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,
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
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
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 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: