Butterscotch prints are often small, with the motifs closely packed together. Butterscotch fabrics often date to the middle of the nineteenth century and were frequently used as a background for a pieced pattern.
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Although originally posted in 1999, the guide remains pertinent today.
One thing we would update: the book A Century of American Sewing Patterns 1860 - 1959 Identification and Price Guide by Lori Hughes has been supplanted by other resources.
No matter what your favorite style or era, eventually you may have questions. For an overview of practical matters, A Beginner's Guide to Pattern Collecting by Jennifer Warris is an excellent place to begin.
Here's a roundup of some of the sources we've found the most useful and reliable.