Saturday, August 31, 2013

Civil War Reproduction Album Quilt Pattern

The Sugar Camp Quilt
by Jennifer Chiaverini

Chiaverini writes novels with quilt themes and as she says on a web page that she likes to make a quilt like the one her character has made in the novel. This album quilt is one of her fictional creations.

It's a good interpretation of a period album quilt, a style and pattern that might have
been made during the Civil War. 

Jennifer and I have both written books
for C&T Publishing so she got my signature at a book signing event a few years ago.
Jennifer made the block---I signed it.

1864, Hazel Green, Wisconsin

I post occasionally about authentic quilts made during the War and this pattern comes up often.

Quilt made about 1865-66
in Saugerties, New York

1865, Orleans County, New York
Private Collection

GAR quilt 1867
from the Clara Barton Museum

BlockBase # 3266

Several variations of the pattern are indexed in my BlockBase program for PC's. This one was
published as Chimney Sweep by Ruth Finley in 1929.
The Shelburne Museum has an example they call Christian Cross.
The generic name would be Album pattern.

Quilters used several different arrangements of the pattern pieces to get the effect.

Here's the most common version from the Wisconsin quilt with
a free quilt pattern below:

Cutting a 12" Block

A - Cut 2 white squares 2-3/8". Cut each in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. You need 4.
B- Cut three white squares 4-1/4". Cut each into four triangles with 2 cuts. You need 12.
C- Cut 2 white and 8 print squares 2-5/8".
D -Cut 1 white and 4 print rectangles 2-5/8" x 6-7/8".


I am pleased to be included in Jennifer's author/quiltmaker album quilt.
Here's Sue Grafton's signature from that quilt.

Read more about the Sugar Camp Quilt here:

Below, some more mid-century versions of the pattern for color and print ideas.
The dates are on the blocks. Some may have been set together later. Many are from on-line auctions.

1848 Connecticut


Wisconsin State Historical Society

1852 Harrison County, Ohio

1855 Collection of the Brooklyn Museum

1856 Gallatin, New York

A silk version dated 1867-68
from Mississippi

Personally, I think the blocks would look good in my new Civil War Jubilee prints.

97" x 97"

Sort of like this EQ7 sketch:
25 blocks finishing to 12",
Set on point with 3" sashing and cornerstones,
6" border.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Lawrence, Kansas, Sesquicentennial

Four Patch by Alice Browne Bullene Metcalf (1858-1929)
Anti-slavery Lawrence, burned and grieving

150 years ago this week a group of Confederate guerrillas from Missouri rode into my home town and killed about 200 people, a large proportion of the male civilians in the town. 

All week we've been remembering with events as diverse as walking tours, Twitter feeds and souvenir bandanas. My personal sesquicentennial event was coming across this Civil-War-era quilt with a link to a family who survived the Lawrence Massacre.

"This quilt was pieced---a complete surprise for my mother---when I was nine years old.
Almost every piece in it is from dresses of members of the family.
Alice L. Metcalf"

Alice made the blocks for this quilt about 1867 as a gift for her mother Catherine. The widowed Catherine and her daughters probably lived in Kentucky at the time. Alice's father Joseph Richardson Browne had died  in 1862, the same year Alice's sister Josephine was born. We can imagine Catherine's pleasure at seeing her daughter's neat four-patches and recognizing prints from the family scrapbag.

The quilt may have been set together later but the four-patches look to be of prints from an 1860s wardrobe....

...many madder-style browns, oranges and pinks
with a few Turkey red prints.

Mother and daughter moved to Lawrence, Kansas, possibly after Alice's 1876 marriage to William Lathrop Bullene. 

Bullene's is to the right of the big boot sign.
The photo from the late 1850s is from the collection
of the Kansas State Historical Society.

William came to Lawrence as a child with his parents in 1857. His father opened a dry goods store, which is still in business here as Weaver's Department Store.

On August 21, 1863 15-year-old William and his father were lucky enough to survive the Lawrence Massacre. William's father Lathrop Bullene was in New York on a buying trip.

William somehow escaped the attention of Quantrill's raiders, who were inclined to shoot any adolescent boy they came across. William's stepmother Susan Read Bullene saved their house from burning by pleading that her elderly mother was too sick to be moved from her bed. She was forced to cook breakfast for the raiders.

Susan Read Bullene and husband Lathrop about 1890 surrounded by
their grandchildren .
Collection of the Kansas State Historical Society

Alice Browne and William Bullene had two daughters Marguerite and Frederica.

Susan and Lathrop with perhaps the same grandchildren a few years later.
Collection of the Watkins Museum.
Frederica is probably in both family pictures.

A gathering of survivors 100 years ago this week.
Library of Congress Collection.
William Bullene is likely to have attended the

Frederica, the youngest, inherited the quilt with the note from her grandmother attached. Frederica's granddaughter Nancy Ann Woodward Myers has cared for the quilt into the 21st century. The fabrics are in excellent shape.

We might wonder if Alice's Kentucky family was Union or Confederate in a state divided by the Civil War. A flag print seems to tell us of Union loyalties.

Mike with wife Nancy and her mother Pat.
All are descended from victims of the Lawrence Massacre.
Mike showed me the family quilt.
Photo from the Lawrence Journal World by Nick Krug.

Here are some links to our Civil War sesquicentennial, recalling the raid of 150 years ago:

And here's a story about the commemorative bandana that might make a good center for a quilt:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Unusual Civil War Fashions

Here's a tintype I found offered in an online auction.
I have never seen that kind of shield appliqued to clothing before.
A fireman?

Another fascinating outfit.
The Union case and red, white and blue painted cockade indicate a Union sympathizer, but
this is not a soldier's clothing.

He seems to be wearing a cotton print, what might be called a conversation print,
with rather large images scattered about. The compass on the left might have to do with the Masons.
The imagery may be from fraternal organizations rather than political.

There's an arm and hammer, perhaps a labor organization logo.

This one is less mysterious. I flipped the picture over so the word would be correct.
 Daguerreotypes and ambrotypes are always reversed.
Perhaps she's dressed for a pageant or parade.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Civil War Reproductions

Rally Round the Flag
Miniature quilt by
Kate Adams

Detail of the center
Kate did this miniature over a decade ago, inspired by an antique quilt which is pictured on the cover of Pam Weeks and Don Beld's recent Civil War Quilts book

The original was photographed by an antique dealer.
It's an album quilt (85" x 53") from Florence, Massachusetts, with each of the
blocks bound and finished before they were joined.

See stitch size for scale in Kate's repro here.

A shot of a show in Tokyo also shows you the size of Kate's quilts.

See Kate's work here:

I keep a file of reproduction quilts. In it I found this one, which doesn't really qualify because it's made from an antique quilt and it's sculpture--- but it's a striking take on The Civil War.

Civil War Anaconda by Melissa Vandenberg

It was shown last year in this exhibit at Eastern Kentucky University.

I'd guess her inspiration was the image of General Winfield Scott's Anaconda Plan to blockade Southern ports. See more at this post:

View Vandenberg's work here:

Debbie St. Germain sent photos of a crib quilt she made 
from a pattern in my Civil War Women book.

Her quilt in primitive red, tan and blues is quite different from my original. in chrome orange and green.

Union Cradle Quilt
From Civil War Women

I ought to remake this quilt as a scrap quilt. Thanks for the idea, Debbie.

See her blog: