Thursday, September 20, 2018

Errors in Etsy Shop Patterns for Antebellum Album #9 & 10

Mistakes were made!

Judy & Martha have been quite helpful in acting as volunteer technical editors. They've pointed out two errors in the PDF of patterns 9-12 you can purchase in my Etsy shop. If you have not bought these patterns (either in the mail or by downloading the PDF) you can ignore this post.

Pattern #9 will be up next Wednesday September 26th and it will be corrected.

Here's the problem with Pattern #9.

The cutting directions for piece D were wrong. You need to cut the square into 4 triangles not 2. And you only need to cut 6 squares. Sorry for any extra cutting.

For Pattern #10.
The problem is that the length of the strip for piece D is wrong. I told you it should be 6" long. Too short. It needs to be 7-3/8". Becky corrected this once. I forgot.

PS: We also mispelled precision.

Thanks to Judy, Martha and Becky.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Block # 8: Old & New

"Caroline G?
Tis more blessed
to give than to receive
April 8 1845"

A single block in a chubby version of Block #8.

Album quilt signed by 96 friends of Rebecca Brooks (1824-1906) of Concord, as a gift for her marriage to Joseph Allen Smith on March 15, 1849. Collection of the Concord Museum (Massachusetts).


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Blockade Running: Charleston's Bee Store

Georgia Confederate in a calico shirt

In late 1863 Mary Maxcy Leverett sent her son Milton, a 24-year-old Confederate soldier, hand-knit gloves, shirts "two of which I bought ready made and had them dyed at home by Cely" and a handkerchief. Cely was probably a slave whose hand dyeing skills were useful during the Union blockade of imports to the South.

Writing from her plantation near Columbia, South Carolina, Mary explained she couldn't send calico shirts: "Calico is eight dollars a yard, too dear to purchase now."

A simple print dress now a luxury

But she was optimistic the next box would contain more handkerchiefs:
"I hear that a store is to be opened by the Bee Importing Co. which is intended to lower prices by selling at half the price the other stores up here ask (& they say they will make money at it then)..."
The Bee Store, which sold items that had run the blockade, was named for William C. Bee who'd  been a factor (an export dealer) in cotton and rice before the war.

William Cattell Bee (1809-1881)
Miniature portrait in the Gibbes Museum's miniature collection.

In 1862 Bee hatched a plan for a blockade-running enterprise that would make money in exporting raw cotton and importing manufactured goods. He also sold shares in his Importing and Exporting Co. of SC,  known as the Bee Company, for $1,000 a piece and raised a million dollars according to the Charleston Mercury. The money went to build ships and hire a small private navy.

We think of blockade runners bringing European imports into the South
but they made round trips, taking out the bales of cotton that funded the 

In 1862 Bee's boat Cecile carrying out 257 bales of cotton worth $13,000 dodged Union boats in Charleston's harbor. Cecile's destination was Nassau in the Bahamas, a huge port that benefited from the blockade.
A.R. Huning's store in St. Charles, Arkansas had skirts or
cage crinolines for sale. 
UPDATE: Jason tells me in the comments it's St. Charles, Missouri.
Thanks for the correction.

The captain doubled his money there and traded it for manufactured goods including "6 dozen ladies' spring skirts bought for $10 a dozen and sold at auction in Charleston for $72 a dozen."

Blockade runner The Ella & Annie, painted in 1900.
 Initially a U.S. Navy ship she was captured by the state of Louisiana
in 1861 and recaptured by the Union in 1862.

At least four similar South Carolina import companies were organized with fleets of ships, blockade running adventurers and multiple investors. The success of the Bee Company's blockade running ships resulted in a retail store to sell the luxuries, which was also a success. Jokes were made about Bee Store customers being squeezed.

Museum of the American Civil War in Richmond

English cottons that made it through the blockade.
$18 per yard

In August, 1864 Alice Gaillard Palmer who lived in Charleston asked her sister in law Hattie Palmer living out in the country: "What sort of worsted dresses to you girls want----winter or fall? There are some beautiful fall goods at the Bee Store at $10 a yd, narrow or rather calico width. Have seen no dark goods yet." $10 for wool cloth seemed a bargain even if it was narrow.

Mary Maxcy Leverett reported that her daughters also went shopping at the Bee Store in 1864. 
"Their father gave each of them one hundred purchase what they were in need of, for it was a long time since they had bought any articles of clothing." 

The Leveretts lived near Columbia during the war because
their main home in Beaufort was occupied by Union soldiers.
The Beaufort Leverett house still stands.

Mary offered to buy her son a uniform suit there "if I succeed in putting by money enough... Confederate grey is $40 a yd." The girls' hundred Confederate dollars could not have bought too much with fabric at that price.

Confederate in a plaid shirt jacket.

After the war Bee returned to conventional business as a factor, 
commission merchant (wholesaler) and banker.

See a preview of The Leverett Letters: Correspondence of a South Carolina Family, 1851-1868, edited by Frances Wallace Taylor, Catherine Taylor Matthews & J. Tracy Power:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Antebellum Album Block 8: A Survivor

This antebellum album quilt made for Mary Pollard Tolford is one of the earliest date-inscribed quilts made in this month's album design. One block is dated October, 1844 with Bostonian Maria Millard's name. Many of the other blocks are from women in Concord, New Hampshire dated in the spring and summer of 1845.
Several squares are stitched from Prussian blue dress
stripes and plaids, so popular in the 1840s.

It was made as a gift for Mary Pollard Tolford (1808 - 1879) who in her mid-thirties was leaving her home in Sherbrooke, Quebec for Marietta, Ohio.

We know a lot about this quilt because it is one of the Signature Quilts
documented in the Quilt Index's Signature Quilt Pilot Project

The quilt's owner, Mary Tolford's great-granddaughter, carefully copied the inscriptions in the 1980s. Quilt historian Nancy Hornback submitted the information to the Quilt Index.

"We shall surely meet
again Dear Sister.
May your slumbers be peaceful & your
working hours cheerful
and happy
Rebekah S. Chaffin
Concord N H."

" 'When shall we dear M meet again
Meet never to [?] !
When shall sweet friendship weave her charms
 Round us forever.'
Your attached friend
Mary T. Wilkins"

As you can see the quilt is not in good condition. Not only did it survive 110 years of family moves  westward from Canada to Ohio to Kansas, it survived the 1955 Udall, Kansas tornado, which killed 20% of the town's population, destroyed nearly every building and is still the worst Kansas tornado on record. The water stains are probably scars from that disaster. 

Udall, May, 1955

The quilt, now 173 years old, still survives we hope.
See the information at the Quilt Index here:

Mary's husband was Calvin W. Tolford  (1807 - 1883). See his letter and self-portrait at the New Hampshire Historical Society.

Pollard/Tolford Genealogy:

Mary Pollard Tolford's Grave in Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio:

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Civil War Era Quilting Party

"The Quilting Party," a humorous stereograph photo from 
E. & H.T. Anthony during the Civil War. 
George Stacy is the photographer.

I found this photo at the Library of Congress's website.
It's a humorous stereograph, a set-up shot, probably with the professional
actors Stacy photographed in many set-up shots of daily life.

It's the same quilt as in this unidentified stereograph I had seen several years ago on eBay.
Same heavy man with the curly hair, photos on the wall.

"The Jealous Husband"
I've seen that plaid dress before.

"New Year's Calls"
Side views of those hair styles are always interesting and not often seen.

"Dog Performance Saratoga"

Stacy worked in New York City during the Civil War and recorded the city, particularly Central Park and Broadway. He also did war reporting from Virginia.

"Market Scene"
The actors are starting to look quite familiar.

He also did some Civil War cheesecake

Here's a link to over 1,600 George Stacy photos, mostly of New York at the Library of Congress:

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Denniele's Pink Set for Antebellum Album

Denniele Bohannon's Antebellum Album
Blocks 1-8 with her own setting block.

Those black squares finish to 1"
Here's her pattern with her Louanna Mary Quilt Design signature.

The monthly 12" blocks alternate with this block and there is a 1" sashing strip between the blocks and rows. (Cut 1-1/2").

She's making two high-contrast sets of blocks. I think the blue series
will be set with the regulation setting block.
But she might get a new idea!