Saturday, January 2, 2021

Massachusetts Bed Quilt Marathon

A Quilting Party During the Civil War from an 
1861 Harper's Weekly illustration

Soon after the Civil War began the women of Franklin, Massachusetts had a three-day quilting party at the town hall to supply 56 bedquilts for soldiers.

Main Street

The news about 75 women participating in a marathon quilting made it to New York.

Franklin in Norfolk County

Franklin seems a rather unassuming town, after the war home to many industries.

Franklin in 1888

Franklin's marathon was not the only patriotic quilting bee in the first months of the war. Louisa May Alcott wrote of a larger event on May 1, 1861 in Concord, Massachusetts. In her journal summarizing events in the first month of the war:
"Spent our May-day working for our men, three hundred women all sewing together at the hall for two days."
Concord in 1865
She did not say what they were sewing but we can assume the women stitched clothing with maybe a quilting frame or two set up.



Pieceful Lady said...

Kindred spirits.. I would one of them.

QuiltGranma said...

It would be wonderful if they had one of those new fangled sewing machines or two to help.