Reproduction star by Becky Brown
Vintage block, 1820-1850
Serpentine stripes, which snake along the fabric's surface, were quite popular in the first half of the 19th century.
Vintage flowers set in a striped set, but a serpentine striped set.
We're changing our focus here, going back into the 1800-1840 era, when serpentine stripes were IT.
Detail of a cotton dress about 1820 from
Charles A. Whitaker auctions
Early Medallion framed by triangles of stripes---serpentine
and straight (neat stripes, about which more later)
Serpentine stripe reproduction by Becky Brown
Vintage block, 1820-1840
Combination of a serpentine stripe with an indigo neat stripe.
Serpentine stripes add fussy-cut effects to hexagons
as in this early quilt. Also notice the border.
It's 4 diamonds, 3 shaded one way, 1 another.
Valerie's purple repro block included a serpentine stripe in the center.
Another reproduction star by Becky
She and Valerie have the same print in different colorways.
Vintage block, 1820-1840-
Note the unusual shape that is pieced of the serpentine stripes. It fits with hexagons
and offers more fussy-cutting possibilities.
Rainbow shading in a serpentine stripe
Girl, about 1840
Undulating stripes soften the lines of the dress so curved stripes might have been a fashion demand. But rollers printed these stripes easily and well, so the fad could also have been caused merely by the novelty of the cylinder print machines.
Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection
at the University of Wisconsin
Detail of an early 19th-century scrap quilt.
Curvy stripes add to the busyness of the classic chintz look.
Mill book with illustrations for fabric about 1825.
Turkey red and a purple stripe by Becky Brown
The purple looks like the 1825 swatches
Terry Thompson and I reproduced this print for Coral Gardens
back in the '90s.
Sharon and Jason Yenter have a lovely example
in their Circa 1825 line for In the Beginning...
used here in a reproduction from Busy Thimble blog
Nancy Gere may be the queen of serpentine stripes.
She reproduces them often and well.
Lori at Humble Quilts used that blue stripe above.
A reproduction dress seen at Hearts Full of Joy blog.
SF's block using a popular repro print.
It was in the Sarah Johnson line from the Shelburne Museum
Here it is again in Old Virginia by Mariann Simmons. The print is rather strange and
A recent repro from Mary Koval's Edith
Val has a piece of another old favorite
What to Do With Your Stack of Stars?
Make Blocks of Different Sizes
Star Happy Quilts by Judy Martin
We're working with 6" stars but you could be making 3", 9" or 12" stars too. With a little bit
of extra setting fabric you can give these vintage-looking stars a more contemporary look.
America by Leere Aldrich
from A Year of Cozy Comforts by Dawn Heese.
Dawn alternated a large star with a 9-patch pieced of small stars.
Your 6-inch stars in a Nine Patch block would finish to 18".
If you alternated 5 big stars (finishing to 18") and 4 nine patches.....
You'd need only 20 small stars to wind up with a 54" quilt.
The nine patches are called Cluster of Stars and are BlockBase pattern #1710.
Those big stars would be an excellent spot for a Serpentine Stripe.
One More Thing About Serpentine Stripes
The Smithsonian's History Museum owns a quilt made
by Martha Washington and her granddaughter Eliza Custis.
The brown stripe in the center border is supposed to be one
of Martha's dresses
That serpentine stripe was reproduced during the Centennial in 1876. Note the stripes going both ways. It's a rather basic print, possibly American manufactured. It's probably a little too primitive to be commercially viable today. But now you know what to look for if you are channeling Martha.
Read more about the quilt here:
Repro by Becky Brown.
She's added seams to the center
square to fussy-cut the serpentine stripe.
Read more about serpentine stripes in my book America's Printed Fabric, pages 37-39