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New Pathways into Quilt History written by Kimberly Wulfert, www.antiquequiltdating.com

Reproduction Fabric Review by Kimberly Wulfert, PhD
The Pat L. Nichols III Collection 
by P&B Textiles

You are in for a real treat with this review of Pat Nichol's newest reproduction fabric line, as Pat is sharing swatches of the original antique fabrics used for this line. All antique fabric collectors know how exciting it is to see the real thing, and then together side by side with the new version, well it elevates this study to new level for us. Thank you Pat!

This is a particularly good collection to purchase for the new reproduction quilters because it has a completeness to it that isn't often seen in collections. That's not to say the reproduction companies don't aim for this, because they often do, but often times there is a similarity in the colors or scale that necessitates the quilter use additional fabrics. This is not the case in this collection. In fact, there are many different color combinations that can be made from this one grouping, using large and small scale prints in each group. I have had fun playing with all the combinations but decided to introduce them here by design and not the various groupings. That's up to your creativity. Let it flow with this group, the fabrics really play off of each other nicely, keeping in mind that early quilts were very colorful quilts, not drab! In the end you will have a chintz quilt which can be very scrappy depending on the blocks you chose to make, or more of a high-style quilt using many of the large scale prints cut into larger pieces.

The original fabrics date between 1800 and 1850. There are three large scale prints and five medium to small prints in such a variety of colors it would be hard to say what, if any, is predominant. What grabs my attention the most are the polychrome chintz prints (minimum of 5 colors within the print). The other colors in the group are shades of blue, green, brown, tan, pink, yellow, and dark red. The colors range from strong pastels to bold darks. The chintz prints have white or light grounds and some are patterned. Nicely done too. Your reproduction quilt of a later period could include these prints in it especially if it is a scrap quilt. There is a gorgeous large scale border print that also lends itself to strippy style quilts, which were popular during that time period.

For this review I have adjusted the scanning of the five smaller prints so they are exact in scale. The three large prints are very large and have been reduced as necessary to give you a feeling for the print. I varied the reduction to give you a better idea. I keep the download time in mind to make these decisions, because I know how frustrating it can be if download takes too long. This review will require two or more pages to keep the download time to a minimum.

original early 19th Century chintz

The border print is an English large floral stripe made during the Exuberance period as a furnishing fabric, about 1840. It would have been roller printed, which was in full swing by that time. The repeat is not large, but equal to or less than the diameter of a roller, which averaged 15" to 18".

original early 19th Century chintz 

Bunches of flowers decorate this chintz print. there are two different large bouquets and smaller flower bunches in the open areas. this style of chintz was popular in the 1830s in England. This design could be made with block or a roller printer. Pencilling of yellow dye onto the leaves is portrayed on the reproduction.


original early 19th Century chintz 

A more airy and delicate chintz than the first two is called a floral spray on a patterned ground. With the improvements of roller printing came finely patterned grounds, tiny all-over patterns were placed behind most chintz prints now that it was possible to do. 1815 would be the earliest you would see this in a roller print, but block printers also patterned their grounds by placing pins and narrow strips of metal into the wood block. This floral spray has a French feel, and it stands out from the English ones. They blend nicely together in one quilt, but each stands on its own and will not get lost within one quilt.


Go to page two: Pat L. Nichols III


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2005 - 2016 Kimberly Wulfert, PhD. Absolutely no copies, reprints, use of photos or text are permitted for commercial or online use. One personal copy for study purposes is permitted.

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