If several of last week's Mad for Solids bundle names were any indication, we're all ready for spring and the fresh palette and light airiness that comes with it!
We're bringing all things spring your way with Barbara J. Eikmeier's newest collection, Tiara. This reproduction line has a vintage feel, with a gorgeous colorway and unique early 20th century-inspired prints. See the collection below and then make sure to read our interview with Barb to learn the story behind Tiara!
Tell us about the quilt that inspired your Tiara collection.
It’s an antique medallion-style quilt made out of silk. I think it was probably made from salesman samples for dress prints because the fabrics in it don’t repeat. It has herringbone stitching in between the pieces—it’s likely from the end of the crazy quilt period in first part of the 20th century.
How did you use this quilt to decide on the prints and colors?
Whoever came up with these fabrics 100-some years ago had color sense. I wanted to reproduce the prints in their original colors, so I went to the paint store and came back with paint chips to match the colors in the quilt. I probably started with 40 paint chips! I looked for which colors were most prevalent and created the palette based on those. The same with the prints, where I also considered which had the most potential for quilting.
Do you have a favorite?
I really love the cream with the large flowers on it. I didn’t know that was going to be my favorite until I received the fabric. I also love the small circle print—it’s so easy to use.
Where did the Tiara name come from?
By the 1930s, many of the dress fabrics were called washable rayons. I don’t think this original quilt has rayon in it—they are all silk—but I found an ad in an old Sears and Roebuck catalog for washable rayon and they called it Tiara. It sounded like a fun name for this collection!
What is one thing you really like about Tiara?
When I was making a dress for my granddaughter Etta, I needed to choose three prints to use. As I started putting together options, I realized that the fabrics worked so well together. There are so many different combinations that look pretty!
What’s a detail in the fabric that we might not notice?
If you look at the vine print, the brown colorway almost looks like a different print—it’s made using only two colors—the chocolate brown background and the cream stems and vines. The aqua and pink colorways use different colors for the leaves and for the vines, so they end up looking different. I took this element from the fabrics in the original quilt.
Tell us about the most surprising print in the collection.
It’s the yellow print, for sure. In the original quilt, the yellow showed up here and there, and I really liked it. But when I narrowed down the palette, I eliminated it because nothing else really had yellow in it. We ended up adding it back in, and I love it. It’s a very buttery yellow, and it works beautifully between the light cream background and some of the more contrasting prints. I also love how the blue, salmon and yellow circle prints work together.
We’re so excited about your Twirling Tiara free pattern!
Me too! I love how it turned out. I really wanted to showcase the large-scale print, so I used it in alternate blocks, with sashing and cornerstones separating it from the pieced pinwheel blocks.
Download the free quilt pattern here.
See the entire Tiara collection here.
Purchase a fat quarter bundle of Tiara here.