Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dixie Diary 3: Shouting Yankee Doodle

Block 3
Shouting Yankee Doodle 
8"  Version

A traditional pinwheel block, popular with quilters for generations, is the background for Sarah Morgan's satirical jabs at Union occupiers. The basic pattern is often called Broken Dishes, sometimes Yankee Puzzle.

Awaiting a Southern savior, Baton Rouge bristled under General Benjamin Butler's Union occupation. The Louisiana women defended the home front by showing contempt for the occupying army, spitting on the officers and insulting them.
The women of New Orleans also
spit at Butler's occupying Union soldiers.
From Harper's Weekly July 12, 1862

The Yankees told Sarah they would punish the mutinous women by making them sew for the Union army. Apparently, Sarah also held the social conversation of a sewing circle in contempt.

July 1, 1862, Baton Rouge
"I heard such a good joke last night!...These officers say the women talk too much, which is undeniable. They then said, they meant to get up a sewing society, and place in it every woman who makes herself conspicuous by her loud talking about them. Fancy what a refinement of torture! But only a few would suffer; the majority would be only too happy to enjoy the usual privilege of sewing societies, slander, abuse, and insinuations. How some would revel in it. The mere threat makes me quake!...
Oh, how I would beg and plead! Fifty years at Fort Jackson, good, kind General Butler, rather than half an hour in your sewing society! Gentle, humane ruler, spare me and I split my throat in shouting 'Yankee Doodle' and 'Hurrah for Lincoln!' Any, every thing, so I am not disgraced! Deliver me from your sewing society, and I'll say and do what you please!"

Detail of The Sewing Party 1857
By Louis Lang
Warner Foundation

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

The pieced block has a BlockBase number.
BlockBase #1262a 
(Don't forget the "a" if you are searching by number.)
Names include Mosaic and Millwheel

Cutting 12":
A –  Cut 4 squares 6-7/8". 

Cut each into 2 triangles with 1 cut. 

Cutting 8":
A –  Cut 4 squares 4-7/8". 

Cut each into 2 triangles with 1 cut. 

Applique a star or a heart after piecing.

Winslow Homer drawing from Harper's Weekly.
A sewing bee was just one more
traditional woman's role that Sarah Morgan found confining.


kathyinozarks said...

good morning saturday, I finally have all my fabrics now-so can begin sewing the blocks, should be caught up this month. I am enjoying reading the diary along with your posts too. thank you Kathy

suzanne said...

Obviously the ladies in the sewing circles Sarah had experienced weren't quilters. We're all nice and perfectly good company!

Anonymous said...

Since I found this Civil War block of the month, I couldn't wait for today so I could get the instructions and story for Block 3. Thank you so much for putting this together for us to enjoy and sew along.

MuleHill said...

Miss Morgan is pretty amusing. Did The Beast steal her spoons? Speaking of Butler, I wonder if Sarah authored opinions on the KKK Act of '71, the Civil Rights Act of '75 and the '83 ruling. I'll check.

I, for one, wouldn't want the lovely people of Fort Jackson to suffer the company of the likes of Sarah Morgan but I am quite fond of Columbia and her folks. A Bronx Cheer for Sarah.

Her common opinion of sewing circles reminds me of Susan B. Anthony's disdain for Elizabeth Cady Stanton's sewing. Tsk!

Another good month. Thank you, BB.

Meredith said...

Just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!

Unknown said...

thank you from me too! your work is amazing!!!! hugs