Civil War Quilts History

The Civil War was a crucial time in American history, and it was likewise a considerable factor in the lives of many quilters. Quilts changed throughout this age, often based upon the available products, the beliefs of the quilters, and the useful nature of quilts in a time of war. Whether you're a contemporary quilter hoping to imitate the design of this period or you're merely thinking about the history of quilting, it's fun to get more information about the patterns that were popular in the 1860s. Popular Patterns of the Civil War The quilters of the Civil War years utilized some of the exact same patterns popular in previous decades, however they also had a couple of styles that typified this point in history. Patriotic Motifs Appliqued stars and shades of red, white, and blue were popular amongst Union quilters. One lovely example from the American Folk Art Museum includes 34 stars in the center, representing all of the 34 states that made up America at the time. This meant that the quilter believed in unity for the country. Tiny Fabric Scraps Perhaps because of the shortages in the South and the need for thrift in the North, lots of Civil War patterns used little pieces. The quilter of that era could gather these tiny pieces from remaining materials or in many cases, old clothing. Among the most renowned patterns that uses tiny scraps is the Double Nine Patch. You can see a finished example at Historic American Quilts or make your own, of course, with some directions here.  For each block, you'll require to cut 45 of piece A and four of piece B. All pieces use a 1/4-inch joint allowance. To build the quilt, you make five nine-patch blocks out of the smaller sized squares, using two contrasting colors or prints. Then put together those 5 blocks into a bigger nine-patch block using piece B. Your ended up block will be 12 1/2 inches square, giving you a 12-inch block once it is stitched into the quilt top. Print this double 9 patch quilt pattern!

 

Marriage Quilts Marriage quilts weren't brand-new to the Civil War, but they continued throughout this era. Girls frequently worked for years constructing quilts to take with them when they started households. The American Folk Art Museum has a beautiful example of an appliqued Bird of Paradise quilt top showing popular themes from the era. The quilt leading features a bride however no groom, although the researchers at the museum speculate that there is an empty square where the groom was supposed to be. Star Patterns Variations on star patterns were popular in both the North and South. You can see a fantastic examples of a star quilts at Civil War Quilts. This pattern makes a 12-inch star. You'll need eight of piece A and 16 of piece B in 2 contrasting colors or patterns. If you want, you can skip cutting piece B and make half-square triangles with a finished size of three and a half inches on each side.

 

Album Quilts Some quilts featured motivating messages from the quilters to soldiers in the field. Called album quilts, they used a method for women in your home to offer hope and love to the males who were far. According to Kirk, these patterns were specifically popular in the North. "These normally had a white cross in the middle," she said. "Many were inscribed in ink with signatures, dates, towns, and messages to the soldiers." Strong Geometric Patterns Geometric patterns, featuring triangles and squares, were popular during this era and the years that followed. An especially charming example was provided to one family as a moving present just after the Civil War, according to the Fredrick News-Post. You'll have to cut 5 of piece A and 16 of piece B in two contrasting colors or patterns. Put together the hourglass blocks first, then square them up before putting together the remainder of the block. Print this hourglass quilt pattern. Quilt Patterns That Commemorate the Civil War You can likewise develop a quilt to celebrate the Civil War. You can comprise your own variation or attempt a pattern book like The Civil War Anniversary Quilts by Rosemary Youngs. It has 150 quilt patterns to represent 150 years given that the Civil War.

Some blocks are original patterns from the age, and others are new designs that have symbolic significance. Kirk pointed out that quilts can likewise tell the story of the Civil War, particularly from the viewpoint of slaves. "There were most likely quilts made after the war," she said, "chronicling the journey somebody made from South to North."

 

Authenticating a Civil War Quilt If you purchase a quilt at an antique store or inherit one from a relative or good friend, it can be hard to show that it in fact dates from the time of the Civil War. The pattern itself isn't really enough to date a quilt, because lots of quilters continued to make the very same patterns for years. Kirk said that there are a couple of clues that can assist, nevertheless. Dates and Stamps One of the simplest ways to confirm a Civil War quilt is to look for a date on the quilt itself or other evidence that it was made during a certain year. "The only conclusive method would be to find a Sanitary Commission stamp on the back, or a date composed on the front or stitched into the quilting or embroidered," Kirk said. "Sometimes, if the family letters were saved you may discover a recommendation to a specific quilt which still exists in the family. Otherwise, you make a quote based upon the history of the quilt if understood, the materials utilized, and the design." Fabric Choices Kirk said that many Civil War period quilts featured red, white, and green materials, popular during the middle of the nineteenth century. However, these materials were used primarily for home quilts, not for those quilts sent to soldiers. "Quilts produced the field had the tendency to remain in darker colors with lots of madder browns," Kirk explained. Making a Reproduction Quilt Having an authentic pattern is an important primary step in producing a recreation Civil War quilt, however there are a few other elements to consider. Keep these in mind if you're attempting to emulate the style of this era. Hand Sewing You'll require to hand piece and hand quilt your project for the most authentic results. Although the home sewing device had been developed in the early 1860s, many families did not yet own one of these brand-new tools. Rather, quilters meticulously pieces each quilt top by hands. Frequently, many individuals would interact to do the quilting after the top had been pieced. Authentic Colors Although you may like a few of the contemporary fabrics out there, your quilt will look more genuine if you choose materials that could have come from the 1860s. Kirk stated that this takes research study and idea. "Select your fabrics thoroughly," she said. "Most recreation lines only have one original colorway of each print, so invest some time looking online at great sources. The International Quilt Study Center is an excellent resource for precise colors for the duration. Quilters of the North and South During the 1860s, the quilters of the North and South had extremely various experiences. This impacted the type of patterns they used and if they quilted at all. Southern Quilters Struggled for Materials According to antique quilt expert and owner of The Kirk Collection, Nancy Kirk, material availability had a significant effect on the art. In reality, few quilts were in fact made during this period in the southern states. "The South was blockaded; little fabric, thread or needles made it through. The fabric that currently existed in the southern states went to clothing and bedding," she said. "Very few quilts were made in the South throughout the war. It would have been considered unpatriotic to cut completely excellent cloth up into little pieces and sew it back together, squandering all that cloth in seam allowances." Northern Quilters Aided the Soldiers In the North, on the other hand, quilting ended up being a method for females to support soldiers from house. Materials were readily offered, and the Sanitary Commission requested that ladies contribute quilts to keep their soldiers warm. Kirk stated they made thousands of quilts to the specifications required by the Sanitary Commission, although few of these quilts made it through the dispute. "The Sanitary Commission asked for quilts that were 56" x 72", essentially a small single bed size," she stated. "Most guys were smaller than today's soldiers." An Important Part of the Civil War Quilts served numerous functions during the Civil War. From serving as a medium for patriotic statements to serving as a method to keep soldiers warm in the field, these historic textiles had an essential place in the dispute between North and South.