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.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Year

It has been a year now since we relocated to Minnesota. I have a new MN driver's license! new experiences (strawberry picking early early Monday morning) and best of all new friends.

New fabrics with Andover...two lines in production: Dargate Polychromes shipping in August and Margo's mignonettes due in October with another line, as yet un named, in artwork. Plus several scheduled speaking engagements here in MN and one in AR.

I promised my son in law that given a year....I would have all the boxes unpacked. Well...I am close.. everything is unpacked and organized except my sewing room. Now how did that happen?

Best of all I get to see my daughter, son in law and grand children on a regular basis.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Spring Quilt Market

My presentation at School House during Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis went well. I guess all that fretting before hand paid off.

Picture of Dargate Treasury quilts hanging in the Andover booth. We will have patterns later this month for all.

Sunday, May 10, 2015


I am working on my School House presentation about my new Dargate Treasury fabrics for Quilt Market this week. I should have (during the 30 minutes session) about 8-11 minutes to talk about my inspiration for the fabric designs and show quilts made using Treasury.

I have 17 slides in my that should be about8- 9 minutes...then the quilts.

One of my new patterns I call Symbol.

This fabric design is French c 1830 and it has always reminded me of an Inuckshuk. (Ee nook shuk).

My husband and his best friend from junior high school...always spent their vacations together on  canoe trips. They would drive to the 'end of the road' in various Canadian provinces, hire a float plane to drop them off somewhere further North and then paddle back to civilization! They were usually gone 3-4 weeks.

Up in Nunavik (Northern artic region of Quebec province) the Inuit built these large lifelike stone citadels to direct caribou to hunters awaiting them in ambush. As Ron floated down those rivers, he would see these 'symbols' on the rolling hills above the river.  He brought home this tiny elegant Inuckshuk made by Canadian artist Len Masse using recycled Northern Canadian moose antler.

Inuckshuk 2 1/2" square....a Symbol

Saturday, April 25, 2015

May Day

Then and Now....a new pattern company with my business partner Mary Robbins from Bozeman, MT...will feature both traditional and contemporary quilt patterns using Dargate fabrics. We have started with the Treasury line. Two of my designs (I am very much Then) have made it to the photographer. Here is my first offering...May Day. Patterns will be available thru (retail and wholesale) late May.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Furnishing Goods

Today we might call these fabrics 'decorator designs'. The scale is larger and the elements often more exuberant. Merchant ledgers of the 18th and 19th Century referred to these fabrics as Furnishing Goods. The large printed garlands in Dargate Treasury from Andover Fabrics are a good example of c. 1830 Furnishing goods.
Ground colors popular 1815-1835 were white, tea dyed, yellow and light blue. These grounds were generally solids. The combination of a finely printed ground with block printed florals began with the development of steel mills in the mid 1830s. Often the small mill engraving backgrounds were printed separately and used as backings for quilts.
The tan color above is the document coloration. The pattern however, is a bit smaller than the original for two reasons. Today's goods offer 4 complete repeats of the large garland across the fabric. Five of the smaller design. In the original piece...the two different garlands are so close together some elements actually touch.  I wanted enough space between the two floral garlands to be able to cut/sew each design separately. 
Ribbons, an important fashion accessory, woven in the early 19th century often used a warp of one color with a different color of weft. In fabrics this would be called shot colors or chambrays. I am using several of these Chambrays by Andover Fabrics in quilts I am designing for the Dargate Treasury line. The Linen color is subtle and supportive while the Coral and Plum add a sparkle.
Dargate Treasury fabrics will be available late April and my quilt patterns by mid May on my website, Reproduction

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Circle Skirts are Popular!

If circle skirts are popular again, then half circle skirt aprons must be twice as popular. After all, doesn't one circle skirt equal two half circle skirt aprons?
    Circle skirts are the inspiration for the Half Circle Skirt Apron pattern. The little skirts with the geometric stripes showing up in the store windows and the Sunday newspaper ads are catching my attention and, maybe, yours too. But, you don't have to buy a circle skirt and cut it in half to get a half circle skirt apron. You can just make one from Margo's new fabric line, Dargate Treasury from Andover Fabrics available in early May. The floral stripes are perfect. My pattern includes two versions, the shorter "cocktail" length and the longer "cook" length. The pattern and kit will be available in mid-May at and, if you are at Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis, you might see Margo modeling it at her Schoolhouse presentation. And maybe she will twirl (circle skirts are known to cause this impulse) and you will see the floral stripes swirl.

If you think that the Half Circle Skirt Apron is cute in the aqua color way of the Dargate Treasury floral stripes (A7791T) and cream coordinate (A7795TL), imagine a full circle skirt. It will be twice as cute. After all, don't two half circle skirt aprons equal one circle skirt? Oh, I'm getting weary of the math.