Saturday, April 22, 2017

34 Stars in a Flag

Patriotic Quilt
Estimated date 1861 - 1863

This Civil-War-era quilt is hard to appreciate from a photograph but it is certainly notable. Documented by the New Jersey quilt project, it is estimated to have over 7,000 pieces in it and 34 stars.

The quilt of diamonds and hexagons had passed from the maker's family but the owner attributed it to Ivy Purcell of Atlantic City, married to a doctor.

Because the center field has 34 stars the quilt documenters attributed it to the years 1861 - 1863 when the Union flag had 34 stars.

Abraham Lincoln raised the new flag with
34 stars on February 22, 1861 over Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

We are very used to a conventional grid of stars. The official star placement was dictated by an early 20th-century law but during the mid-19th century flag makers were free to use any arrangement. Here are a few creative flags and quilts.
From a sampler

We'll be making a flag for our Yankee Diary quilt so these may provide inspiration
(if not a lot of applique.)

Field from Emma Van Fleet's 1866 flag quilt
Yakima Valley Museum

Field from a flag quilt in the Belfast Historical Society, Maine

Two starry blocks from a sampler in the
Museum of Our National Heritage,
Quilt Index

Another sampler from the Quilt Index

Field from the Abbie Williams Flag Quilt from Canandaigua.
Ontario County Historical Society.

Field from a crib quilt in the Offut Collection.
Jeffrey Evans Antiques

From Stephen Score Antiques

From James Julia Antiques
A variation on the Peterson's Magazine pattern.

Kansas State Historical Society

This 20th-century quiltmaker thought three was
a good number. The flag looks backwards to us.
But that may have been an unfamiliar concept at the time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Block 3 Finishes: Double Ties

Daisyusanh's finished her 5 versions of Block 3,
the Double Tie. We can see where she's going
with some great period calicoes.

Jeannie at Spiral has a patriotic color scheme in mind.

As does Vrooman's Quilts
(She made an extra.)

You could make a lot more. 
They are sort of like popcorn.
5 might not be enough.

Crib quilt, Baltimore, about 1860
DAR Museum & the Quilt Index

Next week Block 4.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Generals' Wives' Quilt

National Quilt,
Collection of the Ohio Historical Society

For decades after the Civil War, the Union Veterans' group The Grand Army of the Republic held annual national "Encampments," huge reunions of Union soldiers. The 22nd Annual Encampment was held in Columbus, Ohio in September, 1888.

Thousands of veterans camped out in tent cities
 at these National Reunions.

During the festivities a quilt was raffled to benefit the GAR. Apparently the GAR post in New Carlisle, Ohio organized the quilt by asking women associated with Union Generals to contribute blocks. Or was it made in Columbiana in Salem County? 

Julia Dent Grant may have made or sponsored this block dedicated to her late
husband General  U. S. Grant
Jessie Benton Fremont and the block dedicated to Gen. John C. Fremont.

Caroline Harrison's husband's block. In 1888
Benjamin Harrison was running a successful
campaign for President.

General Frank Blair's block and his wife
Apoline Alexander Blair in a portrait by
George Caleb Bingham.

Mrs. John C. Black with General Black's block.
In the 20th-century portrait she is holding
a photograph of her late husband.

James B. McPherson was Ohio's highest-ranking Union officer
killed in battle. The block honoring him was made by a Miss
McPherson. He never married, so this may have been a niece.

Organizers also asked state governors to donate a block but only one state block from California
is in the quilt. Who bought it? Who won it? 

Stories conflict. Was the quilt sold at the Re-union or sold to California's Governor Robert W. Waterman? The Ohio Historical Society's information says it was donated by descendants of the lucky winner of the 1888 raffle. There is also some indication that more than one quilt was made.
"Thirty-six women sent quilt blocks to New Carlisle, where they were incorporated into the three quilts. They were entered in an Ohio centennial celebration in 1888, where the National won a first premium in the Art Needle...."

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

March Finishes for Westering Women

Pink Deenster has finished setting her bright blocks (she also did a low-contrast set.)
She made up her own clever set that alternates blocks on point with blocks on the straight. Basic geometry means the blocks on point will take up more space.

So she added a frame to the blocks on the straight.

Size of block on straight  x 1.414 = Size of block on point

12" x 1.414 = 16.968
We'll call it 17"
Size of frame on each side finishes to 2-1/2"
Am I right Dena?

Danice has finished her Way West version

As has Bernice.

Ellen at LittleJewelQuilts used a triple-strip sash and a series of pieced and plain borders to get a larger quilt that is 80 x 91"

The sorely missed Pat Summitt

Let's get those tops finished!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Quilt Honoring Jeff Davis

In 1915 the town of Red Bluff, in northern California, celebrated April 10th as the "Anniversary of Lee's Surrender" the end of the Civil War.

Old soldiers, civic-minded women and school children marked that fiftieth anniversary with parades, lectures on history and patriotic song fests. 

An elaborate 1915 veteran's ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The children are releasing doves of peace.
Library of Congress photo.
In Red Bluff:
"Some relics were presented, the most interesting being a Jeff Davis quilt which was captured during Sherman’s march and was given by the captor to Mrs. Jonathan Stark of  this city. The quilt, or rather a cover for a quilt, Is in the shape of the Stars and Bars. In every blue field is a circle of stars inside which are sewn letters making the word 'South.' On all the white stripes are letters sewn making the word, 'Jeff D'.  It is quite an interesting relic."
Mrs. Stark was probably Sarah Catherine Dudderer Stark,  born in Missouri on November 1, 1839,
died in Red Bluff April 7, 1921. We'd probably recognize that quilt if we came across it. The description is quite clear.

Here's the rest of the newspaper story:

Red Bluff California Daily News, Number 135, 10 April 1915

As arranged the old soldiers and the Ladies of the Westlake Circle were present yesterday at the city schools commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the surrender of General Lee. At the Monroe school a delegation of the veterans spoke to the children. About the same time the ladies met at Mrs. B. C. Foster’s and marched in a body to the Lincoln school with their colors carried by Mrs. Hickman and Mrs Smart. The four lower grades were visited first and short talks given by the visitors. After the upper grades assembled in front of the school and gave the flag salute, then preceded by the veterans they marched to the hall. The school band played several selections during the program, the school under the direction of Miss White sang patriotic songs, and several of the visitors spoke. Among these were Messrs Nealey, Smart, Christian, Burnett and Knapp; Mrs. Hickman and Mrs. Milburn. The addresses were well received by the younger generation. Rev. Rufus Keyser closed the program by a strong appeal for peace."

And a little genealogy on the Stark family from FindAGrave

Born Indiana Jan. 10, 1826, parents born Indiana, died Red Bluff May 10, 1901 .
(Will August 8, 1888), married Bates Co. Missouri Sept. 23, 1858, Sarah Catherine
Dudderer,  born Missouri Nov 1, 1839, died Red Bluff Apr. 7, 1921, daughter of (*)
Dudderer and Leonah Sheckelford, natives of Kentucky.
Civil War vet. Red Bluff 1880 census.
Red Bank farmer 1896. 4 children.
Leanah S. Stark Thompson (1859-1934)
Thomas Dewitt Stark (1861-1944)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Resources for Pieced BOM's & Quiltalongs

Westering Women by Mark Lauer

Mark just finished his sampler, which he pieced and bordered with prints from my Alice's Scrapbag repro collection from a year or two ago.

Nice collaboration, me and Mark (and Alice).

He enjoyed making a sampler of pieced blocks:
"I love the blocks you picked and wonder if you can suggest any resources for finding more similar style blocks. It's a great mix! "
Maureen G.'s Threads of Memory
in Morris Jewels fabrics.

I have ideas. He ordered the patterns for the Threads of Memory BOM we did a few years ago. Those are original star blocks I designed. 

Those of you who've been quilting for a while might be able to suggest 225 or so other pieced BOM's and sampler patterns. As far as resources I did a web search for 

pieced sampler BOM

pieced sampler quiltalong

Pam Buda's Conestoga Crossing
Fabric designers often offer free sampler patterns
to promote their fabric lines.

Nancy Gere's Generals' Wives
Some of these are several years old but you can still find links to
the free patterns.

It's not too late to catch up with Moda's traditional designers and their
BlockHeads Block of the Week 2017. Do a web search to find participating designers.

I looked at Pinterest boards of sampler quilts like this one:

Some bloggers keep lists with fairly easy to follow links:

Debbie Mumm's Stars of Honor

Many pattern designers sell samplers in traditional colors and blocks.

Lori Smith's Abigail's Sampler

From Lori Smith's From My Heart to Your Hands pattern company.

Carol Hopkins's Land of Lincoln

Layer Cake Sampler Quilt Along
All triangles, all year

I have been doing these pieced block series since 1976 when I started writing for Quilters Newsletter,.
Several of my history-themed samplers have been published as books:

Civil War Sampler with 50 blocks and Facts & Fabrications with 20
are sill available from C&T Publishing.

Borderland is out of print.

And....I still have a couple of blogs on line with series for traditional pieced weekly blocks.The patterns are free; you just have to scroll through the posts.

Cookie's Creek's Austen Family Album

The Austen Family Album with history about Jane Austen-- 36 blocks

Grandmother's Choice, 49 weekly blocks about Women's Rights.

And if that is not enough you can use my greatest resource:
BlockBase, 4,000 pieced patterns in a PC program. 

Of course, I wrote it---but I must say it makes it easy to find themes, topics and related blocks. Design your own block-of-the-month.