Cynthia used a conversation print with her chrome orange
reproduction in February.
Vintage quilt about 1870-1890
The blue shirting pictures a small jingle bell.
A vintage dog print.
From a French swatchbook by Persoz.
He is showing a roller print for shirts printed in 1846
by the Koechlin Brothers mill of Alsace.
The finely drawn, light-weight cottons shown here were a subcategory of shirting prints.
A terrific small quilt with fussy-cut conversationals, about 1900.
Sporting print, a subcategory of conversationals.
Horseshoes, jockeys and racing images were a common theme.
The mill is harder metal impressing a pattern into the roller, which is softer metal, sort of like this diagram. When the softer metal roller began to wear out the mill could re-impress the pattern on to the copper.
A woman working on a cylinder or roller about 1870.
Horses, however, must have been popular prints.
Vintage top with horse, anchor and horse shoes, about 1880-1900.
Vintage indigo blue anchor print, about 1900.
During the latter part of the nineteenth century, at the same time that the mill-engraved conversational shirtings were popular for clothing and quilts, factories also produced conversational prints featuring white figures on Turkey red or indigo blue grounds.
The dark prints, which were quite popular for children’s clothing, appear in quilts from about 1880 through 1920. They rarely show the detail of the mill engravings, and are primarily sporting prints, another subcategory of conversationals. Anchors and sailing images, horse shoes and racing equipment are common in these red and blue shirtings.
Reproduction star by Becky Brown.
She's divided the center square
into 4 squares and rotated the bicyclists around.
Happy Hexagons by Wendy Caton Reed.
Each light hexagon features a converation print...
as you can see in this detail.
Terry Thompson did a line of shirtings a few years ago.
Conversationals are another example of "Buy a yard when you see it."
Lisa Bongean's recent Lakeside Gathering
From American Folk and Fabric
From Classic Conversationals by Judie Rothermel
A nice range of conversationals in Ascot
One of Amy's stars in January set with a rooster print.
And another of Becky's with a dog.
Is that the same dog in the 1886 Bloomingdale's catalog?
You could buy a boy's shirt already made.
"American Percale, in a beautiful variety of heads, birds, figures, etc.,
very stylish and striking effects."
What to Do with Your Stack of Star Blocks?
Alternate a HST.
(current quilters' jargon for a square pieced of 2 Half-Square Triangles.)
Vintage quilt from about 1900.
The taupes and tans may have once been bright reds and blues. This quilt alternating stars and triangles blocks is from the decades when solid color cottons were quite fugitive.
Same idea with more contrast. Cut your triangles for the alternate squares 8-7/8" . Cut into 2 triangles with a diagonal slice.
If you set the stars and alternate blocks on point you can get a different look
as in this quilt from about 1870-1910.
Wish...Upon A Star by Joe Wood for Thimblecreek Quilts
You might want to control shading and color to make an alternate block quilt look like a strip quilt.
One More Thing About Conversation Prints
Another subcategory of conversationals is commemorative prints. These reproductions are based on patriotic variations perhaps printed during the Civil War.
The Union Forever, a reproduction
It's hard to know if these were printed during the war or commemoratives.
Union, one of my reproductions, out of print.
The 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia inspired many
Vintage quilt with Centennial sashing dated 1776-1876
This Washington print is dated 1776 but it's another Centennial design from 1876.
Two similar reproductions