Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Antebellum Album Set for Nine Blocks Plus Edge

You've got ten patterns, January to October. Pick your favorite nine blocks and get his puppy finished before the holidays. I took Mark's retro red and green blocks and made a virtual quilt inspired by the applique sampler below. The blocks are set with alternate unpieced blocks.

From the Nebraska Project and the Quilt Index

I chopped off the edge in Photoshop so you just
have a half of Block #10

About 67-1/2" x 67-1/2"

Then because I am trying to get good at the new EQ8 I spent some time drawing and coloring. I need more practice so choosing the tools in the new format is second nature. You want to learn a computer program you spend an hour a day on it for a while. (My idea of a good time.)

You can do a screen capture of the quilt in EQ with or without the
seam lines.

The Pattern

9 Pieced Blocks for the center finishing to 12" 
16 alternate white blocks cut 12-1/2" square, finishing to 12"
12 edge blocks---here they are half of Block #10, Carolina Lily.
4 corner blocks---a quarter of the Carolina Lily block.

There might be some complaints about this plan, however. Pretty as Block 10 may be, it begs the question....How many Y seams would you have to do? Now you could piece those edge blocks like Martha C did:

No Y

See a post on her modified pattern last week:

Block 2 Lend & Borrow as the border

Or you might want to try a faster-to-piece block. Well, faster to piece if you like to chain piece half-square triangles by the yard.

With the seam lines

See the Block 2 Instructions here:

This one might work better with plain white corner triangles.
Cut 2 white squares 9-3/8".

Cut each in half diagonally and you'll have 4 corner triangles you can trim a bit.

I used EQ8 to calculate the yardage for the white alternate blocks and the
extra edge blocks.

It says:
2-1/2 Yards of white 
and 1-1/2 yards each of the two colors for the edge blocks here.

Of course if I spent an hour a day at my sewing machine instead of at my computer I'd get a lot of these ideas actually stitched.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Applique Quilt & Morgan's Ohio Raid

This flamboyant feather quilt in the collection of the Ohio Historical Society
has a Civil War story connected to the classic Civil War raiders tale,
but it's a Northern quilt.

The maker was Prudence Wells (1830-1906), probably of Wilkesville, Ohio,
a small town east of Cincinnati and southwest of Athens.
See the quilt here:

Map of Morgan's July 1863 Raid through Ohio with Wilkesville at the arrow.

The family story:  Prudence had this quilt in the frame when Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan's Confederate troops raided Indiana and Ohio in July, 1863. Morgan himself led a brigade through Wilkesville one night where they emptied stores and private storerooms, terrorized locals who had abolitionist reputations and demanded supper.

Ohioans were shocked and unprepared to be the target of Confederate troops. The local 19th-century county history tells the story:
"Wilkesville had the rather equivocal honor of being in the track of the dashing raider in his brilliant but disastrous march through Southern Ohio. When it became evident that our State was really invaded, the Governor called out the militia.... Wilkesville militia were fortunate enough to get a soldier to command them...more fortunate than some of the companies which were commanded by honest farmers who had never seen a regiment in line and were captivatingly innocent of all knowledge of military tactics.... On the 17th of July, 1863, the news came to the town that the enemy was approaching on the Jackson road. It flew like wildfire, and every tongue had something to add to the tale of murder, pillage and wanton destruction. One would have thought that Gen. Morgan's army were veritable ogres, rivaling the diet of the noted...King of the Cannibal Islands.

John Hunt Morgan (1825-1864)
Morgan's dashing outfit and dare-devil reputation
inspired many a post-war cowboy. 
One thing was certain, the hotly pursued fugitives wanted fresh horses, and took them wherever they could find them. The few men who were at home took their horses to the woods and remained till the invaders had departed....The girls hid their jewelry. Some of them buried it in the garden, so that it might be perfectly safe; in fact they hid it so safely that they have never been able to find it since. Bed clothing and wearing apparel were concealed where possible."
Morgan was soon captured and imprisoned in the Ohio State Penitentiary from which he escaped six months later. In September, 1864 he was killed during a Union raid in Greenville, Tennessee.

Prudence's pattern is as dashing as the General with additional
shapes between the feathers or leaves.

The family history about Prudence Wells's quilt is a little confused about where she lived (Wellston? as the cataloguing information reads) but the story sounds plausible given Morgan's night in Wilkesville, where Prudence is recorded as living. The red and green applique is perfectly suited to Ohio as is the variation on the design we call Prince's Feather.

From online auctions

The basic pattern was extremely popular in the mid to late 19th century but Prudence's version is unusual.

As a block in an Ohio sampler

A common version seen in the western Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana region
sometimes called Watermelon

Library of Congress
Dedicating a statue of Morgan in his home town of Lexington, Kentucky, 1911.

Morgan's Confederate Memorial has very recently been moved from the old courthouse downtown to the Confederate section of the Lexington Cemetery where he is buried.

Follow Morgan's Ohio raid to Wilkesville and beyond in the book Morgan’s Raid Across Ohio: The Civil War Guide by Lora Schmidt Cahill & David L Mowery.
Here's a preview:

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Block 10 Carolina Lily with No Inset Y Seams

Martha C.'s block
She modified my pattern by adding seam lines,
thus subtracting Y Seams.

She added seams in the top half.

This is the original pattern with B and C requiring set in seams.

I drew up her pattern in EQ8. The pieces have new letters here.

For the large background triangles A
Cut 3 squares 4-1/4". Cut each in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. You need 6.

For the small background triangles B
Cut 2 squares 3-3/8". Cut each in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. You need 4.

Wait a minute.
You have to do this too.

The largest triangle is now cut in half and is the same size as A.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Canton Illinois G.A.R. Quilt

Musical score embroidered on a Civil War commemorative quilt
"Hail the grand army! Grand army of the Republic!"

The Illinois State Museum is showing off a new acquisition this year in their Bicentennial and Beyond exhibition, which runs until February 3, 2019.

Embroidered quilt dated 1889,
"Designed and executed by Mrs. C.H. Lingenfelter"

Charity Hedge Lingenfelter (1848-1894) raised money for the Grand Army of the Republic post in  Canton, Illinois with her embroidery.

Canton businesses donated a dollar to be
included on this advertising/fundraising quilt. 

Veterans' names and G.A.R. badges are stitched in the borders

Charity Hedge was born and died in Fulton County, Illinois, southwest of Peoria. 

Canton about 1910

After the Civil War she married veteran Aaron Lingenfelter in 1870 and moved to a farm near Canton when she was in her 20s. They had three children, Ernie, Nernie and Lizzie. 

Aaron served as a private in the 55th Illinois Infantry throughout the war, enlisting as a 20-year-old in 1861. He was severely injured in his shoulder in Bentonville, North Carolina a few weeks before war's end, giving him the dubious distinction of being the last man in his unit to be wounded. The Regimental history published in 1887 mentioned that he remained a "great sufferer from a grave injury." He lived until 1918, however.
Canton's Joe Hooker post of the G.A.R. built a substantial home.

Charity did not live long after completing her fundraiser. She died at 45 years old in 1894.

A 1914 reunion of Union veterans in Princeton, Illinois.

See the Canton G.A.R. quilt at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. And as a bonus you can see Albert Small's quilt of 120,000 + hexagons, the world's record holder.

Albert Small, 1944
Illinois State Museum

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Antebellum Album #10: Carolina Lily

Antebellum Album #10 Carolina Lily by Becky Brown

We're familiar with many variations of the Carolina Lily as a repeat block. It's surprising to me, though, how many needlewomen thought it a good fit for a sampler album quilt.

Caroline Drakel of Hunterdon County, New Jersey
included several versions.

The Carolinas were home to many girl's academies. Among the best documented: the Burwell School
in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Sketch of the Burwell School from memory

 Margaret Anna Robertson Burwell (1810 - 1871),
perhaps about 1865.

Anna Burwell ran the school for twenty years before the Civil War and raised ten of her own children while husband Robert was minister at the local Presbyterian Church. His salary was small and the school helped them make ends meet.

Like the Burwell school, Kentucky's Bardstown School 
attracted a small group of local girls plus a few Southern boarders.
The very full skirts date this photo to about 1860.

Anna's alumnae include about 200 girls over the two decades. I found mention of only one from north of Virginia.

Block from a friendship quilt made for Fanny Holt's sister.
Fabrics and style (log cabin of shirting prints) indicate a
date after 1880.
Alamance County Historical Society Collection.

Frances Ann Holt of North Carolina's wealthy Holt textile family spent her twelfth year there in 1849. Bess Beatty in her book on the Holt Family outlined the curriculum: "Academics in the morning, Ornamentals ---notably music, painting, and needlework----in the afternoon." 

Tulip quilt 1850-1875.
Fanny Holt's sister-in-law Elizabeth Ann Mebane Holt (1830-1895)
was quite a quiltmaker. The North Carolina project documented
her quilts and included this one in their book North Carolina Quilts.

The school attracted boarders and day pupils from the area with a few from Virginia, South Carolina and Florida.

Miss Anna "claimed that her intention was 'to teach the young Ladies to 'think'," writes Beatty, "but apparently she did not intend that they think much about challenging their ascribed sphere." Girls should aspire to "a meek & quiet spirit."  And here we have the major contrast between a typical New England academy like Mary Lyon's Mount Holyoke (see Block #2) and the more common small school of the era emphasizing ornamental subjects. 

Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley (Keckly) (1818-1907)
About 1860
Moorland-Spingham Research Center, Howard University.

There was at least one young woman at the Burwell School who refused to accept her proper sphere.  When the Burwells came to North Carolina from Virginia in 1835 they brought a 17-year-old slave.  Elizabeth Hobbs was born in 1818 to Agnes, an enslaved seamstress in Robert Burwell's family. Elizabeth's biological father was Armistead Burwell (1777-1841) patriarch at Dinwiddie Courthouse plantation with over fifty slaves, Agnes's husband was George Pleasant Hobbs, slave on a nearby plantation, eventually taken west---"gone forever," Elizabeth said in her memoir. She thought enough of her lost stepfather to name her own son George.

Elizabeth recalled her seven years at Burwell as life's low point. She did the work of three servants, she remembered, caring for the student's clothes, cleaning their rooms and sewing.

But that was not the worst. Anna Burwell reacted to her independence and "stubborn pride" by commissioning a schoolmaster to strip her and beat her---weekly. Elizabeth's had the last word about Anna Burwell and her portrait is not pretty:
The minister "was burdened with a helpless wife, a girl that he had married in the humble walks of life. She was morbidly sensitive, and imagined that I regarded her with contemptuous feelings because she was of poor parentage."
Burwell School before restoration

Violent beatings were still not the most horrible memories:
 "For four years a white-man...had base designs upon me. I do not care to dwell upon this subject, for it is one that is fraught with pain. Suffice it to say, that he persecuted me for four years, and I-I- became a mother."
Elizabeth did not reveal her rapist's name but son George William Kirkland's father was neighbor Alexander J. Kirkland who died 18 months after the birth with symptoms of liver failure from alcohol abuse. He was 33.

Alexander Kirkland's tombstone eulogizes him as
"a dutiful son, a tender husband, a fond father, a loyal friend,
an honest man, a Christian gentleman."

Elizabeth Keckley's story of Anna Burwell is at odds with community memory of the school mistress. But once again Elizabeth had the last word. 2018 is the 200th anniversary of her birth and the Burwell School does itself proud by celebrating her life all year in the Keckley Bicentennial.

Carolina Lily by Mark Lauer

It is hard for us to make sense of the relationships between the Burwells, the Kirklands and the Hobbses. We see monumental cruelty and hypocrisy but they saw society differently. We might recall at least three "dogmas of the proper sphere."

1) People believed in a natural law, an order of hierarchy in a Christian world. One's earthly job was to accept one's place in the social ladder. Nobility lorded it over the gentry, gentry over the workman, the workman over his wife, the white man over the darker, the master over the slave. Elizabeth and people like Mary Lyon of the Holyoke School hoped for a  modern perspective and did what they could to change things. Anna Burwell believed it her religious duty to discourage change.
Read more about the ladder at this post I wrote a few years ago in considering women's rights:

2) Enslaved African-Americans had "No Rights Which the White Man was Bound to Respect," according to a 1857 Supreme Court Decision. Although Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley had bought her freedom by 1857, the Court concisely phrased the stark reason why Alexander Kirkland was viewed as "an honest man" and she was vilified for accusing him in her memoirs.

3) And, of course, we are all too familiar today with what can happen when any woman of any class accuses a man of sexual abuse.

The Burwell School on its two acres is a historic site.
See more here:

The Block

Carolina Lily by Mark Lauer

Dozens of variations of the triple-floral have been
published and stitched since the 1840s. You might
want to do a traditional block in this 12" format. But I said

So we are sewing the simple variation at top left above:
BlockBase #765.01: Tulip attributed to the Alice Brooks/Laura Wheeler syndicate in the 1930s.

Cutting a 12" Block
See the templates for D & E below.

A - Cut 1 square 4-1/4". Cut diagonally into 2 triangles.

B- Cut 1 square 6-3/8". Cut into 4 triangles with 2 diagonal cuts. You need 2 triangles.

C- Cut 1 square 3-7/8".

D- Cut 4 rectangles 2-7/8" wide by 7-3/8" long and trim these at 45 degree angles into diamonds as shown. You need 4 diamonds.

E- Cut 2 rectangles 3-7/8" wide by 13-1/4" long. trim these at 45 degree angles into the leaf shapes as shown.You need 2 leaves.

F - Cut 1 square 6". Cut diagonally into 2 triangles. You need 1.

Cutting D
Becky explains it best:

A Sentiment for October

Wreath from a quilt dated 1847

3" for piece C.

During the War & After

Carolina Lily by Pat Styring

Following these women from the Burwell School into the Civil War only reveals more grief. Elizabeth lost son George at the Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri; Frances Holt's first husband was killed in 1863 and two of Anna Burwell's sons died during the war.

Mrs. Keckley & Mrs. Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's film “Lincoln:” 
Gloria Reuben & Sally Field. 
Elizabeth's memoir told us much about the Lincolns' relationship.

Elizabeth Keckley became Mary Lincoln's dressmaker and perhaps the historical character of the twenty-teens.

Read her memoir: Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House

Looking at this month's block and this quilt above (circa 1850) from
the Connecticut Quilt Project and the Quilt Index...

Antebellum Album
63.75" x 63.75"

I thought of another set for the 12 Antebellum Album blocks (10 shown above). Set them on point with half a star as the edge. You've got room in the center for a 13th---maybe an inked wreath with an inscription.

I drew the quilt up in EQ7 with 3" finished sashing. For the blocks around the edge I used the top right half of this month's block. Stitch 8 of the half blocks and then 4 corner blocks pieced of  A & D. 

You'll need extra yardage for the diamonds in the edge and the sash:
Pink & green---1/2 yard each
Sashing and backgrounds for the edge blocks---3 yards. You should be able to get the binding out of that too.

Cutting the Sashing 
18 strips 3-1/2" x 12-1/2"
2 strips 3-1/2" x 18-1/2"
2 strips 3-1/2" x 48-1/2"
2 strips 3-1/2" x 78-1/2"
See another version of the on-point setting at this post:

 Denniele added a seam to piece E.

And changed the whole thing up here.

More to read:
Bess Beatty, Alamance: The Holt Family and Industrialization in a North Carolina county, 1837-1900

The Book of Burwell Students.

Sampler dated 1863 from the Nebraska project & the Quilt Index
An idea for nine album blocks

And another idea.