Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dixie Diary 9: The Hands of Strangers

Block 9 
The Hands of Strangers
8" Version

A 12" version with a 1" frame, set on point
By Sandi Brothers.

A nine patch split in the center symbolizes the break in the Morgan family's life as Sarah dwells on the loss of her home. In the fall of 1862 Sarah injured her back in a carriage accident and was unable to walk for months.
Mary Custis Lee
Collection: Virginia Historical Society

Like Sarah, Mary Custis Lee used a wheeled chair, as they were often called at the time. The General's wife had rheumatoid arthritis.
Confined to a chair or bedridden and in pain, Sarah's New Year began with rumors that a Union officer was living in the Morgan's Baton Rouge house.

Union soldiers occupied fine southern houses from
the Lee Family's Arlington in Northern Virginia, shown here in 1864, 
down to New Orleans. Library of Congress.

January 4, 1863, Linwood, East Feliciana Parish

"Yankees do inhabit it, a Yankee colonel and his wife. They say they look strangely at home on our front gallery, pacing up and down. . . . And a stranger and a Yankee occupies our father's place at the table where he presided for thirty-one years. . . . 

Detail of painting showing an oil lamp
Rev. John Atwood and Family
by Henry F. Darby, 1845
Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston
See more of the painting here:

"And the old lamp that lighted up so many eager, laughing faces around the dear old table night after night; that with its great beaming eye watched us one by one as we grew up and left our home; that witnessed every parting and every meeting; by which we sang, read, talked, danced, and made merry; the lamp that Hal asked for as soon as he beheld the glittering chandeliers of the new innovation, gas; the lamp that all agreed should go to me among other treasures, and be cased in glass to commemorate the old days, - our old lamp has passed into the hands of strangers who neither know nor care for its history. And mother's bed (which, with the table and father's little ebony stand, alone remained uninjured) belongs now to a Yankee woman!"

Women posed with their sewing and an oil lamp.
They seem to be adding decorative tape to a skirt,
a military look popular during the Civil War.

Sarah's old lamp was replaced by a gas chandelier before the War.

Cutting a 12" Block
A Cut 1 light and 1 dark square 6-7/8". 

 Cut each into 2 triangles with 1 cut. You need 1 light & 1 dark.

B Cut 4 medium rectangles 3-1/2" x 6-1/2".

C Cut 4 dark squares 3-1/2".

Cutting an 8" Block
A Cut 1 light and 1 dark square 4-7/8". 
Cut each into 2 triangles with 1 cut. You need 1 light & 1 dark.

Cut 4 medium rectangles 2-1/2" x 4-1/2".

Cut 4 dark squares 2-1/2".

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

Union troops occupying Baton Rouge's courthouse.
Dupre Library at the University of Louisiana

See more of this photo by clicking here:


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shah said...