Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Tinted Quilts

 For many of us, tinted linens are sweet and reminiscent of the 1930s and 1940s!  They always remind me of my Nana Betty for some reason.  I'm not the only one fond of them, there are even some books out there that feature them:

Some of the tinted lines we adore today were pre-packeged kits that people could buy and embroider:

Others were colored with crayons.  These textiles can be problematic but they were popular.  I am fond of these because Crayola Crayons has a factory here in the Lehigh Valley.  They moved to the valley in 1900!
1933 ad from Needlecraft Magazine

Both the Nancy Page Quilt Club and Ruby McKim suggested using the crayon method for their patterns.  I'm sure other designers did as well.

The method was explained in this 1932 Nancy Page article:  "Another member was filling in the traced outline with colored crayon.  The crayon was set by pressing the material with a hot iron."  Hand turned applique was encouraged though because it was "judged the prettiest."

I use a McKim top for both the McKim program and my embroidery program.  The top was colored with crayon but rather ineffective because there was no outline for the eye to travel to...so I added embroidery to visually show the difference:

One of the best crayon colored pieces in my collection is McKim's Farm Life quilt and is embroidered as well:

A 1930 article listed a Farm Life quilt in a newspaper sponsored quilt competition.  Miss Myrtis Vance colored her images with crayon and ironed them on the reverse side.  She then embroidered the outline with black floss.

If you are interested in using crayon in a quilt, I suggest Crabapple Hill Studios tutorial here.  She encourages using white crayon before you begin your coloring process.  It's very interesting!

Have a safe and happy day!


  1. I'm afraid I am a hopeless Linen geek. I love them all. How wonderful to have a Crayola factory nearby. I love the smell of crayons. Does the factory produce a crayon smell?

  2. Thanks Michele. I think your addition of embroidery really makes a difference. Sometimes it's the little things at the end that can make it shine.