Saturday, April 27, 2013

Civil War Jubilee: Meaning Behind the Names

My next reproduction collection in shops in July is called Civil War Jubilee, celebrating the 150th Anniversary  of the Emancipation Proclamation.

A Jubilee is a celebration, but an older Biblical meaning comes from Jewish law. Every fifty years (following seven times seven annual cycles) the fiftieth year was celebrated as a Jubilee and part of that celebration was emancipation of the enslaved. When Lincoln revealed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, many recalled the Jubilee from the Book of Leviticus and linked the term to the proclamation.

Each of the prints in the rerproduction print collection has a name that has to do with the Emancipation Proclamation and the celebrations in 1863 and later. The print above is called January First, the day the new law took effect.

1863, a year to remember.
Most of these images are from the Library of Congress.

On the evening before January 1st, New Year's Eve, nightwatches took place all over the Union as people waited to hear the news. A starry print called Nightwatch recalls those Watch Meetings.

Freedom is the basis of the celebration and this leafy sprig is named for the principle.

Effects of the Proclamation
People leaving the plantations for Union Army camps.

The paisley is called Birds in the Air, a metaphor for freedom.

A variation on Jubilee is Jubilo so this floral is Jubilo (although that didn't translate too well into the Japanese-printed selvages, I fear.)

Celebrating the Day of Jubilo in 1866

Celebrations in 1863 and up to this day include singing, so
the print with the small figure is Harmony.

Many of those songs were sung a Capella, a traditional  way of singing spirituals.
(A Capella didn't translate too well onto the selvage either, but...) 

The Fisk Jubilee Singers were popular performers who sang a Capella---without instrumental accompaniment.

The Emancipation Proclamation is Lincoln's Legacy, the name of the floral.

Read more about the Jubilee Nightwatch in this post from last December:

And see a PDF with all the colorways of the prints in Civil War Jubilee at Moda:


Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Beautiful fabrics--will anxiously await their arrival. The naming of the fabrics ver well researched and thought out

WoolenSails said...

Those are beautiful fabrics and love the stories behind each print.


Liz D said...

Hi Barbara...Looking at this newest collection, and seeing how many lines you design each year, I am wondering how you do it? The design process...do you draw/ paint the patterns? Are they computer generated from photos of antiques? I d love to hear about the technical aspect of your work...


suzanne said...

Ditto to Lizzy. Do tell!

Judith Blinkenberg said...

It is going to be a wonderful line with a great meaning. Thank you for the information. I look forward to special quilt.

Nancy said...

Ooohh... I like it a lot!

Barbara Brackman said...

How do I design? I collect antique document prints and send them to Moda be scanned on their high quality scanner.
See this post:


Maxine said...

Again you've combined your special gift of fabric design with your gift of teaching history. Thanks for this line. I will buy it even if I don't make anything with it (which would be a shame). I want to be reminded of the rich history of my people. A quilt made of these fabrics would be a labor of love.

susan said...

Thanks for the preview....absolutely delicious

Anonymous said...

Wonderful fabrics - maybe my favorites yet!

Jacqueline said...

Love the fabrics...I know they will be added to my "stash".

Kathie said...

another beautiful fabric line! can't wait to get some!!!!
oh love that red border fabric and the little vine print in many colors, wow! the tan one would make a great background for appliqué!

Susan said...

Marvelous fabrics and beautiful rich colors with the aged patina that just drives me wild. I know when I see the name Barbara Brackman, it will be a quality product!