Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Washington Whirlwind #1: Whirlwind


Washington Whirlwind #1: Whirlwind by Jeanne Arnieri

Whirlwind is the theme here for the 2024 BOM on the Lincoln White House. We could focus on some tragic aspects of war's whirlwind: fatal illness, fallen soldiers, dysfunctional families and assassination, but we'll begin on a lighter note: In the first years---some boisterous boys, the White House children during the Lincoln administration.

Thomas Lincoln, known as Tad, was born in Springfield,
 Illinois April 3, 1853. When his father assumed the
 Presidency Tad was about 8 years old.

Brother William Wallace Lincoln, born December 21, 1850,
was 11. The boys were quite different in personality and 
skills, but they were a formidable team bent on mischief
in the first year of the Lincoln Presidency.

Brady Studios, 1862
Gilder Lehrman Institute Collection
Willie, standing, and Tad with their mother's cousin Captain Lockwood Marcus Todd (1823-1894). Differences in posture illuminate the brothers' differences. Did Tad (or his father) ever sit up straight?

This year's pieced Block of the Month series will focus on the Lincoln White House and the boys at the center of the whirlwind there. The Lincoln boys had accomplices in a pair of neighbors.

Halsey Cook Taft & Horatio Nelson Taft 
Holly on the left was Tad's age, Bud a year older than Willie.

Julia Taft Bayne (1845-1933)

 Whirlwind by Becky Collis

Their older sister Julia Taft remembered the White House days in newspaper articles syndicated about 1930, which were collected into her 1931 book Tad Lincoln's Father. We'll draw the monthly stories for Washington Whirlwind from hers and other White House memoirs, letters and diaries.

1931, publicity for Julia's book
Julia recalls here that Lincoln retrieved her "crazy-patch pieces" when she dropped them
but a little fact checking would have reminded her crazy-patch quilts were not being
made till 20 years later. We'll do some fact checking on Julia's memoir over the year.

The boys were "two healthy, rollicking Western boys, never accustomed to restraint." Julia contrasted the brothers, recalling Willie Lincoln as "lovable, bright, sensible, sweet-tempered and gentle mannered" as opposed to his little brother who "had a quick fiery temper, very affectionate when he chose but implacable in his dislikes." And it's Tad who is the Whirlwind here.

The Block

Whirlwind from the mid-20th-century
Purple and yellow are color complements, a contrast popular
in the 1930s.

Becky Brown is sashing her 12 blocks in black and white.

Whirlwind was published by Ruby Short McKim in 1929 in one of the first of the syndicated pattern features. It's BlockBase+ number 1266 (A to D) varying in shading patterns.

We're doing 12" blocks this year. Here are cutting instructions for #1 Whirlwind:

Here's a link to the introduction with sets, etc.

For the standard grid set:

For the blocks---if you are starting from scratch I'd get 6 fat quarters for the lights, mediums and darks.


Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

Barbara, thank you for another BOM - I'm looking forward to this one.

Anonymous said...

How much fabric will we need in total?

Barbara Brackman said...

6 fat quarters for blocks--- see updated post for grid sashing yardage.