Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Civil War Quilts

You may not know that 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. For the past few years, I have been interested in the history of quilts in the Civil War and The Underground Railroad. This past weekend, I came across Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts website.

Barbara is posting a block a week with the history of the block and at the end of the year, those who follow along will have 52  8- inch blocks to make a Civil War Quilt. Now, I thought about jumping right in but realized I didn't know enough about it to know what fabric to use. Barbara does give some examples of fabric on the site and she also has a bundle of fat quarters coming out soon--Civil War Reunion for Moda. There are a few pieces in this bundle that I don't care for and I would rather spend the money on fabric I enjoy.

I did a little research today and decided to order Barbara's book. 

After I ordered it, I think I may have enjoyed this one more.

Anyway, I'm going to do some research before I spend the money ordering fabric. I want to make sure I like the fabric as well as it be sure it correctly depicts the time period. I feel that as long as I start in the next month or two, I would be able to catch up easily by making 2 or 3 blocks a week instead of just one.

But then again, I may just research blocks used during this time period and make a sampler quilt using reproductive fabrics.

Or I could make the "Dear Jane" quilt. We know Karen has made two beautiful ones. So many small blocks to make.

Then there is the Civil War Bride Quilt. It seems awful busy. I think it needs about an inch sashing to break up the blocks. I guess some would think that would ruin it.

Then I came across the Civil War Diary Quilt by Rosemary Youngs.

Maybe I would have been better off just starting Barbara's without doing research. Then I wouldn't have so many decisions to make.

So many quilts--so little time. 

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.


  1. I use the library for books. They are really good about inter library ordering if they don't have the book I'm looking for. These both look interesting. I'm intrigued by the Underground RR.

  2. I have a boat load of Civil War repro fabric and love most of it. I do know that there was and is a controversery as to whether quilts were actually functional in pointing slaves north. A black woman and her daughter wrote a book in the late 90's or early part of this century about the use of the quilts. After others researched their facts, the ladies admitted that they had fabricated most of the book. This controversy was in several of the quilt magazine editorials back then.

    I wrote a term paper about the Battle of Shilo and illustrated it. As Gene and I moved about the south and east with his job, we visited battlefields and cemeteries and anything else that dealt with the Civil War. Such a sad time in our history when brother fought brother.

    I'm with you about the Civil War Bride Quilt being waaaaay to busy!!!

  3. There are a lot of Civil War quilts out there that are wonderful. I've done Dear Jane, and Rosemary also has one called Love Letters from the Civil War. Both have CDs to make the blocks easy to print. I agree with you about the Civil War Bride quilt. There doesn't seem to be a place for your eye to land. I think those blocks sashed would be wonderful. You could always do a combination of several of them...endless possibilities.

  4. I have a friend who is making the Civil War Bride quilt - it is pretty but I would break it up with some sashing also and maybe leave some of the blocks plain with nothing in them but quilting and set on point with plain blocks in between them? Something anyhow so it wasn't so busy. (ha - I think I just redesigned it in my mind LOL)



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