Some of the strike-offs from Lately Arrived From London
Strike-offs are like proofs. Once the printers have cut the screen they try different combinations of the colors selected for the collection. The designers then choose the ones they think work best. Some work well and some don't.
Some like this blue chintz work GREAT, but they don't really go with anything else in the line.
Editing these out is like editing one's prose. Ouch! That was a great print---but the only blue-and-white-toile looking piece in there. We'll do something similar again some time.
When we are doing a reproduction line we also have to edit for accuracy. That pink pillar print at top left above is interesting, but it just doesn't look like the kind of pinks you'd have in 1810---so it gets the heave-ho.
And the olive greens on the left. The greens work fine as an accent color but not as a background. Just not done in 1810. Goodbye, greens.
We started with about 70 variations on 8 prints and by process of elimination we wound up with 28 skus (a sku is jargon for a colorway of a print).
Only 28!---well I forgot to mention that economics is also a motivation. We'd decided this would be a small line. Some of my repro lines go up to 42 skus. Why small? Early 19th-century reproduction prints are a niche market. You readers are probably part of that niche---it's a sophisticated niche.
Another reason: If we'd do 50 skus shop owners would say they couldn't afford to buy the whole line. And they'd be right.
So that's the explanation as to why there are no blues, pinks or olive greens in the Lately Arrived from London collection. Design, accuracy and economics.
But what about all those small pieces that were eliminated? Unused strike-offs usually go into the recycle bin but I weasled these out of the boss. For a good cause.
I asked my friends to make 16 patches and asked Bobbi Finley to set them with the larger chintz scale strikeoffs for a quilt top pieced of fabric that was only printed once. We filled in with yardage that was printed---and some from other sources.
So here is a top made of fabric that nobody else in the whole world has.
We added a border of the pillar print from the yardage.
And we are donating the top and a bag of scraps left from the strike-offs to the American Quilt Study Group's Auction that will be held at their annual seminar September 21-26 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. AQSG benefits and you can go home with a top made of truly one of a kind prints or a small stash to make your own.
See more information about the American Quilt Study Group seminar here:
The benefit auctions, silent and otherwise, are always terrific.