Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dixie Diary 1: Her Flag Flying

Her Flag Flying
Block #1 at 8"

For the 2013 Civil War Block of the Month I'll be using prints from my Civil War reproduction collection Metropolitan Fair in pinks and browns.
My applique will be a variety of whites and very light prints from other lines.

Block 1 by Sandi Brothers
12" Block in a 1" finished frame.

Sandi did hers a few years ago in Civil War Homefront repros.
On the first Saturday of each month you'll find a block and a little history here.

Church Street in 1863.
Editor Charles East notes the
Morgan home is hidden by the trees behind the horses.

When the Civil War began in 1861 Sarah Fowler Morgan lived in Louisiana's capitol Baton Rouge. One of eight children from a wealthy family, almost twenty-years old, she lived on Church Street (now 4th Street) in luxury that would soon be a hazy memory.

Sarah started her daily diary in 1862, a year after the war began. She began with retrospective entries about her grief in the war's first year, describing the loss of her closest brother to a duel and her father to an asthma attack.

Sarah's father Judge Thomas Gibbes Morgan died
in the first year of the Civil War.

Her account of her family's Civil War experiences was published in 1913 as A Confederate Girl's Diary. This year we'll follow Sarah's years as a refugee, a girl growing up in extraordinary circumstances. Each month in 2013 you'll find a free pattern for a block of the month finishing to 12" or 8" squares.
The blocks, a combination of piecing and applique, are original designs based on basic patchwork, inspired by a 19th-century sampler. The first block recalls Sarah's homemade Confederate flag, stitched up as the Yankees entered the city in 1862.

Block 1: Her Flag Flying

Union Navy ships in Baton Rouge harbor, 1862
From the Library of Congress
May 10, 1862. Baton Rouge

In April, 1862, New Orleans was under Union control and in May Union ships were on the Mississippi River near Sarah's house preparing to take over the state capitol.

"We, too, have been having our fun. Early in the evening, four more gunboats sailed up here. We saw them from the corner….The American flag was flying from every peak. It was received in profound silence, by the hundreds gathered on the banks. I could hardly refrain from a groan. Much as I once loved that flag, I hate it now! I came back and made myself a Confederate flag about five inches long, slipped the staff in my belt, pinned the flag to my shoulder, and walked downtown, to the consternation of women and children, who expected something awful to follow. An old negro cried, 'My young missus got her flag flyin', anyhow!' Nettie made one and hid it in the folds of her dress. But we were the only two who ventured."

I wrote about Sarah's flag in 2010, illustrated by a picture from Harper's Weekly of a girl with a Confederate apron flaunting the seven stars of the first rebel flag. Since then I've found photos of similar surviving aprons from either side.

Mary Himes Fox's Union apron is on display at Gettysburg National Military Park. Mary (1841-1902) was just about the same age as Sarah Morgan.

Martha Booton was younger and a fellow rebel. Her apron is in the collection of the Museum of the Confederacy. See a photo here:

 12" Block
All Sandi's 12" blocks are set inside a 1" finished frame---the better to fill out a full-sized quilt with blocks set on point. If you want to use the 12" set shown above you may want to add the frame as you make the blocks.
 Cutting a 12" Block
A – Cut 1 square 10-1/4" x 10-1/4". Cut into 4 triangles with 2 cuts.

B - Cut 2 rectangles 2-5/8" x 8-1/2". You will trim these later.
C - Cut 1 rectangle 2-5/8" x 18-1/2". You will trim this later.

Cut 2 strips 1-1/2" x 12-1/2" for the top and bottom frame.
Cut 2 strips 1-1/2" x 14-1/2" for the side frames.

Cutting an 8" Block
Proportions on the smaller blocks are a bit different in some cases.

A – Cut 1 dark square 6-1/2" (6-9/16" if you want to use the 1/16th" default in EQ). Cut into 4 triangles with 2 cuts.

B -  Cut 2 rectangles 2-3/8" x 5-1/2". You will trim these later.
C -  Cut 1 rectangle 2-3/8" x 12". You will trim this later.

The Applique Shapes
The blocks each have either a star or a heart appliqued atop the finished piecing. 

Click on this JPG and print it out 8-1/2" x 11".

I was going to use the lightest piece in the
Metropolitan Fair collection for the applique
but it just didn't show up in real life.
So I am using a white background floral.
I found 6 scraps in my stash.

Choose the right sized applique for your block size.
Cut, using the template, adding a scant 1/4" seam allowance.
Prepare the star or heart for applique by turning under the edges and/or basting or gluing.
You might want to decide NOW if you want to set your blocks on point or on the straight to position the applique. This isn't so important for the star as it is for the heart. Stars work in any direction. You can always just baste the applique hearts down if you want to decide on the direction later.

Proposed Sets for the the Twelve Blocks

Here's a suggested set for the 8" finished blocks.
See the post here for more information on the sets.

And one for the 12" Blocks

Look for the next block on February 2 and next week I'll post about the inspiration quilt.


Unknown said...

Is this block in BlockBase?

WoolenSails said...

I really like that block, need to reread it to get it set in my thick skull, lol. Brain has been on the blink this month, but would be fun to try to follow this time. I did get a charm pack of the metropolitan, so maybe I can make mine smaller and do a mini version.


Barbara Brackman said...

Is the block in Blockbase? It's a lot like 2881 Old Italian Block, without a center square.

MoonBeam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kathyinozarks said...

I went thru my reproduction fabric stash last night and found a gorgeous chocolate brown and two pinks, went on etsy last night and found 4 more pinks-so I am joining in on this one.
thank you Kathy

Anonymous said...

I'm getting a late start but I want to join too. Time to go stash diving!

Pam McDonald said...

I think I am going to follow along with this and make them when I have the time. I love the Civil War diaries and blocks.

Anonymous said...

I am searching this site for the Feb. 2 block. HOw can I find that one? thanks!

Judy said...

Oh it looks so wonderful. I have so many reproduction prints and I love them. I do have a layer cake of Metropolitan Fair so I will begin with that. Thank you for this invite!