Victorian London - Publications - Etiquette and Household Advice Manuals - Cassells Household Guide, New and Revised Edition (4 Vol.) c.1880s [no date] -  Patchwork - (1)

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Volume 1



    PATCHWORK is looked upon as an old-fashioned thing. But many old-fashioned things are being revived�some of them with benefit. Patchwork is one that should not be despised. Mere cotton patchwork may be made pretty to look at, and useful for the counterpanes for the inferior rooms of a house. Counterpanes are rather expensive articles, if good ; and a nicely made patchwork cover looks better than a cheap counterpane. Patchwork quilts may also be given in charity. Patchwork made of pieces of silk and satin is handsome, especially if arranged with taste ; and may be used for quilts, sofa and chair covers, cushions, and ottomans. Patchwork counterpanes, if nicely made, look exceedingly well. The pieces can generally be begged, but all good upholstery shops will sell, and even give, cuttings to good customers. Patchwork quilts allow of great exercise of taste. The most common is the diamond, each device kept by alternately light and dark stars, and the chess-board pattern ; but there are many others. Some are simply made of squares or diamonds, joined without order. Counterpanes are often made by mixing a variety of these devices. The centre, perhaps, may be of stars ; the intermediate portion and the border chiefly of diamonds, as in Fig. 1, or squares, as in Fig. 2.
    Simple squares are the commonest kind of patchwork. Cut them two inches square each way. They are cut in card�any common visiting or trade cards will do�and covered with cotton or silk. All pieces are used and joined by chance and without order ; only silk and cotton are not mingled in the same article�it must be of one or the other only.
      Counterpanes in Patchwork.�Fig. 2 is a design for a patchwork counterpane or table cover, which may be made of any mixed scraps ; keeping the dark parts of the design dark, and the light ones, light. The ground is of light squares.
      This would make a beautiful piece of fancy work, in purchased materials of silk or satin. The centre diamond, and the dark squares violet, the light gold colour ; the diamond round it, dark patches of bright red, of a crimson shade ; the light of azure. The straight lines each way, one violet, one the new intense green, reversed on the opposite side. The four stars, azure for the light, crimson the dark. The zigzag line, bright green. The border of half-squares, which comes next, violet. The alternate light squares at the corners, gold colour ; the dark half-squares next them, crimson. The pattern-like clusters of light azure and the black one in centre dark crimson. A straightline round, also of green. Alter, make squares of violet. Greek border of azure. Alternate squares crimson. Ground, a friars' grey (a sort of pale neutral green); a French grey (lavender); azureline (a pale bluish tint); a stone colour, a cream colour or white. Wad, and line with silk. Quilt by running between all the joins. Add a rich upholstery cord all round, and tassels at the corners of gold-coloured silk.
      Colours used :�Azure bright green, violet, gold colour, crimson ; the ground colours to choice.
      Another disposal of colours :�All the dark patches a bright crimson red. Greek border, azure, and straight border of a light colour within the Greek one, Metternich green. Light part of the clusters of fine amber. Light-coloured alternate squares round the straight diamond border, Havannah. Zigzag border inside the diamond line, Metternich green. Four stars round light parts, azure. Centre diamond, blue, light parts, amber. Ground of friars' grey. Gold tassels, and lining bright crimson.
      Colours used in working :�Bright light crimson, azure blue, Metternich green, golden amber, a very little Havannah, friars' grey.
      If these are of satin, and the lining of sarcenet, the quilt will be splendid. Join the lining in breadths. Quilt with friars' grey tailors' twist.
    It may be as well to explain that Metternich green is that rich, full, deep-coloured "candlelight green," almost of a verdigris shade, and metallic in hue. Havannah, a light brown, richer than a fawn. The worker can get the light shades at any first-rate Berlin wool dep�t, and match them in satin. The green, however, can only be procured in silk, such as filoselle. Greens in wool are all dull.
      Fig. 1 is a design for a different kind of patchwork quilt. It is a sort of applique work on stout coarse linen sheeting. To make this, in the first place apiece of stout white linen, a yard square is taken. On the centre of this a patchwork star (see Fig. 1), is placed. A piece like a ring is cut from dark-coloured chintz and run on round this, leaving a few inches between the star and the ring. A border of three rows of triangular pieces is added. Between the ring and the border eight inches are left, filled in the corners with diamonds, and between with leaves. A border six inches square is covered with dark crosses at the corners and diamonds and leaves between ; this is bordered by a piece of light-flowered chintz a foot wide, with dark-coloured diamonds a foot square. The next border is six inches wide, with diamonds and ovals attached to it ; the ground light ; the diamonds and ovals alternately of two or three colours. A border of striped chintz, with a fringe and cord all round, finishes this counterpane.
      We shall return to this subject and give other designs in a forthcoming paper. The size of the patchwork articles we may of course leave to be decided by the requirements of the maker. The patterns given in one of our present examples (Fig. 2), may be very readily adjusted for any size by counting the squares and getting the same number into the space of the article the maker has in hand.


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