Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Favorite Golden Oldie

Ever since I bought an old quilt at a garage sale for $1, I have been hooked on antique quilts. Granted, I've never again found as wonderful a deal as that first time but it is the carrot on the end of the string that I follow. Of course cheap isn't everything, and when you see a description on ebay that reads "Old, old quilt..." you know you'll be viewing tatters. One of my favorite genres of antique quilts are those southern, usually scrappy, pieces that prominently feature a golden-yellow color. By the 1880s that bright color was available in store-bought dyes and any farm wife could transform her worn fabric to the gorgeous marigold shade. This Star of Bethlehem quilt from North Carolina is hand-dyed (the gold and the green) and supposedly a Lumbee Indian quilt.

Collectors of antique quilts have renamed the golden-yellow color 'cheddar,' as in the color of the cheese of the same name. When I was a kid I didn't know what cheddar was--I thought all golden-yellow cheese was 'rat cheese.' Never heard of rat cheese? It's simply that rather greasy but tasty cheese, encased in bright red wax, that is wonderful slabbed together with bologna or Vienna sausages on soda crackers. By the way, although it's spelled Vienna, the word is pronounced Vi-anny (long i and long a) or Vi-nah (long i), depending on whether you're in Kentucky or the Carolinas.