Mariners Quilt Guild

Anyone want a smoke?

Sharon P. shared her collection of cigar and cigarette silks with fellow Mariners at the Oct. 22 meeting. She first discovered cigar and cigarette silks when she was cleaning out her grandmother’s house about 15 years ago and has been collecting them ever since.

So, what are cigar and cigarette silks? Popular from the early 1900s to the beginning of World War II, silks were prizes or inducements included in cigarette and cigar packages, much like baseball cards. Except these prizes were aimed at women, either to encourage them to smoke or to get their husbands to buy a particular brand.

Designs were stamped on small rectangles of silk. Sets of collectibles featured themes such as flags, animals, flowers or even famous actors and actresses of the time. Companies would also provide ideas for projects to make with the silks. Quilters would often incorporate them into crazy quilts.

There’s lots of information about cigarette and cigar silks on the Web. Anyone interested in starting their own collection can search for them on eBay or on antique fabric sites.

Here are a selection of Sharon’s cigarette silks.

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