Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dixie Diary 6: Dreams of Home

Block 6 
Dreams of Home
8" Version

A square pieced inside a square represents Sarah Morgan's hopes of returning home.

A woman with a birdcage in the window
About 1880

Sarah never went home to Baton Rouge again. September found the women and children sleeping on the floor of a boarding house in the small town of Clinton, forty miles north. She wrote a good deal about her losses. Did her canary Jimmie survive the Yankee raids on the Baton Rouge house? Why didn't she bring an extra pair of shoes?

Clinton is north of Baton Rouge up by the Mississippi state line.

September 3, 1862, Clinton, Louisiana
"If I dare hope that next summer would bring us Peace! I always prophesy it just six months off; but do I believe it? Indeed, I don't know what will become of us if it is delayed much longer. If we could only get home, it would be another thing; but boarding, how long will mother's two hundred and fifty last? …But if we get home, what will we do for bedding? The Yankees did not leave us a single comfort, and only two old bars [mosquito nets] and a pair of ragged sheets, which articles are not to be replaced at any price in the Confederacy, so we must go without. How glad I am that we gave all our blankets to our soldiers last summer! So much saved from the Yankees!"

Soldiers on both sides were notorious for stealing bedding, as in this detail from
George Caleb Bingham's Order Number Eleven

From the Library of Congress

Clinton, Louisiana is full of historic buildings that were there when the Morgans boarded in in the fall of 1862. Take a virtual tour here:

The pieced block has a BlockBase number
#1193 a
(Don't forget the "a" if you are searching by number.)
The first published name for this shading was "A Simple Quilt Block"

Texas Jane has proofread and found that I made an error in the directions. So I have fixed it in fuchsia type.
You'd have too many triangles if you listened to me. Thank you, Jane.

Cutting 12":

There is only one template.
A –  Cut 2 - the correct number is 1-- light and 2 (1) dark squares 6-7/8". Cut each into 4 triangles with 2 cuts.

Cutting 8":
A –  Cut 2 (1) light and (1) dark squares 4-7/8". Cut each into 4 triangles with 2 cuts.
Applique a star or a heart after piecing.

Optional applique:
Go back to the January 5, 2013 post to see a JPG with the heart and the star.

Woman about 1865


Lisa said...

Sweet little block. Thanks for the monthly historic entries.

kim kerschl said...

I look foreword to reading you blog! So interesting.

Judith Blinkenberg said...

This history has been as wonderful as the blocks. Each block tells a story about this young women. It makes me wonder how girls of today would survive in a war like this. Could they handle the suffering and depravation?

TexasJane said...

I am sure I am not the first one to notice this, but I don't see another comment. I think there is an error in the directions. Shouldn't it be one cut to make 2 triangles each?

Loving making all the blocks and reading the stories.

Barbara Brackman said...

Jane--Thanks for the proofreading. I fixed it on the post.
And Judith---Sarah was a pretty silly and self-absorbed girl when the war started. She really matured with tragedy. I think girls today would do the same thing. Most people do what they have to do and learn to live with the loss.

Lisa said...

Could the change be that we need to cut four squares, then cut each once diagonally?

Anonymous said...


I did the block (12') cut 1-lt 1-dk 6 7/8 block with two diagonal cuts comes out 8.5.
So recut block was still to small before I even sewed it.

So do I cut 2-lights and 2-darks 6 7/8 then make one diagonal cut?

Brenda said...

I am just now getting caught up on the blocks and am doing 6 and 7, I have the same problem as anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I've got the same problem. Comes out too small.

Jane Coleman said...

Barbara, what is the correct measurements for this block (12")? I made it and it came out too small. Thanks!

Jane Coleman said...

Please correct measurements for the 12" block. Thx!

Anonymous said...

wondered if anyone figured out. Is it one cut, or use different measurements for the 12 inch block

silva k. said...

It happened to me too, but i figured it out, i cut 1 light and 1 dark and i cut it 9 7/8 x 9 7/8 and cut it 2 times diagonally,after you sew them you will have a little bit over then 12". Better large then small good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it happened to me to. I cut out the measurements for the 8 inch block and ended up with a 6 inch block. I guess I will follow the measurements for the 12 inch block and I should be okay. I wish I had read this first! You guys are really helpful.

sewsandquilts said...

I want to let you know that there are still errors in the instructions for Dixie Diary 6. The problems stems from the fact that making two cuts across squares yields enough triangles for the block, but it causes the grainline to be wrong, with all the bias at the edges of the block. The block should be made with half square triangles, not quarter square triangles.

Here are my suggested modifications:

Cutting 12":

There is only one template.

A – Cut 2 light and 2 dark squares 6-7/8". Cut each square into 2 triangles with 1 cut. You will have 4 light and 4 dark triangles.

(The picture should be a square with one cutting line diagonally across it.)

Cutting 8":
A – Cut 2 light and 2 dark squares 4-7/8". Cut each square into 2 triangles with 1 cut. You will have 4 light and 4 dark triangles.

Anonymous said...

I am awaiting the instructions for the final border from Becky, the sawtooth, I think. Where will I find it?