At our guild meeting last Tuesday, a member showed a quilt she made that resembled plaids. I think these days this pattern is referred to as a gingham pattern or a buffalo check (or plaid) pattern.
This is a simple but really popular pattern right now. There are a lots of free tutorials and instructions if you do a net search. It's a mighty popular pattern these days.
I was charmed with our member's quilt and that got me to thinking...of a lot of things.
First off, where did the phrase "buffalo plaid" or "buffalo check" come from? Well, I did find the answer for that question. According to this interesting article from Piecework magazine, it was brought over from Scotland. The article is here. In Scotland, different plaids are associated with different families. This is the modern version of my mother's family plaid.
Interesting fact: The Dress Act of 1746 banned the use of tartans as a way of eradicating the Gaelic culture in Scotland and banning the warrior clans.
Second question: Was there a vintage or antique "plaid quilt pattern"? I couldn't find one that was an older and true plaid-ish pattern.
Perhaps this was because plaid was a popular fabric choice, especially in the later part of the 19th century.
An 1886 article discusses 100 plaids displayed at an exhibit in North Carolina. Apparently it was a popular arrangement and drew a lot of attention:
Gingham was also popular--particularly at the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th century.
And finally, I thought what could I use to make a plaid quilt? Well it was right in front of me. Apparently, I have never met a snow print in blues that I don't need despite having made three "Out of the Blue" tops.