QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Moda's Baltimore Blues

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Prussian Blue Old & New

Blues Romance
by Jeanne Zyck and Georgann Eglinski

Jeanne and Georgann don't even know each other but they have collaborated on this quilt.
Jeanne had some strips of my Metropolitan Fair line of reproduction fabric and she added some plain browns to piece the blocks.

She said she was stuck so she gave them to me.
I gave them to Georgann who thought appliqued hearts in the center would fill the space.

Georgann added more blue from 
Metropolitan Fair for sashing, border and back
and machine quilted it.

We decided it needed some hand quilting so I quilted
around each heart with the big stitch and some pink Perle cotton.
We used every blue print in Metropolitan Fair

Reproduction from Metropolitan Fair

The blue prints are reproductions of Prussian blue fabrics that were so fashionable for dresses and quilts in mid-19th-century America and England.

Antique Quilt attributed to Susannah Heebner

The chintz border in this antique star is a clue to a mid-19th-century date.The use of blue for the background is something you often see in Pennsylvania towards the end of the century. How old is it?

The close-ups indicate the fabrics are mid-19th-century and
 Susannah was ahead of her time 
in thinking a blue print was the perfect neutral.

Bright blue prints really define the scrappy quilts of the 1840s and '50s.

Quilt dated 1853
Sold at Skinner Auctions
Found in Michigan
English or American?

Reproduction from Metropolitan Fair

Reproduction from Metropolitan Fair

The stripes and the rainbow prints catch your attention but there are many small scale dress prints in shades of blue green to sky blue to bright blue that do the color work in these quilts.

Rainbow print and a triple blue
They are often double or triple blues---
figures and grounds differing only in darkness of the same hue.

Reproduction from Metropolitan Fair

Reproduction from Metropolitan Fair

Two mid-19th-century scrap quilts

Both quilters had a nice stash of bright blues.


WoolenSails said...

Those are wonderful with the metropolitan fair, I am using blues more in my quilts, lately.


Every Stitch said...

Some lovely fabrics there Barbara - and I adore touches of prussian blue in quilts. I have to say that "rainbow print" with the blue, white and tan ombre stripe would be wonderful to have ...maybe in your next line?? I am always on the lookout for ombre stripes - so useful for borders and wonderful in fussy cutting!