Saturday, December 29, 2012

January 1 2013: Civil War Jubilee

January 1 marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect on New Year's Day, 1863.

The event, one step towards freedom for American slaves, was celebrated all over the Union with Night Watches on New Year's Eve.

 The New York Times on New Year's Day, 1863 had headlines:
 A Night-watch of Freedom at Shiloh Church
 Great Excitement and Rejoicing Among the Colored People
Prayers, Speeches, Songs, Dirges and Shouts


The stroke of midnight was anticipated with speeches and at midnight a dispatch from Washington was read,

 "followed by three cheers for ABRAHAM LINCOLN, three cheers for freedom, &c., &c. Mr. GILBERT then resumed his speaking, and threw a damper on the enthusiasm of the audience by commencing to grumble and find fault because the Proclamation was to be 'issued as a military necessity, and not as an act of justice.' His audience did not appear to sympathize with his troubles in that line, and he soon dried up."

Mr. Gilbert, of course, had a point. The Emancipation Proclamation was a Union act freeing slaves in the Confederacy over which the Union had no jurisdiction in January, 1863. The end of the war was still years away.

But, as a gesture, it was an important gesture, indicating that Union goals had changed. The act also changed the status of  people in "Contraband Camps" who had been neither slave nor free.

 A few weeks later Harper's Weekly published a double page drawing by Thomas Nast on "the great event of the day---Emancipation."
The Past
On the left, the past under slavery; on the right, the future as free people.
The Future
Earning a living
The idea of a Jubilee, a celebration of freedom, is an echo of the Bibilical Book of Leviticus. In the Jewish calendar, a fifty year cycle was called a Jubilee in which slaves were to be freed: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants."
Henry Louis Stephens,
Watercolor of a man reading the news,

The National Archives in Washington is displaying a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation in the  East Rotunda Gallery for three days, beginning tomorrow: December 30, 2012, through January 1, 2013.
Many Night Watch anniversary parties are planned for New Year's Eve.

See more National Archives programming  by clicking here:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Book is Done!

Santa Claus at the Front
From Harper's Weekly 150 years ago next week
In time for Christmas, as promised, the Civil War Sampler book has been delivered.

I got a box of them two or three weeks ago and I mailed one off to everyone who has a block in the book.

Carol Sanderson
To illustrate the blocks I used pictures from our Flickr page, looking for a variety of colors and fabric ideas.

Melissa Devlin

I think I mailed out 35 books, so 35 different quiltmakers are represented in the book.

Donna at Quilting Bear Gal
Ann Champion

Amzingly enough, within ten days the books were in the hands of the most far-flung contributors. I see that Leisbeth Wessels in the Netherlands has received hers. Leisbeth's block is on the bottom on the page above. Country Log Cabin's at the top. See Leisbeth's blog here:

And Patchie13 from France emailed that she has hers.

Leonie Weathersley (Just Cruising Mbk),
Kathie Coombs (Magpie Memories)
Leonie tells me that she (Just Cruising Mbk), Kathie Coombs (Magpie Memories) and Karen Matthews (Kookaburra Calling) are sisters. They all have blocks in the book.
Karen Matthews (Kookaburra Calling)
Here are some bloggers who have gotten their copies in the mail

Donna at Quilting Bear Gal has got her top together!

The bloggers photographed my inscription. Remind me next time to write neater.

The page at the C&T site says the book is ready although your quilt shop may not have it in quite yet.
You can also buy it as an eBook at the C&T site.

Thanks for all the help and inspiration. I couldn't have done all those blocks myself.

And thanks again for the quilt you made me, The Circle of Friends, which is right up there in the front of the book.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2013 Block of the Month: Dixie Diary

Dixie Diary by Sandi Brothers
Quilted by Lisa Olinger
For a Quilt of Many Colors

A few years ago I did a limited edition block-of-the-month pattern titled Dixie Diary for my Moda Civil War reproduction collection Civil War Homefront. A few shops kitted it up in that line of fabric in 2010.

Sandi Brothers pieced it as a BOM for her Indiana shop A Quilt of Many Colors. I read that she and the members of her guild Sisters of the Cloth were invited to demonstrate quilting at last summer's Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington D.C. She brought the Dixie Diary sampler with her.

Sisters of the Cloth
Sandi's on the right.

I thought I would rework this sampler in my current repro line Metropolitan Fair in pinks and browns---one of my favorite mid-19th-century color schemes.

Here are a few pink and brown antique quilts
for color inspiration.
They are all from about 1865-1885
This color scheme was quite popular
after the Civil War.
You better join. It's only 12 BLOCKS--- once a month---first Saturday of each month in 2013---right here. And the blocks are EASY. I really designed it for beginning quilters from 8 years old on up. The blocks will be in two sizes: 12" and 8"

Each block is an original combination of simple piecing and applique. The piecing is basic (One has Y seams---but even beginning quilters have to learn to do Y seams!) and each block has an optional appliqued star or heart in the center. You can opt out of the applique because it's stitched to a finished pieced block.

Each monthly block includes a story taken from one of the great Civil War documents---Sarah Morgan's Confederate Girl's Diary, first published 100 years ago in 1913.

Do check out the first block on January 5, 2013. It'll be right here at this blog address.

If you want to start thinking about fabric: I'm going to focus on pinks and browns so you can go through your Civil War reproduction stash and pull out the double pinks and the madder browns---

I'm going to do it in new Metropolitan Fair prints

But any of your Civil War repros will do. I'll show Sandi's and my blocks in the blues and reds of Civil War Homefront. As we've learned from looking at the finished Civil War samplers here you can use anything---batiks, solids, WHATEVER. Put your own stamp on it.

Look for the first block on the first Saturday of January.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Richmond II

I recently went to the Presidential Mansion of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia.

Jefferson and Varina Davis lived here during much of the Civil War.

The house is now surrounded by the Virginia Commonwealth University medical buildings.
Above is the street view.

But from the gardens one can imagine how it looked when Varina Davis lived there.

Here's a Matthew Brady photo of the house from the National Archives. I assume this was taken in 1865 when Brady documented the fallen Confederate capital.
Street view about 1935

Garden view about 1910
The cupola on top is now gone.

Garden view about 1950

See two posts on the blocks Richmond and Christmas Star with stories of the Davis family in this house.

And see pictures of the interior here.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Roseann's Blocks

Twin Sisters
Because we added ten more blocks to the book than are on the blog I asked Roseann Smith to make 8" versions. She used the reproduction fabric line 1862: Battle Hymn that we did earlier this year at Moda.

Courthouse Square
 It's a very somber collection, reflecting the sorrows of the war.

Old Maid's Puzzle
Roseanne loves to fussy cut and miter corners.

Sanitary Commission Nine Patch

Sugar Bowl
So I said to her, "Let me put those blocks together." She said "Let me see those blocks."
I handed them over. They have been confiscated.
 My theory is she didn't want me messing with her very nice blocks. She has a point. When she gets them together I'll show you.