Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hoyle's Lilac: Free Pattern

Hoyle's Lilac
(see the pattern at the bottom of the page)

English quilt sold at Bonham's Auctions,
 full of Hoyle's Lilac prints.

Swatch books from the mid-19th century are full of  purple cottons, known in England as Hoyle's Lilacs after Thomas Hoyle & Sons, a Manchester printer that specialized in color-fast, inexpensive cottons.

Advice in 1860 for dressing a poor family: "The elder girl would require three frocks...Hoyle's lilac prints are the best."

English patchworkers used an abundance of purple in their quilts. Their preference for pinks and lilacs and subtle contrast produced a different color style from Americans.

Americans generally preferred bolder contrast---
more primary colors, lots of browns, fewer pastels.

My current Moda reproduction line Civil War Jubilee has several purples. The color name is Hoyle's Lilac.
Civil War Jubilee

A piece of Hoyle's lilac
See an English research project here:

(We always have problems with my esoteric English words translating to the Japanese mills so somehow the word came out Hayle's Lilac in the sell sheets---but it's supposed to be Hoyle's.)

Civil War Jubilee
The Civil War Jubilee collection tends towards the darker end of the color palette and is the perfect contrast to Moda's Mill Book Series which tends toward the lighter end of the same reproduction palette.

Mill Book Series circa 1835

Mill Book Series circa 1835

I designed a quilt in EQ7 I call Hoyle's Lilac...

Based on this idea, a mid-19th-century quilt recently sold at auction
from the Muriel & Foster McCarl collection---
an American quilt with an English sensibility.

The block is BlockBase #2902, a mid-19th-century favorite with published
names including Odd Fellow, Baltimore Belle and Flying Geese.

I used prints from Civil War Jubilee for the darks
Civil War Jubilee

And prints from the Mill Book Series for the lights.
Mill Book Series circa 1835

It could be very scrappy

Or tend more towards the pinks.

Civil War Jubilee

Mill Book Series circa 1835

Civil War Jubilee

Mill Book Series circa 1835

Civil War Jubilee

A fat quarter pack of each reproduction collection and you are set for the mid-19th-century.

88” Square quilt
12” Blocks with 10”  Border

Cutting a 12” Block
A—Cut 4 squares 2-7/8”.

B—Cut 1 square 8-3/8”. Cut into 4 triangles with 2 diagonal cuts.

C—Cut 4 squares 3-1/4” Cut into 2 triangles with a diagonal cut. You need 8 triangles.

D- Cut 6 squares 3-5/8”. Cut into 4 triangles with 2 diagonal cuts. You need 24 triangles.

E-Cut 1 square 3-7/8”.

Yardage for Set
Setting Squares & Triangles 2-3/4 yards
Border—2-1/2 yards of 42” wide fabric

Setting & Border

Cut 9 squares 12-1/2”

Cutting the Edge Triangles
Cut  3 squares 18-1/4”. Cut into 4 triangles with 2 diagonal cuts. You need 12 triangles for the side triangles.

Cut 2 squares 9-3/8”. Cut into 2 triangles with a diagonal cut. You need 4 triangles for the corners.

Cutting the Border
Cut  2 strips 10-1/2” x 68-1/2” for the side borders.
Cut  2 strips 10-1/2” x 88-1/2” for the top and bottom  borders.

Links don't work anymore. 
See a PDF for the pattern here.

Another mid-19th-century flying geese quilt 
in purples, pinks and some madder oranges.

Read more about 19th-century purples here:

And the source for the Mill Book Circa 1835 series here:


  1. Hello Barbara,
    Thank you for such an interesting and informative article on
    Hoyle's Lilac fabrics.
    I'd love to make the quilt using the fabrics you suggest!

  2. Love all the layout.Thanks for the pattern.The fabrics are just beautiful!1

  3. Is the PDF for the pattern still available? The link doesn't seem to be functional.