Here is one of Julie Silber's favorite jokes: When showing a quilt with a prominent date: "How old is This Quilt?" She always makes me laugh.
The quilt belongs to Jeananne Wright and she made a
beautiful copy for my book Civil War Women twenty years ago
Union Star, hand appliqued and hand quilted by Jeananne Wright, 1999
The quilt is 74" wide and her star blocks look to be about 6".
The vintage quilt must have some link to the Civil War with its patriotic color scheme and date during the war's second year, but we've never pursued the history.
I doubt if the quilt was made in 1862. We have few fabrics to give us clues and they have faded. The blue is a small dotted print, probably indigo, very hard to date as white dots in a half drop repeat on an indigo blue ground are classics found in 1862 and 1902. The red, a solid, looks to have faded rather uniformly to a salmon pink. This may be our best clue, as reds fading to pinkish-orange are common after 1880 when the first cottons dyed with synthetic dyes came on the market. It is just not the red one would see in 1862.
Quilt signed Permelia Ann Watkins, Covington Miami Co Ohio, 1862
Collection of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum
Quilt with veteran's names dated 1891,
James Brownell chapter (#26)of the Women's Relief Corps,
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Similar fading problem in a Civil War commemorative quilt dated 1891.
I did a post on some circa 1900 veteran's quilts with fading reds and blues:
The star quilt looks very much like a G.A.R. or W.R.C. (Union Veteran's organizations) commemorative from about 1880-1920. The date 1862 may recall the year a unit formed or a battle fought. I wonder if the image might be a corps badge, similar to those on this redwork embroidered quilt.
Embroidered quilt with Corps Badges
Morton Collection, Pasadena Historical Museum
Corps badges were popular imagery on quilts from Union veterans' groups.
So how old is Jeananne's antique quilt?
I'd guess 1880-1920.
BlockBase has a similar pieced pattern (#3683), published many decades after this quilt was made.
Print this out for a 6" block. You could piece or applique it.