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What does "quilt like Civil War" mean?


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My friend loves Civil War quilts and quilting. She wants me to quilt this in a Civil War style. Unfortunately for me, I have no idea what that means. She wasn't able to give me any ideas either, except no feathers or meandering. She gave me what feels like a very thin polyester batting because she wants no loft. She said Civil War quilts are flat. So how do I quilt this? Drawings are appreciated because I'm visual. Thanks!

The other material shown is the black back. The quilt is 38 by 31 inches. The blocks are 5 3/4 inches. I would like to know what color thread to use, too!

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This is a close up of the block. You can see the sashing material is directional.

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Libby, if you want to quilt with an "authentic" style of quilting design from the mid 1800's most of that quilting was crosshatching (or even tied with yarns). During that time, was no such thing as meandering style, and most of these did not have elaborate quilting. Most of these quilts were funtional and stitched together with a straight running stitch (like cross hatching or echo quilting around the piecing). The fancy elaborate applique quilts (e.g. baltimore album applique) were only done by rich families, or those that could afford the fancy broderie perse and their slaves did most of the beautiful tiny stiches with hand quilting, I'm sure. Those quilts are the ones that remain now because they were rarely used (special occasions only) the others (utilitarian) were used up and old and rarely survive to this day. Anyway, here are some historical web sites to look at the photos and descriptions.

Traditional quilt survival

Because crazy quilting was so popular at the time, they tend to eclipse the fact that many traditional quilts were also made for bedding and commemoration. Utilitarian quilts were pieced and tied or simply quilted for everyday bed coverings while beautiful pieced and/or appliquéd quilts were created for special events like a wedding or when a beloved minister was transferred to a new location. These were more often elaborately quilted.

Here is a great web site!!!!

http://www.womenfolk.com/historyofquilts/

http://www.womenfolk.com/historyofquilts/articles.htm

http://www.fabrics.net/Laurette19thCentury.asp

Historical data from Civil War and Victorian era

http://www.quilthistory.com/dating_quilts.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_quilting

http://civilwarquilts.blogspot.com/

http://quilting.about.com/od/picturesofquilts/ig/Scrap-Quilts-Photo-Gallery/Civil-War-Shoo-Fly-Quilt.htm

http://www.womenfolk.com/quilting_history/abolitionist.htm

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Libby,

Shana hit the nail on the head. I would do very simple quilting. Lots of SID and then add cross hatching and straight lines echoed to fill it in. I would have thought feathers were in that era but I could be wrong. Did you try a search of quilting designs of the 1800's? That might give you some more ideas.

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Libby,

I'm with Shana and Heidi although I havent looked at the websites yet that Shana suggested...but definately crosshatching or baptist fan and like LinneaMarie said, keep it to the size of the quilt...for thread color I would use either a white, off white or gray - try laying each color on the quilt and see which one looks the best...

Can't wait to see what you decide!

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Barbara Brackman has some really good information on her website as well as clues for dating quilts. I too like Baptist Fan but according to her, that style indicates post 1880. I made 2 quilts recently for my husband's reenacting so they had to be historically accurate, although the one for 1760 did require me to stretch history a bit. Both are quilted using crosshatching with the lines maybe 3 inches apart or so - simple utilitarian quilting. If the quilt is not going to be juried for a historical event, I think making it more beautiful by stretching the time period is a good idea.

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I did a queen size "Civil War Tribute" quilt a few months ago. My customer wanted it all custom quilted. I did lots of SID, some CCs,feathers, small clam shells, curved and straight crosshatching, some meandering, and piano keys in the outer most border. I also used some stencils and made numerous feather wreaths, ala CL. I don't think these ideas were all of the period, but I did stay away from McTavishing, and more recent ideas. It definately was not quilted in "Sue Patton style." (So, don't anyone take me the wrong way - I love Sue's style and have taken 4 or 5 classes with her, but it's not for a Civil War quilt, IMHO.) It took me 87 hours!

This was for her son's wedding gift, so not necessarily important to be strictly from the Civil War era.

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My customer wanted off-white/tanish thread. It could be seen, but the small prints in the fabrics worked in harmony with this color. Also, her backing fabric was a print; it worked well. She wanted QD 70/30 for the batting. I tried to talk her into QD wool, or QD cotton, but she wanted the 70/30, so that's what I used.

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Linnea Marie, I read your response with great interest. I am still learning new things every day about quilting. Since I have made very few quilt tops and just jumped right into the Longarm quilting, can you give me a bit more info on the appropiate size Baptist fans in relation to the block size? I only have the Circle Lord BF boards, so may need to get appropiate size boards/stencils. Thanks for making me aware of this. So much to learn!!!! Becky

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Hi Becky,

I'm not sure of size, but I would think the CL boards are too big. (I have them too and love them!) If you have the basic CL, the directions for fans 7" or less are on page 26 of the manual. Mine has a red cover. You use that funny looking blade thing to make the fans. You can also use circle templates if that works better for you.

Sorry I did not see your question earlier.

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Hi Libby!

I may be a little late on this one, but I just took this Civil War Tribute quilt off the machine last night and delivered it this morning... I used an all over feather - Nichole Webb/Jamie style... Once I got going it was fairly easy,..

I did a separate feather border too... I used long feather fronds that reminded me of "civil war" type feathers.

I used a King Tut that broke every few inches on this 105" x 112" quilt... I sprayed it with silicone spray and that helped... The thread also matched really well so I used Mary Beths suggestion about turning off the lights. It helped a lot!

I delivered this one this morning and I was nervous that she wouldn't like it... She loved it! and she cried! We were at the local quilt shop so it was nice to hear the ladies from the classes come and say how beautiful it was/is! Very Kool!

So here are some photos.

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