Saturday, January 24, 2015

More About Honeysuckle in the Best of Morris

Honeysuckle in Indigo Blue
from my Best of Morris line for Moda

The number for Honeysuckle is 8115

Vintage Wallpaper Sample Book page 57: Honeysuckle, pattern #263

Like many Morris & Company patterns, Honeysuckle was designed as wallpaper. The Brooklyn Museum has a sample book from about 1915 that includes this swatch. 

The design has been attributed to William Morris's daughter May Morris.

Mary (May) Morris 1862-1938

May studied at London's South Kensington School of Design in the early 1880s. She is credited with the pattern in 1883.

Honeysuckle by William Morris 1876

Her inspiration may have been this print by her father done a few years earlier.

Root of the Mountains, 1890
A book from Chiswick press bound in the first Honeysuckle.

 May has lightened the design by focusing on one flower.

Read more about May Morris at the Victoria and Albert Museum website:

The first Morris collection we did at Moda in 2008
included this free quilt pattern for "Stepping Stone,"
a nine-patch quilt on point.

Betty made it with her collection of Morris prints
including several from that 2008 line A Morris Garden.

See more of Betty's William Morris quilt at this post:

See more about this new line Best of Morris here at Moda:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

March Quilt Seminars & Conferences

We are lucky enough to look forward to several programs featuring quilt history in March on the east coast.

March 13 & 14, 2015 Friday & Saturday
Washington D.C., D.A.R. Museum.

A symposium will be held on Saturday March 14, 2015 in conjunction with the current quilt exhibit.

Eye Opening: New Research on Maryland and Virginia Quilts brings together historians, curators, conservators, and authors to present their latest research on quilts of the area.

Below are links to the DAR Museum's page and a post I did on the topic.

The exhibit, Eye on Elegance: Early Quilts of Maryland and Virginia, will be up through September 5, 2015. Curator of Costume and Textiles Alden O’Brien examined 36 quilts from Maryland and Virginia,1790 to 1860. The themes: Design migrations and the many hands who made the quilts.

March 15-17, 2015 Sunday -Tuesday
Williamsburg, Virginia, Colonial Williamsburg

A textile symposium Stitching Together a National Identity, Sunday through Tuesday, March 15-17, 2015. "Through a series of formal lectures and juried papers, the symposium will address the question of what is American in American quilts, clothing, and needlework; provide updates on the latest research techniques and databases; and dispel myths about homespun and Yankee thrift." 

Detail of a cut-out chintz block from the collection of
Colonial Williamsburg

The current quilt exhibit at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, A Celebration of Quilts "features a dozen quilts that represent the diversity of quilts made in America from the 18th through 20th centuries. Several of the quilts are new to the collection and have never before been seen by the public."Through June, 2016.

March 28 & 29, 2015 Saturday & Sunday.
New York City

Empire Quilters are hosting a weekend of speakers during their quilt show Under A New Star at the Fashion Institute of Technology. March 28 & 29, 2015. Speakers include Paula Nadelstern, Roderick Kiracofe, Amelia Peck, Sue Reich, Elizabeth Warren & Barbara Brackman. See the program here:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pantone's Marsala Red in Best of Morris

Red colorway of my Best of Morris line for Moda.
Yardage scheduled for delivery to shops in February

The Pantone Color Institute announces an annual color trend. 
Marsala is the shade for 2015.

I'll drink to that.

"Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors."
It's probably no coincidence that my 2015 Morris reproduction prints in the Best of Morris collection feature a red colorway. When we plan a line a year or so before it shows up in shops we consider trending colors, which is also how Pantone picks their color of the year.

Leatrice Eiseman Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, explains:

"I look for ascending color trends, colors that are being used in broader ways and broader context than before.."

In each Morris reproduction fabric collection we design we include colorways that echo William Morris's use of natural dyes.

We usually include a sage green,

an indigo blue

and an earthy brown

and then we choose a variable....
yellow, black, teal, lavender...
or red.

I don't do this design alone so it may be that the Moda designers who coordinate colors throughout their entire line of all their designers also saw an increase in interest in red. 

Moda's Bella Solids
Tomato Soup, Kansas Red

They probably know about the Pantone Color of the Year way before the rest of us do too.

I get my ideas of what people are buying and will want to buy from decorating magazines, store windows and the bedding department at the Macy's in Kansas City.

Sometimes I'm right and sometimes I'm wrong.
My new storm door matches this Parisian restaurant window.
I still don't know if that was a good idea.

Who are these Pantone people who set color trends? The company makes a color matching system. The "Color of the Year" is an excellent hook to hang a story about color on.

 When I started designing for Moda I had a Pantone sample book and so did the designers at Moda. 

I'd tell them to match #18-1436 and they'd look it up in their book.
It worked well.

Now we do it differently---computer design is calibrated to Pantone systems. And I mostly use Moda's own Bella Solids system to describe color.

Meanwhile, I feel better about that storm door. When somebody says "Why?" I'll say: "It's the color of the year."

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Je Suis Charlie 2015

A free label to remember the victims of the horrors in France and
to stand up for free speech. See below.

Quilter Katell in France asks us to put a pencil in our creative needlework during the year 2015.

"Let us sew, embroider, quilt pencil on Each work of 2015!A pencil to put on our works in 2015 is a small token for a big cause : not to forget the victims and help to claim the rights of expression."

Here's a link to Katell's main blog:

and a secondary site for memorials:

And some snapshots of images from her blog




Des tulipes et des coeurs

Nifty Quilts

I made this label you might want to print out on fabric.

How to Print

  • Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11".
  • Click on the image above.
  • Right click on it and save it to your file.
  • Print that file out on a pretreated, printable fabric sheet that is 8-1/2" x 11". The label should be 5-1/2" square.

The New Yorker this week

A little Photoshopping by me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


This joke is only funny in English

And even then.....

I belong to a stitch group called the City Sewers.
We find this pun endlessly amusing.

Then there are other meanings

Someone at the Piece O' Cake blog has a sophisticated
sense of humor. Becky collects shots she's taken of her
feet and the sewer.

Wait a minute. What's that say?