Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Stars in a Time Warp 21: Neat Stripes

Reproduction star by Becky Brown with three neat stripe prints

Vintage star about 1875---three stripes

Stripes for figure and background, about 1880.

Subtle stripes make great period backgrounds for your stars.

Two neat stripes.
Reproduction star by Bettina Havig

The fabrics were often referred to as "neat stripe effects," as in the fashion note for wools below.

"desirable spring shades, especially old rose and wisteria...The cutting-up trade has taken large quantities of these shades in neat stripe effects of ladies' suits."

Men's ties in "pearl gray, green and red, helio, lilac,
Alice blue, old rose, magenta, catawba and coral in small, neat stripe patterns."

Reproduction by Bettina Havig

Neat stripes were part of the men's wear
look that was so popular in the 1890-1920 period.

Vintage star about 1910

Portrait in a fussy-cut striped dress.
about 1870-90

The neatest stripe I'd guess is just a
hard-edged, alternate dark and light.

The basic stripe of color on white was quite 
popular in the 1870-1900 era.

Don't let the Nile green fool you into thinking the block is 1930s---mint green stripes were popular in the 1870s.

Fussy cut stripes,
Mother with children, maybe the 1870s

You need simple stripes in your repro stash whatever time period interests you.

Block from about 1820-1840

Stripe of dots in a quilt dated 1823

Block from about 1820-1840
Many stripes had pattern in them but
there was a hard-edged, rather neat quality to them.

Block from about 1840-1860
Look for neat stripes in all colors.

Reproduction star by Becky Brown with a neat stripe
of double pink

Block from about 1870-1890 
Pinks and...

particularly madders, which were the rage in the 1870s.

Log cabin backing about 1870-1890

We can contrast the neat stripes to serpentine stripes

Quilt from about 1800-1830

Rainbow stripes,
Quilt from about 1820-1840

And border stripes.

Repro border stripe from my Civil War Homefront collection
Border stripes are larger scale than neat stripes.

Railroad Crossing repro quilt by Roseanne Smith with the red version
of the large stripe as the mitered border.

Reproduction by Bettina Havig
A neat stripe---or is it a chintz in a striped set?
Either way it's a good repro look.
The light background stripe has that excentric look
of a mechanical drawing. (See last week.)

You need all sizes of stripes.

Krissy's Antique Stars

A reproduction kit from Petra Prins's shop

Rainbow stripes, serpentine stripes and larger border stripes each had a limited heyday, but neat stripes are found throughout the century.

Neat stripes and California gold in a vintage block.

You know how careful we are at matching stripes.
Forget it!

Vintage star about 1880

Vintage star, about 1850


Ann in her Notes From the Quilt Lab blog showed her
reproduction (on the right) of a faded four patch.
Stripes aplenty.

Becky fussy-cut a star of triangles to get this neat effect.
See Bettina's version above

Becky says, "I love stripes, because of their endless design possibilities, so it was difficult to narrow it down."

A neat madder stripe I did in my 1862 Battle Hymn three years ago.

My latest Moda collection has a neat stripe called Frederick

Reproduction block By Becky Brown

Moda's Collection for a Cause: Community, in shops now.

Paula Barnes, Border Companions

Two by Nancy Gere

And two by MollyB in Victoria's Violets

Moda---the light stripe is woven, the dark printed.

What to Do with Your Stack of Star Blocks?
Frame each with a larger star.

6-inch star inside a 12-inch star

The star inside a star design is an old one, first published as Stars and Squares by the Ladies Art Company pattern company about 1890. Ruth Finley called it Rising Star in 1929.

It's #2167 in BlockBase. Below are the instructions for the outer star.

A-Cut 4 squares 3-1/2"

B-Cut 1 square 7-1/4"

Cut into 4 triangles with two cuts.

C-Cut 4 squares 3-7/8"

Cut each into 2 triangles with a single diagonal cut.

16 stars finishing to 12" will give you a 48" square quilt

This triple star also has a BlockBase number: #3993
You could just go on and on....

One More Thing About Stripes

Stripes have a deep cultural context, according to Michel Pastoureau, a French scholar with a background in medievalism. In his 2001 book The Devil’s Cloth: A History of Stripes and Striped Fabric he noted that stripes long held negative connotations in European culture as the identifying fabric of the outcast----prisoners, slaves and prostitutes.

A French Revolutionary in radical dress.
A woman in striped pants and a red liberty cap

Attitudes changed with the American and French Revolutions at the end of the eighteenth century, when stripes became an important symbol of the new societies. The first American flag, 13 red and white stripes, and France's Liberty cap, a striped knitted hat,  symbolized the lowly, indicating a sense of fraternity and equality.

Note the striped liberty cap on the right side
of this Baltimore Album block

Stripes came to symbolize the avant-garde and moved up the social ladder to the world of the upper class always eager for novel design. 
Fashion plate from the 1830s

Vertical stripes can be figure flattering---but that sleeve fashion.....

Here's a sneak peek at a neat stripe repro that will be
in my late-fall 2015 collection.
Sales reps will be showing Old Cambridge Pike to shop owners
next month.


cityquilter grace said...

nice examples of simple stripes and i've plenty on hand....oooh lovely sneak peek at the new fabric line too!

Vic in NH said...

I love this week's fabrics! Your fall line looks scrumptious!

Jeanne said...

Those mixed-up unmatched blocks are great! Ha, I'm quite good at "not matching" :)
Looking forward to the new line ...

Debra said...

Love all the variety of strips.. Thanks for so many examples. This week will only be difficult trying to chose which fabrics to use!

Mary said...

Fun Stripes! Gotta go back through my stash for this one. Thanks for the fabric choices.

mlb said...

Old Cambridge Pike looks awesome. So interesting to see the lack of stripe matching.:-)

Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

Another great informative post. Thank you for so many visual examples!

Lady Jane said...

Hello, I bought your civil war sampler book and I cannot make the Louisiana (block 12) fit together. Piece E is supposed to be 3 1/2 x 6 /1/2 according to page 7 for a 12x12 block and it is too short... Is there a correction for this square? Am I going to find others? I could not find an email for you so I am leaving a message here. Thank you. Sharon at

Sally said...

Old Cambridge Pike looks wonderful.Any chance there's a conversational shirting in the line?
Love the Frederick stripe in Union blues (almost as much as I love the shirting that looks almost like hot air balloons "Merrimack").
Would you consider "Montpelier" a serpentine strip(amost)?

PS I want Becky's stash.......

Wendy Caton Reed said...

Ooooh! Can't wait for the Old Cambridge Pike!

Barbara Brackman said...

Lady Jane

The rectangle is supposed to finish to 6" x 3". Therefore it should be cut 6-1/2" x 3-1/2". The other pieces have a bit of bias in them and might be turning out larger. Maybe you should experiment and try cutting rectangles 7" x 4" and then trimming them to fit when the block is done.I'll email you a BlockBase diagram. Hope that works.