Antebellum Album 1840-1860
We tend to picture all 19th-century Americans facing off across the Mason-Dixon line in a deeply divided North and South. But before the Civil War the border line was not so sharply defined.
Yankees and Southrons shared many connections. Families moved from one culture to another, vacationed to escape the heat or the cold, sent children to far-away boarding schools and sought economic opportunities in different markets as teachers, merchants or entrepreneurs. Inevitably immigrants married new neighbors, producing offspring who could boast of cousins from Maine to Saint Augustine.
Album quilts were tangible links between Northerners and Southerners who maintained bonds in patchwork blocks inked with names and sentimental inscriptions.
Mary Ellen Barnes, New York, 1845
The 2018 Block of the Month here at Civil War Quilts will look at North/South connections primarily through shared schooling. Each month we'll piece an album block popular with quilters in the antebellum (before the War) years as we read stories of schoolgirls who forged and broke links.
Wincy Wadsworth, Cheraw S.C., 1851
Inscriptions from the same quilt in the collection of
the North Carolina Museum of History.
We'll follow that generation of women through the Civil War that changed their lives for better or worse.
I'll post patterns on the last Wednesday of each month in 2018. You don't have to sign up, the patterns are free here. If you prefer you can buy a PDF download of four patterns three times during 2018 from my Etsy store. I'll mail you the paper patterns or you can print them yourself. I'll keep you posted as to how to do that during the year.
I have signed up four model makers: Becky Brown promises her usual focus on reproduction prints; Denniele Bohannon is going to do a contemporary color take; Mark Lauer and Pat Styring will add new perspectives to remaking history.
Mark's doing a red, green & yellow palette.