Thursday, January 21, 2016

To Wash or Not

I recently received the following washing instructions in a shipment from RJR Fabrics.

"The dyes used in these fabrics are reactive dyes: therefore, colors are stable and will not release dye. Prewashing fabric is not necessary.

If you choose to prewash, wash in cold water and damp dry. Complete drying process by air drying. This washing and drying method will retain the finish of the fabric."

Good explanation for today's fabrics.

Reproduction Fabrics will be participating in the upcoming Stock Block Shop Hop.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quilt Market in Houston

Andover Fabrics showed my newest lines....Dargate Polychromes and Margo's their booth at Quilt Market in Houston. Mary Robbins from Bozeman, MT made the Rail Fence quilt as well as the Card Trick pillow. Lauren Meddings from Manhattan, MT make the red/pink Young Man's Fancy. Both the Card Trick and Fancy are free patterns available from

Center Medallion Quilt by Margo Krager

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pillar Prints
Cloverdale Pillar by Di Ford/Andover Fabrics
Di's Pillars feature lovely green and gold accents. Margo's Mignonette's play nicely with these elements within the Pillars.

Pillar Prints

Glorious upholstery chintzes featuring architectural columns festooned with flowers or ribbons appeared in wood block prints around 1800 and again later in roller printed designs after 1825. They lost popularity for decorating during the 1830s but continued to be used in quilts through the 40s and 50s.

Pillar prints are a distinctively British styling and were especially popular there and in America for curtains and bedcovers. These early designs featured short columns topped either by an ornate capital or flowers. The columns could be classic Greek, or twisted, carved designs wrapped with ribbons, garlands, or vines with tendrils. Polychrome wood block printing produced especially beautiful fabrics in this style and English printers offered hundreds of different designs early in the 19th century.

Roller printers revived the popular pillar print motifs between 1825-30.Copper rollers laid down the primary pattern that was then overprinted with extra colors by blocks or surface rollers. These later textiles still featured a basic column with flowers plus extra elements that had not appeared in the earlier versions.

Often pieced blocks in quilts from this period (first half of the 19th century) contain small squares or triangles cut from a large pillar print (12” to 20” repeats). Sometimes you see only a small portion of the flowers; other times an odd piece of architecture.

In her great book, “America’s Printed Fabrics, 1770-1890”, Barbara Brackman recommends purchasing 5 yards of a Pillar Print. Use it for borders and cut it up for pieced blocks!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Center Medallion....Polychrome Indigos

Center for a new medallion quilt. The hex is 1 1/2" with the center portion being DC511N. This is appliqued onto a 43 1/2" X  61 1/2" piece of DC512N. I am currently adding in 1" borders from DC513N...just the gold scroll part. Also building 9" finished Lemoyne Stars for a double row surround!

The icky gold and brass colorations are from my upcoming line...Margo's mignonettes.  I will try to get them up on wish list soon. Delivery expected in October.

We get to see the Broncos tonight...not usually broadcast in Ron is pleased. Will sew while watching.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Polychromes....multi colored

Dargate Polychromes

This outstanding multi-colored indigo from the Dargate book has been beautifully reproduced by Andover Fabrics using modern technology to capture the colors of this c. 1830 fabrics. The entire line, including both red and black color ways plus coordinates, is coming to a quilt shop near you soon. See the full selection at Dargate.
I am currently working on 2 quilts using my early sample yardages. I should have pictures on the next post.

I was, however, curious about the method used in 1830 to produce such fabric. Classic blue/white indigo designs can be printed by resist. This resist method utilizes a resist paste in the area that is to remain white. The yardage is then dyed in an indigo bath, followed by the removal of the resist. Another run through the indigo dye bath would produce a two blue design.


These were the beginning steps to polychrome indigo prints. The original resist paste and indigo dye both produced white and light blue designs on a dark blue background. The old resists were then removed and new areas covered with another paste. The fabric was dyed yellow, giving three additional colors: yellow, green and black. Finally, a pink and red were overprinted. The final product was a dramatic polychrome indigo featuring white, light blue, dark blue, yellow, green, black, red, pink and brown. Wow!


Technical assistance with this history process graciously provided by the Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design, University of Rhode Island: Drs. Bide, Ordonez and Welters.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

California Golds

Chrome yellow is a mineral dye that was used to dye and print cottons from around 1820. An alkaline rinse in the final stages of the process would change the color to chrome orange. (The color could vary from school bus yellow to aged cheddar cheese.)
A fine printed line or a small design could appear almost butterscotch in color. These are often called ‘California Golds’ and were seen from 1840-1890. I remember at least the starting date for these prints...because of the San Francisco '49ers. (We are big football fans. Since we can rarely get a Bronco game here in MN, we are trying to change our colors!)

Dargate Polychromes

The orange/gold dye is also seen in a very dramatic way on a deep indigo blue background through out the 19th century and into the early 1900s.