1950's - The height of prosperity for families after two decades of struggles! The nation exploded in new cars, new appliances, and new homes in what would become known as the suburbs. Women enjoyed the ability to purchase stylish and elegant clothing, and portraying the most current fashions.
America became involved in the Korean War, and McCarthyism. Always on the mind of most men and women was the peril of possible nuclear war, but it didn't stop the growth of the good life. You could find "The Tonight Show" and "I Love Lucy" on TV, and the "Peanuts" comic strip in the newspaper. The world talked about Rosa Parks, James Dean, Jonas Salk, and Elvis Presley. Everyone felt like nothing could stop the boom of well-being.
Although quilting still wasn't a big part of the everyday woman's daily activity as they didn't feel the need to create bed quilts, some women still loved the art of creating the colorful coverings. Like vintage 1940's quilts, finding a vintage 1950's handmade quilt is a treasure.
Sewing machines made in the 1950's had more stitches available for the seamstress, and came with special feet that made quilting and sewing in general much easier. Quilt patterns were designed and sold by popular pattern publishers in fabric stores, and you could now find "how to" quilt books in stores and libraries. Quilting was now seen as a hobby by suburban and city dwelling women. Rural and farming women still used quilting as a necessity.
Fabric prints of the 1950's became vibrant, expressive, and a bit quirky. As television and movie westerns became a favorite with families, fabric manufacturers began producing cotton with elaborate cowboys, horses, and western scenes. As interest in outer space gained momentum, space inspired fabric was produced with astronauts, spaceships, planets, and atomic-looking galaxies.