QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Moda's Morris Earthly Paradise

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Celebrate! Make a Quilt

Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting in 1872

As the First Lady said: We take it for granted today that a woman can be nominated for President by
a major political party. 

Let's not. I hope we are drinking champagne, eating ice cream out of the carton and planning how we can carry on the dreams of Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul and all the others who worked for this day.

Alice Paul

Make a quilt!
Here's what you need for your 2016 patchwork:
Hillary Clinton fabric.

Hamilton---The Quilt (detail) by Georgann Eglinski, 2016

Georgann has been working on this quilt with a Hewson panel, listening to Hamilton The Musical and reading an Alexander Hamilton biography. All so 2016! (If not 1816)

Where'd she get that Hillary Clinton 2106 campaign print?

I Photoshopped it. I did two different prints.

This one is a little portrait that says....

2016 on a star background

I also colored it in tan too. Print either of these 8-1/2" x 11"
JPGs on treated fabric and you can include them in
your 2016 quilts.

I also created a double portrait of
Susan B Anthony and Hillary R Clinton.
These sheets are both 8-1/2" x 11"

My inspiration was this jugate portrait fabric ( political collectors' jargon for double portrait) of George Washington and Benjamin Harrison, printed for the 1888 election.

Here's what I am working on.
The star center is cut to fit the 8-1/2" x 11" sheet. (Star finishes to 8-1/2")
Do remember you can print these out in different sizes
and if you have some photo enhancing skills you could
change the colors to match the quilt you are working on.

A little Photoshopping on an old motto

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Playing the Old Lady Card: Instagram

Well, I hate to play the old lady card.

But who knew?

Being terribly unhip and liking it that way I have never paid any attention to Instagram.

Now I find out I have a hashtag.

People post pictures of things they have made from my patterns and fabric.


There are at least four hashtags you might use:


And please do!

Country Rose


Keep it up, you hipsters.

I am going to have to get a smarter phone.
Click here to see these photo categories:


#westering women



Barb added one more:

I need a nap.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Morris Hexathon 12: Hampton Court

Morris Hexathon 12: Hampton Court by Becky Brown

12: Hampton Court by Ilyse Moore

This week's hexie, a star inside a star, is named Hampton Court for the current location of the Royal School of Needlework, another William Morris legacy.

Hampton Court Palace in London.
The 500th anniversary of this Tudor castle was celebrated in 2014. It has long been the home of an impressive tapestry collection from Brussels, commissioned by King Henry VIII.

The Great Hall with the Abraham Tapestries
"This morning, as it is fresh and fair after the rain, I am going to throw dull care away and have a holiday, to wit I am going to Hampton Court by myself to look at the tapestries and loaf about the gardens." 
William Morris letter, possibly to Georgiana Burne-Jones, 1887.
Elephants in the Story of Abraham wearing 
tapestries with a double star---tapestry in a tapestry

The Royal School did not begin in such elegant apartments.The School of Art Needlework opened in 1872 in rooms above a shop on Sloane Street with several goals: employing women in meaningful work, upgrading the art of embroidery and reviving historical embroidery techniques. William and Jane Morris and other members of the firm were supporters of the goals and the organization. Morris and Company became suppliers of patterns and materials. 

Show room featuring articles for sale

The School became Royal when Queen Victoria granted Patronage in 1875.

"The designers at work making the fabric."

A star inside a star.
This week's pattern has four templates: 
1 hexagon, 2 diamonds and 1 triangle.
You may think there are too many dang pieces. Scroll down for an alternate block.

Pattern for an 8" Hexagon
(4" sides)
 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 8-1/2" x 11". The hexagon should measure 4" on the sides
  • Adjust the printed page size if necessary.
  • Add seams when you cut the fabric.

A version probably made from the 
Kansas City Star pattern, about 1935.

It's BlockBase #257, a pattern found in 20th-century quilts, published and named several times in the 1930s.

Names include Ozark Diamonds and Ozark Star from the Kansas City Star, which also called it Ma Perkins Flower Garden.
[Ma Perkins was the lead character in a radio soap opera---we are not exploring Ma or the Ozarks in this series so we will let it all go at that.]

Designer Eveline Foland's 1931 pattern in the Star.

Carrie Hall's interpretation of Foland's block from the Spencer Museum
collection at the University of Kansas---
accurate down to the stripes called for.

Feel free to redraw this block, changing the number of pieces from 37 to 25 by eliminating the star in the center.

Here is an alternate block for Hampton Court. To make it
print the pattern below. If you are using rulers or pre-cut templates:
The yellow hexagon finishes with 2" sides.
The green diamond finishes with 2" sides.

One More Inspiration
Quilt from about 1870
from dealers Woodard & Greenstein,
published in an old Quilt Engagement Calendar

The Royal School of Needlework continues to offer classes and shows. Visit to see the palace, the school, the tapestries and their special exhibitions.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Calli's Question: Endless Chain

Calli writes:
"I spent a weekend with friends and we enjoyed seeing a lovely antique collection of a friend's mother. I loved this quilt but am stumped by the pattern. Can you identify it? Also can you see fabrics well enough to roughly date the quilt?"
It's in BlockBase as #2716 with two names...

Grandma Dexter's pattern---1930s

Crazy Star from Grandma Dexter and Endless Chain from the Alice Brooks/Laura Wheeler pattern syndicate,both from the 1930s.

I had photos of a couple of other examples that look, like Calli's, to be from the 1930s or '40s. Those multicolor prints with white as a neutral are typical 1930-1960 style.

Here's an ad for the Laura Wheeler pattern from the early 1930s:
"The quilt Endless Chain means endless fun for you who piece it. Gay scraps are perfect for this...simple to join. Here's an old favorite that's favored today!"

(I wouldn't agree with any of those statements except for the one about scraps.)

A third vintage example.

It's a great pattern except for the part about 12 seams meeting in the center (endless fun!) but if you like a piecing challenge BlockBase will print it out for you any size you like.

Calli drew it up herself for paper piecing. She sent a picture of two blocks done in thirties repro prints.

Nice centers!
She won't have to be appliqueing a circle over those.

You could also buy the pattern Modern Prism from Zen Chic---
A slight adaptation to accommodate challenging centers. 

A fourth vintage example