Fairbanks Sanitary Commission Quilt
The Vermont Historical Society owns this
quilt with a Sanitary Commission stamp
It was made in Windsor County, Vermont, attributed to Caroline Bowen Fairbanks. The quilt was apparently donated to the Union hospital service organization, where it received the official stamp of the Union soldiers' aid society.
The quilt is well documented by the museum.
Caroline alternated simple patchwork blocks with plain blocks inked with Bible verses.
Caroline Bowen Fairbanks (1842-1943)
The story with the quilt says that Caro made it soon after her December 25, 1863 marriage to Luke Fairbanks who was home on leave after being injured in the Battle of Lee's Mills, Virginia
Luke was a Captain in the Third Vermont Infantry
by the end of the war.
Caro Fairbanks lived to be almost 101 years old.
The Fairbanks farmed in Vermont, Kansas and Minnesota,
settling near Austin, Minnesota where they are buried.
Another version of the pattern from about 1900
Caro's pattern of alternating blocks is a bit spare.
She seems to have used just one print with plain white.
Her goal was to frame the inked inscriptions.
Different shading effects make a more complex design.
A reader asked what the Sanitary Commission stamps looked like.
I've got photos of four versions.
One from the Fairbanks quilt above.
from the Fiske quilt
They seem to be similar.
Detail of the 1864 quilt made by the
Fort Hill Sewing Circle. Barbara Knapp Trust
And from a quilt displayed at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in 2012