Saturday, January 1, 2011

Civil War Quilts

2011 is the anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War. 150 years ago today people were apprehensive about the New Year, waiting to see if any other Southern states would join South Carolina in seceding from the Union, waiting to see if the newly elected President Lincoln would let them go.

Underground Railroad

Over the past twenty years I've written a lot about quilts and the Civil War and also written a good deal of Civil War history using quilts to tell the story. In honor of this anniversary I thought I'd start a separate blog called Civil War Quilts, taking stories and patterns from all the books and block-of the-month patterns I've done. View the new blog by clicking here:

North Star

The blocks will be traditional, adapted from antique blocks and newly designed. I'll include reproductions and symbolic blocks. The patterns will recall Union and the Confederate stories. I'll pattern the blocks to finish to 8" and give one a week on Saturdays during 2011.

If you make them all you'll have 52. Add four repeating corner blocks and you'll have 56. A layout of 7 blocks by 8 with a 2-inch sashing will give you a quilt that is 72" wide by 72" [oops 82"] without the border.

I'll still keep up this Material Culture blog, but I will be posting a bit less often, every three days instead of every two. There's lots of other quilt history to write about, but the Civil War has an enduring fascination. I'll enjoy revisiting stories and patterns from previous books and block-of-the-month series.

There will be true tales of people with each block, some of them well-known and others not-so-famous.

I'll link the blog to my next collection of Moda reproduction fabric called Civil War Reunion.

The fabric collection is scheduled for February delivery to quilt shops, and the precuts should be in your quilt shop very soon. Click here to see a PDF file about it:

I'll use many primary resources, recording the words of Americans who lived at the time from their diaries, letters and memoirs.

Kansas Troubles by Karla Menaugh

There will be period photos, many from the Library of Congress.

A blog is a great format for photos, history and patchwork patterns.
I hope you'll read it. 


  1. What a great idea! I have all of you books and the ones about The Civil War is my favorites. I will sure be following your new blog. Happy New year to you!

  2. How exciting! I too have all your books and this blog is a great idea. I have always found the period of the Civil War of great interest. I will look forward to the posts- and the quilt that goes along with it.

  3. I will be following along and making blocks all year. Thanks so much for this wonderful combination of history and quilting commemorating the Civil War.

  4. What a super idea for a blog. I've added my name to the list of followers. My husband is a civilian reenactor and I know he will be interested in following also.

    Can the quilt be made with a FQ bundle from the new line?


  5. What a great idea for all of us civil war lovers. I can't wait to hear all the stories and play along with the blocks. Thanks for putting this together for us.

  6. The PW Penguin wants to know if this could be made from a fat quarter bundle of Civil War Reunion. I'm not going to specify prints but if you bought extra yardage for sash and borders you could do it from 30 fat quarters for sure.

  7. What a fantastic plan ! I always read your blog with a lot of interest and am realy looking forward to your new blog. I wrote about it on my blog (here I write far too little, but I'm trying to better my live LOL). If you don't agree, will you please let me know?

    Oh, almost forgot in my excitement: I wish you and your family a very halthy and happy new year.

    PS: beautifull new fabric lines!

  8. Count me in! Are you recommending a border? If so, I might scale the blocks down a bit 'cause I'm not good with large quilts.

  9. Count me in, too. I'm really looking forward to all that you share!

  10. What a great idea for all of us civil war lovers. I can't wait to hear all the stories and play along with the blocks. I love anything about the CW era....
    Thanks for putting this together for us.

  11. OH BARBARA - I will be there 'wth bells on' ---

    Being from The South, where we seem to have some wildly deep connection with both THE war itself, and The Reconstruction, this will fast become a daily haunt for me.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for being so very willing to share with all we "BB Groupies" !

    Smiles to all
    Julie in TN
    HAPPY 2011

  12. Awesome blog! Very, very happy I happened upon it! I adore the old quilts, and in particular, the fabrics. I am so glad to have a local shop which carries so many historic reproduction fabrics.

    Have a warm, cozy and safe New Year!
    Take Care,

  13. Dear Barbara, Oh this is a wonderful bonus you are offering us! Your blog is so full of great info and HUMOR, and now THIS. Many many thanks, from southern CA. I will do my best to keep up every single week. THANK YOU BARBARA!!!!!!!!

  14. Wonderful idea! I'll be hanging out with you at the new blog too :)!

  15. Thank you for sharing your talent with us! I love your patterns and fabrics and can't wait to follow along on this new adventure!

  16. What a treat! I'll post this over on my yahoo group that swaps civil war prints.

  17. Barbara - thank you for such an amazing gift!
    I look forward to following your new blog, making the blocks and soaking up all the history behind them all!
    I consider each of your books a valuable treasure.
    I'm sure this quilt project will be "GOLD" worthy too!

    Wishing you a Happy & Prosperous New Year!

  18. Count me in! I love history. Happy New Year to you and yours

  19. I love how educational and interesting your blogs are!! Thank you for sharing!

  20. It will be very interesting on reading the stories and making my own tribute quilt even though I live on the other side of the pond.

  21. Thanks so much - It sounds great.


  22. Wonderful. Your blog is so interesting and full of information. I would love to quilt along. I will add Civil War Reunion to my collection of reproductions. I am working on your quilt that you did for the Lincoln bedroom. You add so much to the quilting world. Thank You!

  23. Oh, My Gosh - I have died and gone to Civil War Heaven! I will be back and am going to put your Lady Liberty Button on my blog, so others will find you!!!!!

  24. Hello. Are you available to teach class in Carson City Nevada the 3rd week in May 2012? On a Saturday, Sunday and Monday with a lecture Monday night for 1 hour at a local Quilt Guild? If so what would you charge? Or in September..3rd week same days? Where are you located? You can contact me at Sharron.Stofer@gmail.com

  25. This is the place which I was exactly looking for civil war, remarkable ideas you have shared with us. gettysburg relics

  26. Good site. Well done.