Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Stars in a Time Warp 44: Early Roller Print Clouds and Storms

Storm prints and cloud prints in Becky Brown's
repro block. We have three more weeks to go in our
Time Warp QuiltAlong.

Variation on a cloud print  in the background of 
DdwGram's Prussian blue repro star

Storm print in the center of SF's repro block

Front and back of a pieced pocket.
The color and detail in the prints here define them as early-19th-century roller or cylinder prints. The look wasn't possible until roller technology developed after 1810 or so.

Machine for engraving the detailed designs on cylinders,
from Crookes's 1874 printing manual

The invention of cylinder machine printing changed the efficiency of printing as well as the style. We've discussed examples such as eccentric prints and rainbow prints.

A French sample book
Detail, fine registration of many colors, and an expanding retail market created fashions in figures. Several of these trendy patterns had period names, which we'll discuss in the last few installments of our Time Warp.

Cloud Prints

The Broad Oak Mill by William Linton

About 1850 Benjamin Hargreaves, who ran the British mill Broad Oak at Accrington, wrote his memoirs in which he remembered William Sykes as a talented designer:
"He had been brought up [as an apprentice] designer, and had attended a night-school there when a youth, … one of the finest and most successful of his designs being the celebrated cloud pattern, as it was called, which displayed both the skill of the artist and the engraver, Potts, in an eminent degree."
Hargreaves recalled the popularity of the cloud pattern when he introduced it 1823: 
"Not less than 30,000 pieces were printed."
But he did not tell us what it looked like.

Was Hargreaves referring to this style of print, swatches shown in an 1825 French mill book?
This style is often seen in early 19th century quilts.

They seem to be variations on the eccentric prints discussed in week 20 here:

Is that a cloud print at the top above (1317), a curvier, more natural play on the eccentric geometric (1320) at the bottom?

Two reproductions by Nancy Gere

Storm Prints

Another popular style, according to Hargreaves:
"Freedom and elegance were manifested in one called the 'storm' pattern, from its appearance...waving moss blown by the wind: they still attract our admiration."

Like this print in a quilt from the Winterthur Museum

 A hexagon block featuring "waving moss blown by the wind"...

Feathers or waving moss?
Collection of Old Sturbridge Village

The French mill book
The combination of a rotating swirl with stars or wheels
was quite popular in the 1820-1840 era,

perhaps related to the concurrent fashion for chintz palm trees

Note the pale blue storm print in the center of this photo showing
a detail of the Austen family quilt in the collection of Chawton Cottage.

Storm prints seem to have been revived in the 1880-1910 period.

Storm print, late 19th century.

Another version about 1900

Hargreaves’s memories are useful in dating quilts. We can conclude that “cloud” and "storm" prints date to after 1820 or so. 


A storm print from my Hartfield collection

Storm prints are popular in reproduction prints and I see you readers have quite a few already.

Amy A had one in her stash when she was making a green calico star.

As did Penny L. for her shirting star

And Here'sLucy

Judie Rothermel in Old Sturbridge Village III

What to Do With Your Stack of Stars
Check Out Other Time Warper's Ideas

Barbara S.
Cynthia at Wabisabi Quilts

Gladi is appliqueing a border

Debra tried out a toile

Nancy S has finished the top with a small striped sash.

Rosemary had a celestial set in mind

And she has enough leftover to combine with her
Lucy Boston blocks

Terry dressed up one set inside another star.

And alternated with a fence rail


Barbara said...

Oops! Hi Barbara, that Stars quilt is mine not Cynthia's at Wabisabi Quilts :)

Barbara Brackman said...

I knew that! Fixed it.

Barbara said...


Jeanne said...

Three more weeks ... lotsa stars at my house! :)
Any thoughts yet about a future series?

Barbara Brackman said...

Jeanne---Starting late spring---hexagons with a William Morris theme. A Morris Hexathon.

Jeanne said...

Oh, I forgot that you mentioned that a few weeks ago - duh :)
OK, late spring is good! Thanks!

Jacqueline said...

You are so generous to share all your knowledge with us. Your posts are always informative. Thanks.

claire witherspoon said...

I ditto the last comment from Jacqueline. I learn from and enjoy all of your blogs so much! ThanKs for taking the time!

Shirley said...

I love the Pieced Pockets and would love to make one sometime. What a fun lesson on clouds and storm, thanks so much. Shirley