August 19, 2010

Toile de Baltimore, Redux

After lots of great advice from museum curators, historic house directors, historians, interior designers and my mother, I’ve come up with a final draft of the Toile de Baltimore.

We have found out that the original Toile de Baltimore/Maryland that we found was most likely produced by one of the local department stores in the late 1940’s, probably as part of an anniversary of some type. maryland toile 008 With some advice, we’ve changed it up a bit and added two new buildings in place of two that were on the original piece. We got rid of the Maryland State House (left bottom) and the Francis Scott Key monument (middle left). In their place, we added Homewood House, on the campus of the Johns Hopkins UniversityHomewood 009and the Pagoda in Patterson Park, which looks out Baltimore’s harbour to the Chesapeake Bay. Patterson_Park_Pagoda  Next, I found some Photoshop brushes that mimic clouds and painted the background of the print with those. I divided that layer in half and then flipped it to make a mirror image.  tdb1xtdb2x

I am almost at the final part of this, seeing how it looks as a large repeat and deciding how large or small I want to make the buildings.  Once we finalize that, we will send some files to Spoonflower and see what we get!


  1. Brilliant Meg! Do you give online courses!!

    Art by Karena

  2. It's not just that I love the fabric, but I am giddy that you have let us in on the process which has been so interesting. Beyond impressive.

  3. I love toile and your post was fascintaing!

  4. Very interesting process - and an impressive talent you have! Love that you added the Homewood House of JHU - also one of my favorite sights to see each visit.

  5. This is so classic and that Pagoda is such a nice addition. Well done!

  6. Well I'm sorry the State House had to go but it is in Annapolis of course. I am quite impressed with your perseverance on this one Meg! Brava!

  7. Meg, you have been a real tour de force lately. You are amazing! I love the toile so much!

  8. How lovely to be working on a toile for your wonderful city. It looks to be a beautiful colour of blue grey.

    To me the buildings are too far apart and need to drift into each other more, possibly linked by exending branches. Also, the ground line of the pagoda is two straight and angular at the bottom. Homewood house is lacking a suggestion of land in front of it, so it doesn't harmonize with the others.

    If you look at the original toile, the entire periphery of each vignette is very irregular, and they are positioned closer to each other, almost touching. In the classic, 18th century pastoral toile, the scenes drift into each other, usually with tendrils of plants or branches or ornamental arabesques. I think your design will benefit from the buildings being more closely linked.

    Possibly photocopies of old copperplate engravings of trees or branches, or even those in the original toile could be cut out and repositioned. I also think that having human figures as in the original adds charm and perspective. The standing couple might be reused, with the monument behind excised.

    I think the original would also be lovely and look more "toile de Jouy" if reissued in monochromatics. What an interesting and historically significant project you are working on.


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