New Orleans House Project

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Stars in a Time Warp: Fabric History Lessons

I've been saving up my Stars in a Time Warp blocks until I had a batch to display.  Each week's fabric history lessons are always interesting and make me want to go hunting for great examples of each type of fabric. The hoard stash of reproduction fabrics continues to grow, as does my appreciation for the history of fabric printing.

Woodblock prints were printed with wooden blocks with the design carved into them.   

Quercitron was the name coined for a color-fast yellow dye.  The yellow color and its frequent companions of brown and green became known as "drab" style.

Early indigo prints were usually large designs and were originally used for bed hangings and other home furnishings.  Since my blocks are only 4", I had to look for smaller scale prints.

Lapis blue fabric prints combined indigo and madder dyes.  In other words, early red, white and blue prints - what's not to love?!

Trailing vines and flowers were known as Floral Trails.  I was pleased to use some very old repro fabrics in my stash for these.

 And my all-time favorite - toile.  Original toile fabrics were printed using large (36"), engraved copper plates.  That's why early toile fabrics were often called copperplate prints.  Now the fabrics are roller printed or screen printed.  

I've got 60 time-warped stars at this point (I skipped a week 'cuz I couldn't find any appropriate pillar prints).  I have lots of ideas for how I will incorporate them into a quilt, but for now I'm just enjoying the history lessons and the block-making process!


  1. Lovely stars,the toiles are also my favorite....hugs, Julierose

  2. your stars are wonderful!! Love the prints you've used. I need to do a batch too!

  3. Angie - Stars look great!!! I love seeing everyone's stars, but particularly enjoy seeing yours. Now.. back to catching up on my own stars! LOL

  4. These are so fascinating Angie! Your posts always give me a better feeling for the repro fabrics. And I especially love the color history :*)