36 free quilt blocks, one a week with a guide to Jane Austen's England and posts about the people in her life.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Regency Era Color: Idea #1

Detail, the 1797 Sundial Quilt from
the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum
One of the few block samplers from the era.

The color above seems typical of Gerorgian/Regency quilts. 
See the bottom of the post for links to more pictures.

We've been working on the blocks for the Austen Family Album---mainly thinking about color and fabric. Becky, Dustin, Georgann and Bettina are making model blocks.

The block post start on April 6 but you will want to be thinking about fabric.

Detail, the King George III Reviewing the Troops quilt from
the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum

We are making a 21st-century quilt but my thinking on color at this point is, naturally, "1800 England." There were a few popular color palettes for patchwork at the time.

Detail of the quilt known as the Jane Pizar quilt

The first look is a combination of light muslins ---either white or ivory---print or plain---with chocolate browns and pastel pinks, blues and lilacs. It's a light palette with the madder browns for contrast.

The lightest prints were often called Spotted Muslin.

From Barbara Johnson's fabric album in the collection of the 
Victoria and Albert Museum:

See a post I did about Spots here:

 King George III Golden Jubilee Quilt, 1810, 
collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum

The blues tend to be bright mediums and lights rather than the navy blues also produced with indigo dyes.

As for the pinks---there is a wide range. It's really an
absence of true reds that defines this palette.

You also see the palette in quilts found in the U.S.:

Mosaic quilt attributed to Catherine Brobst or Fanny S. B. Jungman,
 Pennsylvania. Collection of the Winterthur Museum.
Curators attribute the fabric to England between about 1770 and 1815.

Detail of an English quilt in the collection of 
the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For more pictures of English patchwork see Penny Tucker's Pinterest Page

Several years ago I designed a Regency reproduction
line for Moda called Hartfield

Do a web search for the words Hartfield Moda and 
you'll find shops and online sellers who still have some
yardage and precut packages.

Next Sunday: more color ideas.

Links to see more of the quilts:

The 1797 Sundial quilt:

See a post about King George III Reviewing the Troops at the Queensland Art Museum blog:

More on the Jane Pizar quilt:

An online article about the King George III Jubilee quilt:

The Winterthur's hexagon quilt:

And the Metropolitan Museum's British quilt

See Barbara Johnson's fabric album at the Victoria and Albert Museum:


  1. Thank you for the introduction and color info! I'm really looking forward to this project.

  2. This palette looks very soft and feminine. It is very interesting to imagine several color ideas. Looking forward to other combo colors!

  3. A bolt caught my eye when I was shopping with friends. I didn't notice until I was getting it cut that it is a Barbara Brackman. It is from the Lately Arrived from London. I got enough for borders, and to use in some of the blocks.

  4. Dustin, Becky, why do I feel so left out? jealous

  5. this looks like a fun follow. thanks for all you ladies do on our behalf.

  6. Love each and every one of those quilts, but they're so busy, I have a little pang of saddness when I realize I'll never be able to make one like that, so crammed with little pieces -- there's not enough time in the world. How nice to see the bunch of them together and have those links for more!

  7. This is so inspiring - love the fabrics and the quilts - just my kind of thing! Thanks for another fabulous blog :)

  8. I am very exciting with à new aventure

  9. Will you be announcing the block size soon? And also how many will be in the series?
    I have plenty of bright and darks 19th c repro but not much soft or light. Can't wait to start

  10. Will you be announcing the block size soon? And also how many will be in the series?
    I have plenty of bright and darks 19th c repro but not much soft or light. Can't wait to start

  11. Hartfield is beautiful....any chance of a re-release?!


  12. Also, Have a look at the collection that The Quilters' Guild of the British Isles has for colours from that period.
    Just type the relevant dates into the search box at the top of the page