Pat L. Nickols
PO Box 9607
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
1) How do you prefer to be described as, within the field of textile
If you have a business, please tell us
Historian & Fabric
see some of
Pat' Nickols' line of fabrics
When and where did you begin your serious interest in the history
of quilts, textiles or garments?
began in Columbia, MO in 1977 when I took my first class in quilting.
I loved selecting the fabrics and doing the hand piecing.
I was soon looking at old quilts and tops at our local Flea
Market. I still have the
first antique top I purchased. A
year later we moved to southern California and I soon began teaching in
Orange county. While
teaching was a pleasure I was eager to learn more quilt history.
Attending the Continental Quilt conferences, the American Quilt
Study seminars and doing independent study at museums around the country
and in Europe has given me that opportunity."
What “known” individual (or group) influenced you the most
Garoutte and Joyce Gross introduced me to “quilt history” and the
American Quilt Study Group. I
was thrilled to find others interested in learning more about antique
quilts. Cuesta Benberry
gave a quilt study workshop at the first (of many) annual Continental
Quilt Conferences that I attended and she gave me the insight on how to
study quilts. Sally helped
me with my first published paper, Joyce started me on my way to Mary
McElwain research and Cuesta has answered so many questions over the
years. She is ever present
with her storehouse of knowledge."
became your personal mentor as you began your learning?
addition to the three mentioned above I would add Mary Barton.
She was a great inspiration, she recognized my serious interest
and we discussed the various methods to study fabrics, their dating and
exchanges were ongoing stimulus to me."
What aspect of study were you most passionate about at first ?
How has this changed over time and why?
and documentation. The
vast variety of prints, and their documentation has fascinated me and
that intrigue has continued. Who
designed and produced the fabrics, where and when was this done, are the
questions I continue to ask. It
is very satisfying to put a mill, general time frame, or even a date
with a print."
What is your current “pet project”?
one? Charm quilts,
string quilt, quilts made from sacks, are big but there are always about
6 ongoing research projects with another big group sitting in folders on
What aspect of your research or contribution to textile studies
has satisfied you the most?
my research findings published and used by others has and continues to
give me a great deal of satisfaction.
Gathering pieces of a puzzle is a long, often solitary journey.
When you assemble information that others recognize and can use
to support their ongoing
quilt study it is gratifying.
also include producing authentic reproduction fabric.
Working with a great team at P & B Textiles, Inc. we have
been able to print two collections of very real looking reproduction
fabrics. Work already begun
on Collection III. What a
thrill to be able to cut into newly printed fabrics of early 1800s
prints to make quilts that look like that era."
Within the textile arena, what would you like to do, but
haven’t done yet?
several books and some articles - information I have gathered through
research often with interesting illustrations.
I would like the opportunity to share what I have learned to
enable others to use and build on my findings."
Any further comments are invited.
still in the early beginnings of quilt history, I believe.
There is much to learn as we put many parts of the puzzle
together. The State
documentation projects and the books they have published are most
helpful, the quilt history books from other countries have added a great
deal of information, but the continued exploration and contributions by
individuals is most important."
Please describe (in a list) the contributions you have made via
books, exhibits, presentations, contests, articles, fabric lines,
research papers and the like.
2003 Books & Magazines
I have been noted or listed as reference:
Quilts – Stories In The Stitches,
Ellen Kort 2001 p.172,178
Treasure or Not? How to Compare & Value AMERICAN QUILTS,
Stella Rubin 2001 p.169,176
The Old Mill Stream, Linda
Welters 2000 p.223, 273
Newsletter Magazine, Janet J.
Smith June 2000 p.55
Quilts With Style, Bobbie A. Aug
& Sharon Newman 2000 p.8
March/April 1997 p.57
Charm Quilts, Beth Donaldson 1997 p.5
Scotian Quilts, S. Robson &
S. MacDonald 1995 p.33,109
American Quilt Study Group 1995 p.131,169
American Quilt Study Group 1994 p.165-166
Quilter, Winter 1994
Folk Country Home Crafts,
August 1994 p.30
of the 1933 World’s Fair, Merikay
Waldvogel & Barbara Brackman 1993 p.120
American Quilt: A History of Cloth and Comfort 1750-1950,
Roderick Kiracofe 1993 p. ix, 232
From The Heart: Quilt Paths Across Illinois,
E. Duane Elbert 1993 p. 230
Beauties: Quilts From The Empire State,
Jacqueline Atkins 1992 p.145
Forever: Marie Webster’s Quilt Patterns,
Rosalind Perry 1992 Preface p.7
Community: Ohio Traditions, Ricky
Clark 1991 p.166
Quilts: A New View, Bets Ramsey
& Gail Andrews Trechsel 1991 p.95
Window to The Past, Victoria
Hoffman 1991 p.45
Covers For Hard Times, Merikay
Waldvogel 1990 p.107
Their Story and How to Make Them (new edition), Rosalind Webster
Perry 1990 Preface viii
Ho For California:
Pioneer Women & Their Quilts,
Jean Ray Laury 1989 p.113
Mother: Over 100 Years of Quiltmaking Traditions,
Jeannette Lasansky 1987 p.116
Collections: A Directory for the United States and Canada,
Lisa Turner Oshins 1987 Preface
Of Tennessee: Images of Domestic Life Prior to 1930, Bets Ramsey
& Merikay Waldvogel
Not: Friendship & Album Quilts,
Jane Kolter 1985 p.77-78
2003 Books & Magazines - published
American Patchwork & Quilting
- Better Homes & Gardens, October 2002 issue, Toile, then and
now, Article, quilt, pattern and reproduction fabric
Line of Reproduction fabric – Pat L.
Nickols Collection II, circa 1840
with P&B Fabrics, Inc. introduced at Quilt Market May 2002 Kansas
City, MO. 8 patterns with 27 pieces in the collection.
Patterns are from my collection of antique fabric and an antique quilt
Fall 1999, newsletter American Quilt Study Group, The Glorious 1840s:
New Fabrics, Old Designs p 1 & p 3.
Line of Reproduction fabric, Pat L.
Nickols Collection, circa 1840
with P&B Fabrics, Inc. Introduced May 1999 Spring Market, Portland
OR. 8 patterns with 29 pieces in the collection. Patterns
are from my collection of antique fabric and from two of my quilts,
dated 1833 & 1845.
Interweave Press, July/August 1997 Charm Quilts 5 pgs, Charm Quilt
pattern – Patriotic mini-quilt 3 pgs.
The American Quilt study Group, Charm Quilts: Characteristics and
Variations, 1870s-1990s p.179-208
On The Cutting Edge,
Oral Traditions Project, Jeanettee Lasansky 1994 The Use of Feed, Flour,
Tobacco, and Others sacks in The 20th
PieceWork Magazine, Interweave Press, March 1993
What's at Hand: Using Cotton Sacks in Quilt Making p.48-54
Uncoverings, 1991, The American Quilt Study Group,
Mary A. McElwain: Quilter and Quilt Businesswoman p.98-117
Uncoverings, 1988, The American Quilt Study Group,
The Use of Cotton Sacks in Quiltmaking p.57-71
Uncoverings, 1982, The American Quilt Study Group,
String Quilts, p.53-57
Thank you very much Pat, for sharing yourself with us today, and for the
many insights we have gained because of your research in this field. We
look forward to future lines of reproduction fabric too. Continued success