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HappNstance

The designs in my HappNstance series are based on floral embroidery designs from Germany in the early 1930s.  During this time, my husband’s grandfather, Carl Happ, owned a factory in Berlin that stamped linens with embroidery designs so that they could be hand embroidered. 

Carl Happ was born 1879 in Strelno, then still part of Germany, but after WW1 part of Poland.  He was the youngest of 11 children.  He attended school in Berlin. 

In the early 1900s, Carl joined a clothing and textile-manufacturing firm in Berlin, named Tapisserie Fabrik Berlin.  After several years, in 1914, he left Tapisserie Fabrik Berlin and teamed up with two friends, Albert Sprinz and a Mr. Mayer to found a competing enterprise, Berliner Tapisserie-Fabrik Sprinz, Happ & Co. (“BTF”). BTF produced hand-painted and machine-imprinted materials including towels, tea-towels tablecloth, pillowcases, etc., for embroidery.  In 1932, BTF introduced a confection line of children’s, girls, and ladies fashion.  BTF employed a staff of sales representatives who travelled across Germany with samples to sell the collections.

The last known catalog dates back to 1932 and is on display at the Jewish Museum in Berlin.  In 1935, BTF was taken over by the Nazi authorities in Berlin and was closed in 1936.  The factory was located at the Ritterstrasse 72, in an area called Kreuzberg, today around the corner of what is now the site of the Jewish Museum. The factory housing the BTF was bombed during one of the many allied raids on Berlin and did not survive.  From the end of WW2 until the fall of the Berlin wall the original site was located in East Berlin.

In 1938, Carl Happ left Berlin with his family and moved to the Netherlands.  Only his daughter, Marianne, survived the war. Albert Sprinz, who was older than Carl Happ, left Berlin to move his family to what was then called Palestine.  It is believed that Mr. Mayer and his family did not leave Berlin and it is unknown if he survived WW2.  Mr. Sprinz survived WW2 in Israel.

In the summer of 2012, I decided not to return to teaching and to try to set up my own company designing for machine embroidery. Thinking that I would concentrate on designing for redwork, I asked my husband if he had anything leftover from his grandfather’s factory. He said that they had donated everything to the Jewish Museum in Berlin, but that he’d see if they could make copies of the catalogue.  The people at the museum were wonderful and took digital pictures of every page in the catalogue and sent them to us on a  CD.  I have named this division of Fabric Confetti, HappNstance.  “Happ” comes from my husband’s mother’s maiden name, and “stance” comes from coincidence because I think it is a coincidence that my new venture is the result of my having asked my husband to look into the designs.

I have adapted some of the designs from the catalogue for the applique flowers the following quilt. This first pattern is called Marianne.  This is the first quilt in the HappNstance series.  Marianne, my husband’s mother, is the person who made this all possible.

Marianne

53" x 53"

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