Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Stars in a Time Warp 3: Shirting Prints

Shirting print star by Becky Brown
The blue shirting reproduction is from my Union Blues collection. The yardage
is scheduled for deliver in March. You can buy precuts now.


Vintage star with solid white for the background,
about 1840-1865

Quilters often used a plain white cotton for the light contrast in their quilts.


Vintage quilt, about 1830-1870

Another choice was a textured light print, something with a white background and small figures.

Vintage block about 1870-1900

Light prints became increasingly popular after
the Civil War when they were also fashionable for clothing.

Reproduction star by Bettina Havig.

The shirting print has a rabbit and some musical notes,
recognizable figures classified as a subcategory of shirting
prints: Conversation Prints. 
We'll do more about conversationals later in the year.

We classify these neutrals as shirting prints today.
The prints are characterized by minimalist, monochrome figures without
much detail. The figures are set far apart
to let lots of the white background show through.

Vintage star about 1870-1900


Vintage stars about 1900

There were a lot of shirting prints manufactured,

particularly between 1870 and 1920
when the light cottons were so popular for clothing.


"Shirts" of shirtings by Carolyn Friedlander



They are again easy to find because they are so useful
for backgrounds with a traditional look.

Reproduction North Star by Mary L at Quilting in Oz

North Star by Jayne's Quilting Room

Repro quilt from an online store
The shirting print is in the foreground in the blue block
at lower left.

Detail of Jeanne Poore's reproduction Quilt for Alice

On the left a mid-19th-century inspiration block, on the right my
interpretation of the way she used her shirtings and madder stripes.

Three shirting prints from my next Moda line
Union Blues, which should be in shops in March


;
Part of the appeal of period scrappy quilts is
the variety of shades in the lighter prints. Shirtings
and other lights were printed in different color values.
Some have become more yellow or tan over the years.


Nantucket from Seams Crazy Quilts Blog


The above version of the Minick and Simpson pattern Nantucket mixes up those values to give
a distinctive scrappy look.



Minick & Simpson's 2014 Lexington collection has many good shirting repros.

As does Primitive Gatherings' recent
Lakeside Gatherings.


Amy's star with a "neat" shirting in a regular diagonal set. 
She's used it to show off
a kind of coral stripe from her stash.

Valerie's combination of a madder red print
and a shirting with a small figure.

One More Thing About Shirtings

"Superfine Shirtings." 
Stamp on a quilt backing. The quilt is dated 1844.

Shirting is an old textile term and probably refers more to the cotton's weight and weave rather than the print style. Within that category were subcategories. An Oneida, New York mill entered a group of fabrics in the Great National Fair in 1846: "Extra fine shirtings, superfine shirtings, fine shirtings, twilled shirtings and striped shirtings." The category we are discussing here is shirting prints: Shirting-weight weaves with a certain style of simple print.

Setting Idea for Your Stack of Star Blocks

In strips

In this circa-1900 quilt 72 stars are
set between same-sized light squares and then 
with Turkey red strips of the same width. 



A Quilt for Alice by Paula Barnes
The stars are set in strips
with a small spacer between each
and then vertical strips the same width as the star.
Using a consistent shirting print background 
makes the stars float.

See the pattern here:

Find out more about shirtings on pages 113-117 in my book America's Printed Fabrics and see a pattern for "Lost Ship" on page 118.

Reproduction quilt, Lost Ship by Barbara Brackman, 2002.

Shirtings and Madder Prints-
Classic mid-19th century.



Vintage shirting print yardage

Read others posts I've done about vintage shirtings:
http://barbarabrackman.blogspot.com/2014/07/shirting-document-print-for-richmond.html
http://barbarabrackman.blogspot.com/2013/03/shirting-prints-as-neutral.html

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Becky's Spiky Set for Threads of Memory



Becky's finished top in line for hand quilting

She says that probably is not going to happen, however. She can piece a lot more tops than she can quilt. The quilt in the frame has been there for 20 months. She sent this photo to show how she photographs her quilts (note rolled up rug.) She hangs over the stair railing to get the whole quilt in a picture and then manipulates the photo into a rectangle with Photoshop (at which she's quite good)
.
 Memory's Crown by Becky Brown, 76" 99"

For her blocks made with my Moda Ladies' Album collection, Becky used a set inspired by the old Rocky Mountain/Crown of Thorns/New York Beauty sashing.


Quilt from the mid-20th century, possibly made from a 
Mountain Mist pattern called New York Beauty.

We're giving you a pattern here but must remind you that this is NOT for beginners in sewing or in computer-aided pattern drafting. It's a challenge.


Becky pieced spiky strips 12-1/2" x 4-1/2". When pieced to the blocks they finish to 12" x 4".


 Each spike is tapered from 1" on a 4" length.

Threads of History blocks with a Crown of Thorns set#1, 
52" x 68"

Becky did a lot of preplanning using Photoshop. Her first idea was to set the 12 blocks on a horizontal grid and sash the blocks with the 12" x 4" finished strips. This is the pattern we are giving here.

(This shot is probably the closest to the correct color of this quilt.)

Plan A: Separate the blocks with these strips and add a finished 4" corner square of a large floral print. Most prints she used are from my Ladies' Album collection last year. Her light plain color in the spikes is Moda's Bella Solid Parchment.


Measurements
  • Top is 52" x 68".
  • Blocks finish to 12".
  • Cornerstones finish to 4". (Cut 20 squares 4-1/2".)
  • Pieced sashing strips finish to 12" x 4". You need 35.
Here's a paper pieced pattern for the strips.


How to Print
  • Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11".
  • Click on the image above.
  • Right click on it and save it to your file.
  • Print that file out on a sheet of 8-1/2" x 14" paper (legal-size). The template should be 4-1/2" wide x 12-1/2" long.
  • Adjust the size if necessary to the correct size.

Cutting the fabric.
Becky used a template to cut her fabric
before piecing it to the foundation.

Print this on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of paper.
It should make a template 1-3/4" at the base.
You may have to readjust the pattern to fit your printer.

Here she's cut 36 spikes out of a strip of Parchment solid fabric.

Note from Becky: "When piecing this border be mindful of starting and ending the sashing with light or dark fabric. 

It will make a difference."

Plan B: Set for 12 sampler blocks with 6 alternate plain blocks.

But she started thinking that she should place the blocks on point. The top would finish to about 68" x 90-1/2"


Piecing all those spikes gave her more time to think. She decided the cornerstones would look good with a pieced diamond star, something you often see in the sashing of those old Crown of Thorns quilts.

4" finished, hand-pieced star

Stitch 17 stars finishing to 4". You are on your own here. Draft an 8-pointed star to finish 4" ---BlockBase or EQ7 will do that for you. Becky hand-pieced them for accuracy.

First idea for star/sunburst

Well, you know Becky. She got another idea and she can sew anything she can think of and
draw in Photoshop. She decided those six plain blocks were just too plain and put an 8-pointed star/sunburst in them.

" I wanted these stars to float in the block so that it wouldn't compete with the other blocks. The placement of fabrics (colors) vary on these 6 blocks so they are all different." 

Again, you are on your own. (Do note there are many nice star/sunburst blocks already drafted for you in BlockBase and EQ7).


Detail of a corner to show you how she finished up the border.

And there you are. 
Note: No pattern for finished Becky masterpiece. It should remain one of a kind don't you think?