Saturday, January 26, 2013

AQSG Quilt Study 2014: Civil War Reproduction

Georgann Eglinski
Becovering Before 1840
AQSG Quilt Study

The American Quilt Study Group encourages members to study quilts in a variety of ways. Years ago Bobbi Finley and Penny Tucker realized that one effective way to study an antique quilt is to copy it, so they invented the biennial AQSG Quilt Study. Pictured are a few quilts from one round studying "Bedcovers made before 1840." The upcoming round will study "Quilts from the Civil War: 1850-1865"

Becovering Before 1840
AQSG Quilt Study
Janet Locey on left,
Penny Tucker on right

Penny Tucker

Bobbi Finley

The co-chairs are now Greta VanDenBerg and Florence McConnell. Here's the announcement from AQSG about the latest round for 2014:

 "The focus of the 2014 Study will be Quilts from the Civil War: 1850-1865 covering the years leading up to and including the American Civil War. This study serves as a way of learning about our quilt heritage and to help promote AQSG.

"Please take a few minutes to read through the following guidelines. As the popularity and participation in the Quilt Studies has grown, it has become necessary to adjust some of the requirements. Most important are the guidelines for obtaining per­mission from the owner of the original quilt or quilt image used as inspiration for the Participant’s quilt. Therefore, it is a good idea to obtain the required permission before beginning your study project.

"If you plan to participate in the 2014 Quilt Study, it is important to promptly notify the Quilt Study Committee as soon as possible to receive forms and updated information as it becomes available (see contact information below). Exhibit space at Seminar will be limited to fifty (50) quilts and preference will be given to Participants ACCORDING TO THE POSTMARK DATE OF THE FIRST PERMISSION FORM RECEIVED.

"The following rules apply:

· For purposes of this Quilt Study a Civil War Quilt is defined as a quilt made between the years 1850-1865. The inspiration quilt must be clearly identifiable as a quilt from this time period using traditional methods of dating textiles.

· Participants may create an exact replica of the inspiration quilt, reproduce a portion of the inspiration quilt, or create a quilt ‘inspired’ by the inspiration quilt.

· Only AQSG Members may participate on any individual or group project. Each individual and/or group will be limited to submitting one quilt.

· An overall maximum measurement of 200 inches total for all four sides will be strictly enforced.

· To be considered a Quilt Study Participant each individual or group must submit a completed and signed Participant Release form to hold a place in the Seminar Exhibit. This form MUST BE SENT VIA REGULAR MAIL. Forms will be accepted as exhibit space allows through August 1, 2014. A waiting list will be created when the 50 spaces available at the Seminar Exhibit have been filled.

See more here:

View a few from the Star study round:

And see last year's Colonial Revival study here:
Click on next to see a range of quilts.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Groups: Civil War Sampler

From Buried in Scraps

I am still trolling the web for finished tops and quilts done from the block of the week here.
Jeanne at Spiral

If you didn't get finished---or even started--- here's a new group that Fat Quarter Shop is featuring on their blog.

Kimberly's White House

 They are combining my Civil War Sampler book with the bright Pam Kitty Love fabric line. Beginning December 15th they're posting 5 blocks per month.

Debbie's Barbara Fritchie Star
Here's more

Now you may prefer a more 1860-ish look, in which case check out Primitive Gatherings Quilt Shop Blog and their kits for the blocks made from the book:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dixie Diary Inspiration Quilt

Album Quilt attributed to
Margaret English Wood Dodge
DAR Museum

The simple patchwork in the Dixie Diary Block of the Month with an appliqued heart or star on each block was inspired by blocks in this quilt in the collection of the Museum of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

See the digital file on this quilt at the Quilt Index here:

It's a signature album quilt, a sampler of blocks, signed by different people. Some are standard album blocks, such as the Chimney Sweep, quite popular for friendship blocks. What caught my eye were the basic appliques.

I blew them up so you get the idea

You just don't often see this combination of piecing and applique and I thought it was quite charming.

Here's a summary of what the worksheet and the museum's catalog says about the quilt and the maker plus what I've been able to find out.

It's attributed to Margaret Dodge who was born Margaret Wood English in Montreal, Canada in 1783. In 1801 when she was about 18 years old she married New Yorker John Dodge in New York City. John was an artisan: a metalsmith and watchmaker.

Here he is advertising for an apprentice in 1806 when his business was at 64 Wall Street, opposite the Tontine Coffee House.
Francis Guy
The Tontine Coffee House, about 1797
The Coffee House, the center of trade and social life in early
Manhattan is on the left.

Margaret gave birth to eleven children between 1802 and 1822. The fourth, her eldest son John Wood Dodge, had a talent for drawing. As an adolescent he taught himself miniature painting and quickly became quite successful in this art.

Miniature on ivory of Varina Howell Davis
by John Wood Dodge
Notice in the miniature that
Varina is wearing a miniature of a dog.

In 1830 Margaret's husband died leaving her with four children under 16. She never remarried. Her widowhood was marked by much sorrow as she lost eight of her adult children between 1830 and the Civil War. Only two children, John and William, outlived Margaret.

Margaret is recorded as a quiltmaker during the Civil War. The DAR Museum has two other quilts donated by her descendants.

Patriotic Quilt by Margaret Wood Dodge
DAR Museum
This unquilted, bound spread was donated by
Margaret's great-great granddaughter

The patriotic spread was made from a color pattern published in Peterson's Magazine in 1861. Margaret was about 78 years old that year when the Civil War began.
See more about the Peterson's Magazine pattern here:
And see the DAR Museum file at the Quilt Index here:

Patriotic Eagle Quilt by Margaret Wood Dodge
& John Wood Dodge
DAR Museum
Painted Cotton, unquilted spread

This eagle quilt was a collaboration between Margaret and son John who painted the eagle on the cotton in the center. The stars and stripes that Margaret stitched are based on the Peterson's design.

Self-portrait by John Wood Dodge
John's fame and Margaret's age
contributed to the eagle quilt's success.

In the recent catalog of the DAR Museum's quilts the curators comment on Margaret's needlework skills, perhaps a reflection of her age: "Neither of these spreads shows much finesse in the acutal needlework," a nice way to say it.

Margaret is also recorded as making a fourth quilt. The eagle spread above is a cotton copy of a silk spread that John and Margaret displayed at the Brooklyn Sanitary Fair in 1864. The DAR Museum catalog notes that the Brooklyn Eagle described a prizewinning "unique and handsome bedspread, in the form of the National Banner." Two hundred donors gave a dollar each to buy the quilt to send to President Abraham Lincoln with a letter:

March 7, 1864
"A few of your fellow-citizens have the honor of offering for you acceptance herewith, a silk 'Bed-Spread,' formed of the National Colors, and emblazoned with the Stars and Stripes and the National Eagle... from the hands of a venerable and loyal woman, Mrs. Margaret E. Dodge, who has reached the age of eighty-one years...."

Lincoln wrote back on April 1: "Permit me to return my most cordial thanks for the beautiful present transmitted by you...."

Margaret may also have shown that quilt at the 1864 Metropolitan Fair in Manhattan at about the same time. The accounts of that fair mention "an item made notable by the age of the maker: "A silk quilt representing a flag made by a lady seventy years old." Or it may be a fifth quilt since Lincoln seems to have had his silk quilt in hand during the Metropolitan Fair.

See more about quilts at the Manhattan fair here, and note Virginia's comment.

The Presidential gift must have been a highlight of Margaret Dodge's life. Quilt historians often hear stories about quilts donated to Lincoln, but this is one with some actual documentation in the Fair accounts.

After the War Margaret moved west with her son William Henry Dodge and his family. She died in Clinton in western central Missouri on April 30, 1873, where she is buried.

Back to the sampler at the top of the page:

This quilt was also donated by Margaret's family. The worksheet indicates it was quilted in 1902, long after Margaret's death. It's thought to have been stitched in the 1860s or '70s.  The alternate blocks are appliqued circles, surrounding a patriotic Union shield. Although the blocks are signed by various people, their simplicty does have the look of a single maker---one, to put it kindly, who doesn't show "much finesse in the acutal needlework." I'd guess this is Margaret's last quilt top or last set of blocks, made sometime between 1864 and her death nine years later.

So as we make a dozen blocks inspired by Margaret's quilt over the next twelve months we can remember her and how proud she must have been to see her quilt raise $200 at the Sanitary Fair for the Union Army and then wind up at the White House. We can also wonder how many other quilts she made in her long life.

The new catalog, Historic Quilts of the DAR Museum is available from the museum store:

And they offer a wooden box with the eagle quilt pictured on the lid:
Read more about gifts to Lincoln at this post on the Railsplitter blog:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dixie Diary 1: Her Flag Flying

Her Flag Flying
Block #1 at 8"

For the 2013 Civil War Block of the Month I'll be using prints from my Civil War reproduction collection Metropolitan Fair in pinks and browns.
My applique will be a variety of whites and very light prints from other lines.

Block 1 by Sandi Brothers
12" Block in a 1" finished frame.

Sandi did hers a few years ago in Civil War Homefront repros.
On the first Saturday of each month you'll find a block and a little history here.

Church Street in 1863.
Editor Charles East notes the
Morgan home is hidden by the trees behind the horses.

When the Civil War began in 1861 Sarah Fowler Morgan lived in Louisiana's capitol Baton Rouge. One of eight children from a wealthy family, almost twenty-years old, she lived on Church Street (now 4th Street) in luxury that would soon be a hazy memory.

Sarah started her daily diary in 1862, a year after the war began. She began with retrospective entries about her grief in the war's first year, describing the loss of her closest brother to a duel and her father to an asthma attack.

Sarah's father Judge Thomas Gibbes Morgan died
in the first year of the Civil War.

Her account of her family's Civil War experiences was published in 1913 as A Confederate Girl's Diary. This year we'll follow Sarah's years as a refugee, a girl growing up in extraordinary circumstances. Each month in 2013 you'll find a free pattern for a block of the month finishing to 12" or 8" squares.
The blocks, a combination of piecing and applique, are original designs based on basic patchwork, inspired by a 19th-century sampler. The first block recalls Sarah's homemade Confederate flag, stitched up as the Yankees entered the city in 1862.

Block 1: Her Flag Flying

Union Navy ships in Baton Rouge harbor, 1862
From the Library of Congress
May 10, 1862. Baton Rouge

In April, 1862, New Orleans was under Union control and in May Union ships were on the Mississippi River near Sarah's house preparing to take over the state capitol.

"We, too, have been having our fun. Early in the evening, four more gunboats sailed up here. We saw them from the corner….The American flag was flying from every peak. It was received in profound silence, by the hundreds gathered on the banks. I could hardly refrain from a groan. Much as I once loved that flag, I hate it now! I came back and made myself a Confederate flag about five inches long, slipped the staff in my belt, pinned the flag to my shoulder, and walked downtown, to the consternation of women and children, who expected something awful to follow. An old negro cried, 'My young missus got her flag flyin', anyhow!' Nettie made one and hid it in the folds of her dress. But we were the only two who ventured."

I wrote about Sarah's flag in 2010, illustrated by a picture from Harper's Weekly of a girl with a Confederate apron flaunting the seven stars of the first rebel flag. Since then I've found photos of similar surviving aprons from either side.

Mary Himes Fox's Union apron is on display at Gettysburg National Military Park. Mary (1841-1902) was just about the same age as Sarah Morgan.

Martha Booton was younger and a fellow rebel. Her apron is in the collection of the Museum of the Confederacy. See a photo here:

 12" Block
All Sandi's 12" blocks are set inside a 1" finished frame---the better to fill out a full-sized quilt with blocks set on point. If you want to use the 12" set shown above you may want to add the frame as you make the blocks.
 Cutting a 12" Block
A – Cut 1 square 10-1/4" x 10-1/4". Cut into 4 triangles with 2 cuts.

B - Cut 2 rectangles 2-5/8" x 8-1/2". You will trim these later.
C - Cut 1 rectangle 2-5/8" x 18-1/2". You will trim this later.

Cut 2 strips 1-1/2" x 12-1/2" for the top and bottom frame.
Cut 2 strips 1-1/2" x 14-1/2" for the side frames.

Cutting an 8" Block
Proportions on the smaller blocks are a bit different in some cases.

A – Cut 1 dark square 6-1/2" (6-9/16" if you want to use the 1/16th" default in EQ). Cut into 4 triangles with 2 cuts.

B -  Cut 2 rectangles 2-3/8" x 5-1/2". You will trim these later.
C -  Cut 1 rectangle 2-3/8" x 12". You will trim this later.

The Applique Shapes
The blocks each have either a star or a heart appliqued atop the finished piecing. 

Click on this JPG and print it out 8-1/2" x 11".

I was going to use the lightest piece in the
Metropolitan Fair collection for the applique
but it just didn't show up in real life.
So I am using a white background floral.
I found 6 scraps in my stash.

Choose the right sized applique for your block size.
Cut, using the template, adding a scant 1/4" seam allowance.
Prepare the star or heart for applique by turning under the edges and/or basting or gluing.
You might want to decide NOW if you want to set your blocks on point or on the straight to position the applique. This isn't so important for the star as it is for the heart. Stars work in any direction. You can always just baste the applique hearts down if you want to decide on the direction later.

Proposed Sets for the the Twelve Blocks

Here's a suggested set for the 8" finished blocks.
See the post here for more information on the sets.

And one for the 12" Blocks

Look for the next block on February 2 and next week I'll post about the inspiration quilt.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Dixie Diary Sets & Yardage

Set for 8" Blocks

Here is information about the Dixie Diary Civil War Block of the Month sets and yardage. I'm posting it here so we can refer back to it later. The first block has been posted on Saturday, January 5, 2013.

Each month you'll get a pattern for an 8" finished block and a 12" finished block.

Set for 8" Blocks

Quilt is 56" x 68". 12 Blocks.

Fabric Requirements
Blocks: 12 fat quarters or a Layer-Cake of 10" squares would do it with some leftovers from sashing & borders. You could probably get by with a Charm pack with other scraps for bigger pieces.
I am going to use pinks and browns from this Metropolitan Fair collection, but you may want to use the whole range.

Charm Pack of 5" Squares
Pieces will need to be cut larger than 5" so find some coordinating scraps.

Something quite light or quite dark for the applique pieces: 1/2 yard (I am using white background florals from my stash.)

Sashing & Borders: Sashing is 4" and Border is 8"
Electric Quilt says for yardage:
  • Pink cornerstones (20) = 1/2 yard
  • Brown Sash Strips( 31) = 1-1/8 yards
  • Border = 2  yards
Cut borders first and use extra in blocks.

Pink Cornerstones: Cut 20 squares 4-1/2"
Brown Sashing Strips: Cut 31 rectangles  4-1/2" x 8-1/2"
Border:  Cut 2 strips 8-1/2" x 52-1/2" for the sides
               Cut 2 strips 8-1/2" x 56-1/2" for the top and bottom.

Set for 12" Blocks
Quilt is 67-1/2" x 87-1/4"
Blocks: You need 12 patchwork blocks set on point.
Each 12" inch block is framed by 1" strips. Blocks are 14" finished (includes the strip.)
Patchwork blocks alternate with 14" unpieced blocks
Inner border finishes to 1".
Outer border finishes to 3".
Sandi used Civil War Homefront from a few years ago for her
12" Blocks
Fabric Requirements
Blocks: Maybe 8 different fabrics, 1/2 Yard pieces, or 16 fat quarters.
Buy a little extra of the setting &  borders and add to the blocks.
Something quite light or quite dark for the applique pieces: 1/2 yard
Strips Framing the Blocks: 1 yard
Setting Triangles = EQ says 3 yards.
Inner Border: EQ says 1/2 yard (if you piece it together). Buy one yard and use for binding too. Or buy 2-3/4 yards--use for frames, inner border and binding.
Outer Border: 2-1/2 yards so it doesn't have to be pieced together. Cut the strips first and use the rest in the blocks.
Frames for each 12" Block
  • Cut 2 strips 1-1/2" x 12-1/2" for the top and bottom frame.
  • Cut 2 strips 1-1/2" x 14-1/2" for the side frames.
Setting Blocks: Cut 6 setting blocks 14 1/2" square
Setting Triangles:  Cut 3 squares 21-1/2".
Cut each of these into 4 triangles with 2 diagonal cuts. You will need 10 of these edge triangles.
Cut 2 squares 10 7/8".

Cut each of these into 2 triangles with 1 cut. You will need 4 of these corner setting triangles.
Because the blocks are set on point the final measurements are a little iffy.  EQ says the quilt is about 67.4" wide---I've rounded it up to 67.5. It says 87.2" long. I've rounded it up to 87.25.
Border 1
  • Cut strips 1 1/2" x 79 7/8"  for side borders
  • Cut strips 1 1/2" x 62" for top and bottom borders
Border 2
  • Cut strips 3 1/2" x 81 3/4"  for side borders
  • Cut strips 3 1/2" x 68" for top and bottom borders