Saturday, April 9, 2016

Seven Stars 1

Silk Star Quilt in the collection of the Museum of the Confederacy/American Civil War Museum, a gift for Jefferson Davis, attributed to the "stormiest part" of the Civil War, according to his wife Varina Davis.

You can look at the repeat pattern in several ways.
There are just two pieces, a diamond and a hexagon.

Read more about it at this post.

But you can also look at it like this as a hexagonal block.
and rotate it so it matches BlockBase #241.
We'd call it Seven Sisters

It's a hexagonal block of two pieces, a diamond and an irregular shaped, four-sided piece along the edges. The pattern was made by many quiltmakers North and South before and particularly after the Civil War.

The block was especially popular after about 1880.
Many surviving examples were pieced in
 fashionable colors from the
1880s and well into the 20th century.

Made by Mary Ellen and George James, Illinois, 1870-1900
Illinois State Museum. Union veteran George cut the pieces
for this after his return from the Civil War.

Detail of the James quilt

About the same time from the Michigan project
and the Quilt Index.

by the "Cheerful Workers of Concord" presented to their minister
W.R. McDowell,
Tennessee project and the Quilt Index

About 1890-1910 

About 1945 by Tomasita Ferro Bastardo,
Texas project and the Quilt Index

Detail of a silk quilt from about 1850 from
the collection of the Victorian and Albert Museum.
Related designs go back further in time

Quilt by Alice Bennett, date-inscribed 1873
Collection International Quilt Study Center and Museum

Alice Bennett's 1873 quilt is a variation. She pieced six stars instead of seven.

Unusual block from a 
Baltimore Album quilt in the collection of Colonial Williamsburg
with blocks dated 1844-1847
My first reaction to this pattern in the quilt donated by Varina Davis was that there is Confederate symbolism in the design. I've been working on this idea but I am not getting very far with it. More next week.


Anonymous said...

The first national confederate flag had seven stars in a circle. As more states joined it eventually included 11 stars. The flag we think of as a confederate flag (commonly referred to as the stars and bars)was a battle flag.
My hunch is that the quilter began this in the early days of the war.

Anonymous said...

I have one of those, made by an aunt in 1951, when she was 91. I've quilted about half of it. She called it Seven Sisters. How lovely to see so many great examples here. Hers is in blues and thirties prints.

Janie said...

Great variations on a theme. always inspiring here, thanks.