabric dating, I listed each type of fabric found in the quilt top and started digging in. For each piece, I consulted the three books Professor Turdean lent me (again, godsends) as well as scholarly articles, primarily from the American Quilt Study Group. I weighed broad, less conclusive evidence (darker tones were more popular in the mid to late 19th century) with specific information (true one-step green was not invented until the 1850s) and estimated dates of production. I am a perfectionist by nature and this was all very troubling because if my guess for even one piece is too far off the mark, it might skew future interpretations about the piece. To help organize my information, I filed away all this information in an Excel spreadsheet. This decision was influenced heavily by another course I am taking this semester: Lab Methods in Archaeology. This class is heavily focused on data analysis of historical artifacts, and using simple math and statistics to help tease out information of what otherwise looks like a large jumble of disparate pieces of information. I’m quite glad this course and my independent study coincided.

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