Sunday, June 17, 2018

Fashion fabric of the CW Era

In 1852 Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria, purchased the Balmoral estate and original castle. The Royal family visited frequently and embraced the local Scottish style......Tartans. Plaids of all scales quickly became a fashion statement on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Document color...printed plaid from A Soldier's Quilt

The plaids could be printed or yarn dyed. The scale varied from the above which would have been the height of Parisian stripe to gold stripe is 1 3/4 " something as small as an apron check that was more affordable. This document coloration is gold adjacent to dull lavender with a soft gray green.  See below....for the other 2 colorations in the Washington Street Studio line...A Soldier's Quilt.

Madder Style

Greeny blue with gold

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Soldier's Quilt

This Double Violet fabric design is the header for Cottonopia and from an 1863-68 sample book of mine.

My newest line, A Soldier's Quilt, by Washington Street Studio was introduced at Spring Quilt Market in Portland, OR.  Delivery is scheduled for October, 2018.

This design above is my favorite in the book.  The double violet version is the document color....there are 2 others. 
This image is from 8" X 8" piece of artwork. The sprigs are approximately 1 1/4" square.

Two additional colorations....double pinks and a grayed green.

The pencil stripe background is 2 shades of taupe.

I will be posting a series of short essays about the lead up to The War, the creation of the Sanitary Commission and their call for quilts or comforts.  

I grew up in a state that was formed during the American Civil War—West Virginia. Non-slaveholding western Virginia opposed secession. In June of 1861, a delegation in Wheeling (my home town) organized a government with allegiance to the Union. West Virginia became a state in 1863. As children, we played ‘North and South’!

The differences between the two regions of the country were not only political but also social and economic. Townspeople and small farmers populated New England where the soil and the topography were not suitable for large-scale plantations. Northern waterpower was the fuel for the American Industrial Revolution. The wealth and political power of the North came from industry and commerce. The South, however, was an agrarian society based on ‘old money’ and dominated politically by the planter class. The price of cotton at mid century was high and the market in both New England and Europe was strong. Southern plantation owners wanted more and more land plus cheap labor to sustain this boom.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


A small to medium motif printed diagonally. This is an old weaving term that also applies to printed goods. Chintz had fallen out of favor by the 1840-50s. Red and Green applique quilts of that period feature a variety of foulards in strong reds and greens. The price of green dye had dropped and a wide variety of small neat intense green prints were available.

Foulards became increasingly popular as dressgoods during the 1860s.

This is an early ( Dargate Book c. 1830) trailing vine style background with a small/medium foulard print set on the diagonal.

My 1863-5 book....Dressgoods foulard style design. Printed stripe background with motifs set on the diagonal in a popular Civil War Era coloring....dull lavender.

Friday, May 6, 2016


Numbers can sometimes help me think about textile history from a slightly different angle. The 1840s were a time of rapid advances in textile printing. (New printing machinery as well as dyes)  Designs were often 'over the top'....because technically it was now possible.

Merchant's Wife by Terry Clothier Thompson for RJR Fabrics beautifully illustrates this phenomena.
Merchants Wife
 Let's do a floral between add a scroll.....then put both on top of a diagonal ombre. WOW!

Here is the statistic....." estimate of hand versus machine printing of fabrics in Great Britain per day was 168 yards ( hand) as against 5,600 to 14,000 yards by machine". Quote from "A Pieced Quilt" by Holstein.

Friday, March 18, 2016

French Bouquet...

by Annemarie Yohnk for Quilts Remembered. neighbor in nearby Burnsville, MN.. used fabrics I designed for Andover Fabrics....Dargate Treasury.. to create this charming wall hanging. It is featured in the newest issue of Quiltmania # 112, page 74. She combined broderie perse applique and piecing for the center portion of the project...and then finished it with a dramatic printed border.

We have kits, issue # 112 of both rulers recommended by Annemarie.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Fancy Grounds

Traceries by Andover Fabrics/Margo Krager

Further development of roller printing equipment and techniques led to the popularity of fancy ground covers in 1820-30s.
The early chintz prints were usually on plain or colored backgrounds. Other options were a speckled pink ground, popular with the Dutch trade, in the early 18th century and a subtle vermicular, endless meandering lines also called worm, or seaweed design as a background or border print in the late 18th century. The overall design were printed with a weak mordant and showed as a pale background. Sometimes it was done alone with the fabric then used as a lining.
This type of background design was revived as a honey comb motif in 1815-20. The workshop of Joseph Lockett of Manchester, England was known for their cylinder making and engravings. By the 1820s he offered a wide range of delicate overall designs to be used as cover rollers. Strike offs of much of his work from 1806-1840 remain.
A meander, a subtle stripe or plaid or overall fancy grounds were added to many floral prints from 1825-1860. Often an initial roller printing was done for outlining or picotage shadings, motifs were then block printed. The print paste protected the first two steps when the yardage was again roller printed with a 'fancy ground' cover pattern. This final step could add an additional 1 cent/yard to the cost of production!
The above leaf design from my current 'in production' line, Traceries, features the look of c. 1830 fancy ground plaid.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


EQ Stash 2016 contains Margo's Mignonettes...WOW. I am delighted that my nice icky gold, brass, bronze and russet designs were chosen. They are some of my favorites!!

May Day Basket....pattern available free with purchase as part of the current Block Stock Shop Hop. Mention it in Comments at the end of your order and we will be happy to slip the pattern into your shipment.

In anticipation of my newest Dargate line....Vines....I am working on some Lucy Boston blocks. We offer not only the templates and papers for 3 different sizes...but will soon also have Fat 1/8ths Bag O Scraps combining Dargate fabrics with Trinkets.