I came across this quilt recently in somebody's vacation snapshots, taken in a small Texas museum: a quilt behind a fossil case (probably fading away in the light.) What a strange pattern. But you know it could be a Civil War quilt. It's hard to tell the age of a quilt from a photo and the fabrics all seem to be solids. Very little help. But there is nothing to say that it's not 1860-1900.
That star appliqued border is intriguing. I have probably seen ten or more Civil War quilts with the same border, taken from the 1861 Union quilt pattern published in Peterson's Magazine.
And the block---is that four shields?
Pieced and appliqued?
Well I didn't think much more about it for a day or two
And then I came across this image on a Civil War envelope. I'd seen dozens of Union envelopes from the War, but never a Confederate envelope. I had never noticed "The Emblem of the South," a shield with three stripes just like the first flags.
So I looked at my files of Confederate quilts (a very small file). Here's the same shield in Varina Davis's post-war memorial quilt.
Another envelope---this a Virginia symbol
It seems to be an image that is almost forgotten. The differences between the Confederate shield and the Union shield are subtle (like the differences between the first Confederate and the Union flags.)
Union shields (these two are from Union quilts) have more stripes.
That Texas quilt needs better documentation and conservation.
See more about Varina Davis's quilt here:
And more about the star border here at my blog post here
And see many more actual Civil War quilts on my Pinterest Board