From Silks to Homespun Quilts
When you consider making a Civil War reproduction quilt you have a wonderful variety of methods and styles to choose from. Civil War Patterns for Soldiers, Fairs & Gun Boats provides patterns for these diverse styles.
Quilts made to raise money for the cause were quite elegant. Album quilts were often made for the Union war effort while medallion broderie perse quilts are typical of those made by Confederate women to raise money for gun boats. Two articles on this site, "Trapunto: It's Not So Hard After All" and "Chintz Quilting ~ The Look of Broderie Perse Made Easy", will help you get started on these projects.
You might be more interested in making a quilt much like women made for the soldiers. These were often done with a single block pattern. You could even make the quilt 7'4" by 4', the size of a soldier's cot. A wall hanging shaped like that would be an interesting conversation piece.
You will be able to find a good selection of Civil War era fabric either at your local quilt store or at one of the online sites selling reproduction fabric like "Reproductionfabrics.com". You can purchase Civil War era quilt patterns at "Terry Clothier Thompson". Terry Thompson also designed the Civil War quilt patterns that are shown in the book, "Quilts From the Civil War". This book also offers fascinating information about the history of Civil War quilts.
A unique quilt made during the Civil War was the Dear Jane quilt made by Jane A. Blakely Stickle. She titled her quilt "In War Time" and finished it in 1863. This quilt contains 169 small sampler squares and 52 small pieced triangles in the border. It's unknown why she made this quilt, perhaps just to fill the time during the long wearisome war.
There is a book available that includes the two hundred and twenty-five patterns needed to make the blocks and border. It can be ordered at the "Dear Jane" site. This quilt is a major project and not for the weak at heart! But what an amazing quilt you would have when you finished it.
So whether you want to make an intricate fundraising quilt, a simple soldier's quilt, a commemorative quilt or a Dear Jane quilt you have plenty of help between the Internet and quilting books.
© 2001 Judy Anne Johnson Breneman (Do not reproduce this article without permission from the author.)
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