Subject: RE: Embroidery stitch debate
From: "Newbie Richardson" <>
Date: Fri, 08 Jan 2010 22:08:02 -0500
X-Message-Number: 1

Dear Pat and List,
Fagoting is NOT an offensive word and I am affronted at the comment.

From Fairchild's Dictionary of Fashion by Dr. Charlotte Calasibetta, 1975
edition, still an industry standard and required textbook at most fashion
design schools comes this entry:

Fagoting:(page 208)
1. Openwork embroidery done by drawing horizontal threads of fabric (the
weft) and tying the vertical threads (the warp) in hour glass shaped
bunches. 2. Method of joining two fabric edges together by means of
embroidery stitches that give a lacy effect. Also see hem stitching, and
Fagoting stitch under stitching

Fagoting: 1. Open seam stitch similar to single feather stitch used to join
two edges of fabric.(page 487) 2. See hem stitching and picot

As a professional costume and textile historian, I respectfully request that
you retract the comment about the offensive nature of a term used in
embroidery for many many years and still actively used in contemporary
embroidery books as well as taught at that most venerated of needlework
schools: the Royal School of Needlework!

Newbie Richardson


Subject: RE: Embroidery stitch debate
From: Gaye Ingram <>
Date: Sat, 9 Jan 2010 2:02:56 -0600
X-Message-Number: 3

Newbie R. wrote:

"Fagoting is NOT an offensive word and I am affronted at the comment."

Newbie, thank you for being a voice of linguistic sanity and purity.

It's good to know there are those who refuse to politicize and politically-correct the English language until it can no longer convey real thoughts or name real things.

As you observe, the term "fagoting" is very much alive today and not merely in esoteric or highly specialized vocabularies, either. One need only browse the clothing, fashion, and needlework magazines at any large news stand to encounter it many times over. Hardly a hangout of the ethereal! A glance at some of the nationally circulated needlework catalogs will turn up numerous kits that use the techniques of hemstitching, fagoting, and related terms for items so diverse as Christmas ornaments, tablecloths, and women's blouses. Those from the Midwestern Germanic areas are particularly replete with these. PBS programs like "Sewing with Nancy" and Nancy Pullen's sewing program routinely use the vocabulary of dressmaking, lacework, and adornments freely and accurately.

In the South, the art of handsewing and its contemporary double first-cousin, French machine "handsewing" has generated more workshops and serial publications and books than I suspect quiltmaking has generated in many sections---certainly more than quiltmaking has generated in the same section.

A minister in a very large Protestant denomination told me that the denomination, which does not subscribe to infant baptism, has taken to having "dedication" ceremonies for babies because so many young mothers either have inherited or somehow come by beautiful handsewn Christening gowns and have demanded the church give them a place to show their own children off in them. He said one young mother-to-be in his own congregation anticipated the situation and told him, "My mother has worked for four months on a Christening gown for my child, and I intend to see it is used. Am I going to have to join the Episcopal Church to assure that?" He said she went into some detail about the kinds of stitches being put into the garment. Fine antique clothing is pricey in the few places it can be found, and in cities like Boston and New Orleans, shops are making extraordinary wedding gowns and evening dresses employing the age-old techniques and using the term "fagoting" routinely and correctly.

Years ago George Orwell wrote an essay that has become a classic---"Politics and the English Language." For those who tiptoe politically with the language, I recommend this essay for the clarity with which it defines the problem and the inevitable results it describes.

Thanks, Newbie, for standing up for our language and good sense!

From Louisiana, where we're freezing,


Subject: Battenburg lace!
From: "Newbie Richardson" <>

Dear Jan, Barb, and Sally, and list,

I had a "aha!" momment.
The coverlet we have been debating was made the same way that Battenburg
lace is made - over a pattern or papers.

Battenburg lace is a form of tape lace. It was exceedingly popular (think
crazy quilt popular) at the end of the 19th century and into the 20th. It is
made by basting strips of losely woven linen or cotton tapes over a sineous
design drawn out on brown paper. Then the needle woman would connect the
tapes using decorative stitiches - in the same manner as "punto in aria":
stitches in the air, ie in a void or empty place (thanks Jan that is what
made me think of this).

You don't find the term used in any of the late 19th century lace books as
it was "beneath notice" not a "real" lace. Only in the 20th century books do
you see the term used. It was wildly popular with all kinds of kits sold and
bought. This technique was used extensively to make the garden party dresses
ad lingerie dresses of the Edwardian period, Us costume folk see it
endlessly in the form of collars. It resurfaced again in the 1930's and
'40's in decorative linens.

I posit that the maker of the coverlet had made battenbur and used the same
idea to make this coverlet. It was decorative, it was "fast", and she used
what looks like any of the stitches we have been debating to do so. She
clearly based her triangles over some kind of guide in order to keep her
tension even.

The link below shows some later examples.

Mystery solved?



Subject: President Taft and Billie Possum
From: <>
Date: Sat, 9 Jan 2010 8:03:43 -0800
X-Message-Number: 5

In the recent past, there was a discussion on this list about Possum quilts, specifically the one in the Georgia Documentation book. There may be others. Does anyone think this is related to President Taft and the stuffed animal named after him "Billie Possum." I found a period postcard with President Taft and Billie Possum (hanging by his tail) side-by-side. The quilt in the Georgia book seems to be of the Taft era.
Just asking and curious about your thoughts. sue reich

Sue Reich
Washington Depot, Connecticut


Subject: Turkey red reproduction?
From: "Linda Heminway" <>

Just cleaned out my sewing room and I sure am inspired to work! I work
at such a pace that all my stuff gets strew about and then I get
overwhelmed and it becomes hard to work. If only I could keep one or
two projects out at a time and be more disciplined....

Does anyone recommend a good source for reproduction solid turkey red?
I'm looking for good weight, bleed-proof and a fair price (cheapest
isn't always best, as we know).
I would love to know if any of you have found the perfect shade. It
can't be too red, can't be too orangey, can't be too burgundy, it has to
be just right. : )

I used to have a great deal of it on hand for my dream quilt that was
going to be all red and white (feathered star and I still will get to it
one day) but I ended up using all my stash on Home of the Brave Quilts.
no regrets. I would dearly love to replace some of what I had on hand,
I'm reduced to scraps that are not enough to put together much of
anything. I seem to recall what I bought years ago was a Harriet
Hargrave repro fabric. Haven't seen anything like that in a long time.

Hope everyone is staying warm under all their quilts with this cold

Thanks if you can help,
Linda Heminway
Plaistow, NH


Subject: Victorian pin holder
From: "Christine Thresh" <>
Date: Sat, 9 Jan 2010 15:22:38 -0800
X-Message-Number: 8

I came across an interesting item when I was looking through my sewing tins
this morning. It is a Victorian pin holder (perhaps there is a proper name
for it). I posted a picture on my blog at:

Christine Thresh
on an island in the California Delta <-- my blog


Subject: Marion Whiteside Cheever Newton
From: Karen Alexander <>
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 2010 16:44:39 -0800
X-Message-Number: 9

Is anyone aware of a contemporary pattern source for Marion's storybook
quilt series?

I am aware of Naida Treadway Patterson's AQSG seminar paper in the 1995
Uncoverings, but that does not contain actual patterns.


Karen in the Islands


Subject: Re: Turkey red reproduction?
From: "Jean Carlton" <>

One of the Kona red solids is thought to be the closest by the BAS - I
wrote it down when I was there and it's here somewhere. I used it for my
Hawaiian applique - If no one else comes up with it (which I doubt) I'll
find it and let you know.
Where it's REALLY cold - ie. sub zero and windy.


Subject: Kalona sidewalks to embrace quilts
From: Karen Alexander <>
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 2010 23:34:51 -0800
X-Message-Number: 1

From an Iowa news feed January 8, 2010

<<Downtown Kalona getting major overhaul

.....Thirty-eight quilt blocks will be installed in the new downtown
sidewalks. Each is designed after a historic quilt that has a tie in to the
Midwest or Kalona, Schlabaugh said.

Each quilt block will have a number and people will be able to get a map to
take a walking quilt block tour of the community, he said.>>

Catherine L. and Sue W.,

Has the Quilt Study Group and the Textile museum in Kalona had any part in
this project?

Karen A.


Subject: Re: Turkey red reproduction?
From: Barbara Burnham <>
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 2010 06:27:44 -0800 (PST)
X-Message-Number: 2

Linda Heminway wrote: Does anyone recommend a good source for reproduction
solid turkey red?A0 I'm looking for good weight, bleed-proof and a fair pr
ice (cheapest isn't always best, as we know).
Linda Heminway
Plaistow, NH

Years ago, I bought the perfect Turkey Red from Judie Rothermel but the fab
ric was too heavy for hand applique. So I mailed a swatch of that to Keepsa
ke Quilting with specific requirements (exact same color, lighter weight).
They had just the right fabric and I lots of it. It's almost all gone; wish
I'd bought a whole bolt!
I think reds always run nowadays; greens can run; I've even had a gold run.
So I always do this test first before using it for my applique:
Cut a 2-4 inch square, soak it in warm water for 20 minutes, then lay it on
a paper towel to dry. If the paper towel turns pink, use Retayne.
When searching for a specific color, another idea is to send (or carry in y
our purse) paint chips from a paint store.
Please, do let me know what you find--I'll be searching for more very soon
too! (OMG you are only an hour away from KQ in Center Harbor NH!)
Barbara Burnham


Subject: fabric and bleeding
From: Jo Morton <>

I was told that the fabric dyes today are formulated for 'cold water'
It would seem to me then that washing with warm or hot water could
cause bleeding.
I believe the chemicals and the amounts added to the water in every
city/town is different and results can vary. No easy answer(s) to the
bleeding problem that some have.
Jo in Nebraska

Jo Morton
Andover Fabrics Designer


Subject: Re: fabric and bleeding
From: Barbara Burnham <>
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 06:24:03 -0800 (PST)
X-Message-Number: 2

Jo in Nebraska wrote:
No easy answer(s) to the bleeding problem that some have.

Jo, That's for sure! I totally agree. Plus, fabric manufacturing processes change all the time. And who knows what a future owner will do in their laundry...


Subject: Re: Speakers in the area of quilt history
From: "Stephanie Grace Whitson" <>

Don't know if this is what you have in mind, but I have two quilt
lectures that are historical in theme.

Sod House Homemakers and their Quilts
The result of several years of research, this lecture presents quilts
known to have been used by sod house homemakers. Enhanced archival
photographs and the women's own words gleaned from diaries, letters, and
reminiscences further celebrate their exceptional creativity.Includes a
trunk show.

Calico Trails
Antique quilts, tops, and blocks illustrate this tribute to some of
history's mighty women. What really happened is better than fiction!
Includes readings from Stephanie's carefully researched historical
fiction set on the Great Plains in the latter half of the nineteenth

I'm registered on
Stephanie Whitson



Subject: Re: qhl digest: January 10, 2010

Subject: Re: Turkey red reproduction?
From: Barbara Burnham _barbaraburnhamyahoo.com_

When searching for a specific color, another idea is to send (or carry in
your purse) paint chips from a paint store.
Barbara Burnham

That's a great idea, Barbara. Can you tell me what color name paint chips
from which paint company would be a good Turkey red for you?

I'm wary of fabrics that bleed. I prewash new fabs and press while wet
using a muslin cover on my ironing board. If there's a telltale smudge of
pink on the muslin, that lets me know if it's still bleeding and needs another

I've found several different shades of Turkey red in antique quilts, and
I'm sure the age, wear, and even the original dyer make a difference in the
exact color. I bought a bolt of a good solid red cotton years ago, but
I've chipped away at it right well, and find myself in need of more now.

This is super-sewing season for me. I'm just finishing up hand sewing a
snowball quilt based on Pat & Arlan Christ's antique snowball that they
brought to the MAQSG at the Burlington County Historical Society last September.
Terrific fun! Now I think it's time for a new sewing project to keep me
busy through these long cold winter hours.

I hope you are all keeping well and keeping warm! Bright blessings!
~Donna Laing



Subject: Re: speaker's fee
From: "Stephanie Grace Whitson" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 11:07:16 -0600
X-Message-Number: 5

I often suggest that a group who wants to have me but thinks I'm expensive
consider sharing expenses with another group. It isn't unusual for me to
speak to a a couple of different groups in an area. I don't give a "2 for 1"
but I will work with groups to save them a little money. This next weekend
I'll be at three different venues in Kansas. I gave each group a $50
discount off my usual fee and I am paying my expenses out of the fee because
I will be selling books at each of the three venues so that will more than
cover my expenses. This is a first "3 sponsor" event for me, but I've done
planty of "2 sponsor" events where I speak one place in the afternoon and
another in the evening. It's fun. If I were working up a topic just for a
group that would affect how we decide how to handle the fees involved.

Two guilds or groups could also share the sponsorship of an event. One of
the Kansas venues next weekend is a church and they invited another church
nearby to join them and, consequently, help with the fee.

Everyone seems happy. . . . now I just have to hope there isn't a blizzard
in Kansas next weekend!

Stephanie Whitson


Subject: Re: fabric and bleeding
From: "Lonnie" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 15:47:04 -0600
X-Message-Number: 6

Last week I finished an appliquéd block and rinsed it under super cold water
to get the few 'blue' lines out that I had used for centering. The green ran
like a stuck pig!!!!

I can't believe it!! I am the queen of pre-washing. Nothing comes into my
quilt room until it's washed.
Anyway, I appliquéd another leaf over it and all is well.

Harriet Hargrave's book 'Fiber to Fabric' talks about our city water and
problems with bleeding, fading, etc.
She recommends 80 to 85 degree water and Snowy Bleach or something called
Easy Wash as dye run removers.

Haven't tried them so I'm not sure if they work.

Lonnie Schlough


Subject: The ever-elesuve Turkey Red.....
From: "Linda Heminway" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 19:51:00 -0500
X-Message-Number: 7

> Subject: Re: Turkey red reproduction?
Barbara said:
Years ago, I bought the perfect Turkey Red from Judie Rothermel but the
fabric was too heavy for hand applique. So I mailed a swatch of that to
Keepsake Quilting with specific requirements (exact same color, lighter
They had just the right fabric and I lots of it. It's almost all gone; wish
I'd bought a whole bolt!

-Barbara, that is interesting as I have actually brought swatches of what I
felt was my perfect Turkey Red into Keepsake dozens of times and never left
with anything I felt was quite right. But, I always wonder if we all have
different interpretations of what we feel is exactly the right shade of red?

Barbara also said: "When searching for a specific color, another idea is to
send (or carry in your purse) paint chips from a paint store.

What a wonderful idea, Barbara! I had never thought of that.

Also, Barbara said: Please, do let me know what you find--I'll be searching
for more very soon
> too! (OMG you are only an hour away from KQ in Center Harbor NH!)

Why, yes, I am pretty close in Plaistow NH to Keepsake, but our summer home
up in the Lakes Region is only about 15 minutes away..... it becomes all too
tempting for me. The grocery store I shop at up that way is in the same
shopping plaza as Keepsake. It's "tough" but someone has to do it, right?
Our summer cabin is on a lake and when I stop in at Keepsake, I do not have
a washing machine up there but I must pre-wash my fabric. The tell tale
signs of my spending sprees hang brightly on the cabin's clothes line. My
neighbor wanders over (she's a quilter too) to check out my purchases with
her tea cup in hand. : )

Again, back to the Turkey Red quest...I wanted to add that I have had
private emails from a number of people asking me to let them know if/when I
find the right shade. Apparently my search is not all that uncommon. I
will try to post something here. I have had a few recommendations sent to
me and I thank everyone who has sent web sites.

Cindy, from Busy Thimble emailed me and offered to send me some swatches. I
shall look over what she sends. I really love the idea of swatches as often
on line colors can be deceptive as well as catalog colors.

Lastly, I do have to add something that I felt was really quite humorous, in
a way. I went searching on google under "antique red and white quilt" as I
wanted to find just the shade I was looking for and found this particular
quilt on ebay:

It just about knocked my socks off. That certainly is not what I think of
as some kind of Indian "good luck" symbol, those are clearly Swastikas! I
did want to point it out as people have mentioned this before. Have any of
you ever heard of a Swastika as being an Indian symbol before? I sure have
But, I do want to say that that red in this quilt looks almost exactly as I
envision "my" turkey red to be and what I am looking for.
I would love to have about 4 or 5 yards of just the right color so that I
can make that feathered star quilt with all the gorgous hand quilted wreaths
and feathers that, to me, will be a reproduction representing all the lovely
quilts that I have admired over the years. Usually, the quilts that I
admire most are in tatters with stains on them. I want my own and I want it
to look exactly as those quilts of old look. It is ever on my "to do" list.
I look forward to hearing about the Swastika design and if anyone really
thinks it's American Indian.
Linda Heminway
Plaistow, NH


Subject: RE: The ever-elesuve Turkey Red.....
From: "Janet O'Dell" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 14:56:25 +1100
X-Message-Number: 8

This link may give you more information about the history of the swastika
and this link talks about its association with the American Indian:
and this one is interesting:
There are many references on Google.

Please let us know the details of the 'perfect' Turkey Red when you find it!

Janet O'Dell
Melbourne Australia


Subject: matching colors
From: "Newbie Richardson" <>

Dear Everyone,
I spent the better part of 2009 running around trying tomatch clors for an
18th century silk brocaded dress I was stabilising/restoring. The dress had
to stay in themuseum workroom - a good distance from anyfabric store!
Long story short, we found that using paint chips ( or the Pantone color
system) did not work. Paint coats the surface, dye penetrates the fibers,
thus the light waves bounce off it differently.

I found that DMC embroidery floss was the most convenient way to match. It
comes in a huge assortment of tints, is cheap and portable. Ialso use fabric
swatches from my stash and spools of thread!

We also really learned a lesson about the light under which the object will
be seen. In this case the dress was stored and then exhibited in a gallery
where the Uv was adjusted for safe display. It is very close to natural -
ie- sunlight. Fluorescent lights give a "yellow" tint to everything. It was
facinating to see what looked like exactly the right color match in the
store turn out to be way too yellow/green.

So to match turkey red, or anyother color, find the right match, (in
daylight) with floss, thread or swatch, then when you go to the store,
carry the bolt to the window. This will save lots of miles on the car!



Subject: Turkey reds
From: "The Motls" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 08:37:19 -0600
X-Message-Number: 2

Another thing to consider is the swatch that you are trying to match has
probably been washed. If you do find a perfect match, that might change once
you wash the new red fabric.
I try to remember to cut a swatch from my fabric before it's washed or


Subject: qhl matching colors
From: Jan Thomas <>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 13:11:01 -0700
X-Message-Number: 3

Newbie, I noticed something similar while working with decorators and
customers in OH in the 80s (and is what lead me to first investigate
light and textiles). 'Most' of the yellow spots that showed on any of the
old textiles under the flourescents would essentially disappear when
we'd take them into natural light. A few were really dark too! Spots
were a concern for non-collectors looking for a pretty quilt for the
guest bedroom or back of the couch and the little reassurance that they
wouldn't see it in their home sold a whole lot of things. It also
prompted me to install natural lights in my workroom at home and to keep
one corner fitted with under-cabinet flourescents. None of the
decorators would try to match color swatches to items in the shop. They
always took them outside.

We also kept a large, full-length mirror to look at our quilts and
textiles. Maybe it performs the same function as a photograph but when
viewed that way, I very often see things I miss looking full frontal.