Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lattice Quilts

If lattice or trellis pattern was so popular in prints it might have been popular in patchwork.
In my BlockBase program I did a wildcard search for the word lattice and found 16 patterns with that word in the name

Only two for "Trellis"

I chose "Quick Quilt" from the Menu and saw how a grid of multiple blocks would look. This "Square Lattice" from the Nancy Cabot column in the Chicago Tribune would definitely qualify as a trellis or lattice.

BlockBase #4110 was also by Nancy. She called it Nauvoo Lattice.

Here's one you could possibly piece called Basket Lattice from the Ladies Art Company in the early 20th century (BlockBase #452.) I've never seen anyone try it though.

This is more pieceable---Arabic Lattice.
The BlockBase # is 2561 and there are several ways to arrange the block.

I don't credit it to Ruby McKim in BlockBase
but I probably should have. It's a clever

but like the others, not too popular in the early 20th century.
This very pink version is from Cindy's Antiques.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Modern Print Monday: Tony Duquette

An exotic lattice/trellis print from a Tony Duquette design
by Jim Thompson.

Tony Duquette (1914-1999) with Elsie De Wolfe in 1947

Tony Duquette doesn't seem to have designed any repeat pattern fabrics but he has been a great influence lately, particularly on the lattice imagery we see everywhere

Duquette created total fantasy environments in his interiors and exteriors.

 The above two lattice-works are from his own homes.
He used lattice to add a opulent Asian look.

He was a protege of Elsie De Wolfe, 
worked in film and theater and as a sort of installation artist.

Cobina Wright's living room with a Paris Snowflake Screen
and other Duquette fancies

The name of this book on Duquette---More is More,
seems to capture the whole concept.

Check out

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Modernism & McKim

Winifred Avery and the unnamed Modern Priscilla
designer I've been discussing in the past few weeks
may have envied Ruby Short McKim's success in
appealing to the 1920-40 quilt audience with
her modern designs.

Although McKim's designs were difficult to piece
and rather radically new, many quilts were made.

McKim seems to have figured out the winning mix
of sentiment, tradition and modernism.
Her "Three Little Pigs" applique and embroidery
was quite popular based on the evidence of surviving examples.

Was it novelty, good design or marketing
that made McKim Studios such a success?

See the McKim Studios website here:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Modern Print Monday: Elsie de Wolfe's Lattice

Do a web search for images of lattice

We're living in a lattice revival, awash in variations on the Arabic lattice, the French trellis and garden grillwork.

Again we can thank Elsie De Wolfe, Lady Mendl,
who brought the French garden indoors when she decorated
New York City society's Colony Club rooms in the early teens.

The Trellis Room at the Colony Club 1913

Elsie's inspiration for an indoor garden room came from the grand houses of France.
Above is a watercolor of her home the Villa Trianon at Versailles.

"The lattice walls of this sun room are responsible for its striking character. Yet, reduced to its simplest terms, there is no part of the treatment that a local carpenter could not reproduce at a minimum expense in a small enclosed porch or breakfast room," wrote Elsie.

Or one could get a similar look with a trellis or lattice print

in the drapes

or wallpaper.

Above and below,
reproduction trellis or lattice prints.

Vintage Trellis Feedsack

All of which is why I have a lime green trellis rug on my deck.

Modern/Not Modern? More later.

Read a history of trellises at this blog post:

Read about Elsie's Villa Trianon in her 1914 book The House in Good Taste here:

And another post on Elsie De Wolfe:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Modern/Not Modern---The New Quilt

Wilene Smith found this rare Winifred Avery pattern for a "gazelle eating calico leaves off this stiff-looking plant,"  In 1933 she wrote she'd seen the design on a quilt a hundred years old . Like the Thistle spread last week from Modern Priscilla, Winifred's very modern quilt did not inspire her audience.

But quiltmakers seemed to respond enthusiastically to
patterns that mixed modern shape and abstract prints
with a Colonial Revival nostalgia.

See more on sentimentalism and quilts here:

Modern and Colonial Revival seem to have
little in common, but somehow the Modern/AntiM-odern
(as Marin Hanson terms it) combined in the vernacular.

It's the Hegelian dialectic!
Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis

Sort of Marxian, if you will.

See Marin Hanson's discussions of  "Modern, Yet Anti-Modern: Two Sides of the Late-Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Century Quiltmaking"  in Uncoverings #29 here at the Quilt Index:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Modern Print Monday: Duncan Grant

Clouds by Duncan Grant
on a chair at his home Charleston.

Duncan Grant 1885–1978
Self-portrait, 1920

Duncan Grant was primarily a painter. With friends Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell he
founded the Omega Workshops in 1913 to integrate art and craft in England.

Grant's fabrics like "Great Wind" were
done in painterly style, often with classical revival inspiration

Great Wind and several other Grant fabrics are being reproduced today.

Grant's biggest decorating commission was the Queen Mary ocean liner
for which the above print was designed.
The Cunard management did not like the finished products
and most of his ideas for the ship were never installed.
Read more about the Queen Mary and Duncan Grant here:

And see his biography at the Tate Modern here:

More pictures of Charleston here: