Great Depression patterns + scraps: a perfect pair (+ sale!)

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Detail of Jeweled Wedding Ring quiltThe first 1930s reproduction fabrics appeared in the late 1980s. Within 10 years, they were seemingly everywhere, along with authentic 1930s patterns to use them in. Even now, many fabric companies include a ’30s collection in each season’s new line. That means that quite a few of you have a ’30s stash to be proud of!

The prints of the ’30s were simpler and less stylized than their predecessors, and their colors were sweet and sunny. They were meant to be uplifting at a time when folks really needed a reason to smile.

As cheerful as they are on their own, 1930s prints seem to be happiest when they’re tossed together in a scrappy design. It’s like a party in a quilt!

Some blocks and quilts showcase your scraps even better than others do. These beauties from Treasures from the ’30s by Nancy Mahoney let you really mix it up. Nancy designed her quilts using authentic Great Depression patterns (see insets, lower right).

Bride's Quilt Whirling Fans quilt
“Bride’s Quilt” and “Whirling Fans” from Treasures from the ’30s

Rose and Trellis quilt Beginner's Luck quilt
“Rose and Trellis” and “Beginner’s Luck” from
Treasures from the ’30s

You’ll find more scrappy 1930s quilts in Quilt Revival by Nancy Mahoney.

From Quilt Revival
“Treasure Chest,” “Flying Kites,” and “Shadow Star” from Quilt Revival

Sisters Kay Connors and Karen Earlywine were introduced to quilts by their grandmother. They fell in love with the mix of colorful prints and bright solids in 1930s quilts. Their book Link to the ‘30s includes these fantastic patterns and more, all based on authentic designs.

Quilts from Link to the 30s
“Chain Link,” “Stars in the Attic,” and “Double Windmill” from Link to the ’30s

Is appliqué your thing? Nancy Mahoney selected outstanding examples from her collection of ’30s patterns for her book Applique Quilt Revival.

From Applique Quilt Revival
“Tulip Patch,” “House on a Hill,” and “Bunny Hop” from Appliqué Quilt Revival


Which of these movies from the 1930s describes your ’30s stash: You Can’t Take It with You (my stash exceeds my life expectations), Gone with the Wind (been there, done that), or Modern Times (sorry, ’30s prints don’t float my boat)? Tell us in the comments.

Save 40% on select eBooks this week!


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