Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Poison Bottles ~

“What an interesting subject matter for a quilt”, were my very first thoughts when Misty Cole asked me to become one of her quilt-along bloggers for her project – Poison Bottle Block of the Month.  After doing a little research on my own, I found out why these antique poison bottles were so popular back in the day!  WOW!  It was a necessity that these bottles emerged.  DEATH – accidental poisonings were what made the industry change the way these bottles were made.  After a very published issue arose where a patient was accidently poisoned, I found it very interesting that they used sleigh bells to try to show distinction between these bottles and a bottle of cough syrup in the middle of the night.

Can you just imagine!  How horrible that would be if you picked up the wrong bottle by mistake.  Although the sleigh bells were effective, the industry decided to put lettering and symbols on the bottles to further warn their consumers of danger. To further the distinction between these poison bottles and a normal medicine bottle some were made in the shape of  skulls or coffins!   As you can imagine, these images were very distinguishable –skull and cross bones, large lettering embossed on the bottles- POISON, ARSENIC, DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY.

I was chosen for the month of December to portray 2 bottles.  The Gold Rib and Tipper's animal medicine bottles.  I found one silver bottle in my research and decided that was one of the bottle I was protraying and loved the look in silver.

I used a sliver lame material which frays very easily, so I worked quickly on this to get the edges turned under and sewn.  I used a fusible web - Steam a seam 2 in the lite version to accomplish this feat.

The second bottle which is the Gold Ribbed one, I made in green.  In my research there were a lot of these bottles in green.

I used the same fusible web and used a raw edge applique for the bottle itself.  I wanted to show the ribs in three dimensions so I added the pieces shown on the sides of the bottle to add the depth that I wanted.  I ended up stitching the ribs for detail.  Both bottles were ironed on the background piece.

So my finished block which is 14 x 14 turned out nicely as you can tell below.  I stitched the word "POISON" on the silver bottle to give it the embossed lettering look.

Visit Misty's blog and find out more about these historical "Poison Bottles".
There are more block designs also available from her and the other bloggers!

Pick your Brain Designs – Arts with Smarts


  1. I love your version! Thanks so much for playing along!

  2. It was so fun and interesting to learn about these bottles!