|My son's Log Cabin quilt, made from Civil War reproduction fabrics.|
It is fitting on the 4th of July weekend, and the observance of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, that I am documenting the making of a Civil War quilt.
My son was a Civil War buff from a very early age. We had fun attending some small civil war reenactments, including a fun time on the Arcade and Attica RR. As a result, it was easy to decide on the fabrics for a special quilt for him. I collected a slew of Civil War reproduction fabrics, from a variety of sources, and paper-pieced a log cabin quilt. I enjoy the history of old quilt blocks. I used the traditional red center, and then a scrappy combination of fabrics for a light and dark divide.
|A close of one of the 80 blocks in the quilt|
After completing the blocks, I tried all sorts of designs to highlight the light and dark. This is a really versatile block to use! I decided on the placement below to create the strong diagonal lines, and the diamond shapes on the quilt.
|A close up showing the alternating placement of the dark and light halves of the blocks.|
|I didn't remove the paper until I had sewn the blocks together (to keep them from stretching). I ended up needing to use tweezers to get the little scraps stuck in the corner seams. I now remove the paper before sewing paper pieced blocks together.|
|The finished design pops out in this picture, which was taken before the quilt top was pinned and quilted.|
I started the quilt in early 2002, right after I had finished the broken dishes quilt for my daughter. I hand quilted the blocks, with an "X" in the center, and then following the design of the blocks, quilted up the middle of each strip, creating a Greek-key type of design in each block.,
|A close up of the quilt back which shows the quilted design on the blocks.|
|A close up of the quilted top showing some of the many fabrics|
|Another close up of different blocks. I think I used over 80 different prints in this quilt.|
For the border, I used a dark blue print, and some scraps as a middle border. For the hand quilting of the border, I purchased a template, and lightly chalked the top to follow. I used a large lap hoop to hold the quilt during the quilting process. This quilt has the nicest drape to it, which to me is a big difference between hand quilting and machine quilting. I used the Warm and Natural batting, which always gives a nice crinkly feel to the finished quilt after washing.
|A close up of the quilted border, before washing the quilt. I liked how the cream colored thread showed up on the dark border.|
|A close up of the border quilting, after washing. The quilt design still shows up.|
|One of the blocks, after quilting and washing.|
|A different block, after quilting and washing.|
The hand quilting took a LONG time. I finally finished the quilt in September 2003. I belonged to a quilt guild at that point, and the quilt won a ribbon at the guild's quilt show that year. It also won a red ribbon the following summer at the Erie County Fair.
|I still had not mastered the art of sewing on the binding. Nevertheless, every stitch was made with love!|
I had plenty of Civil War reproduction fabric left over. I also wanted my son to have a quilt to take to band camp and later to college. So, I used the scraps to make nine-patch blocks, which I then set with bright red blocks, on the diagonal, and bordered with blue. This quilt was machine quilted, and backed with a cute flannel. I finished this quilt in time for my son's 13th birthday in 2005.
|The band camp quilt.|
I ended up using a walking foot to quilt diagonal lines with framed the nine patch blocks, and created an interesting grid in the solid red block.
|A close up of one of the nine patch blocks.|
|Another close up. I ran out of the red solid during the construction of the quilt, and substituted a red print in some places, as you can see in the lower right corner of this picture.|
|A close up showing the grid pattern of the quilting.|
|A close up of the cowboy and cactus flannel that I used to back this quilt.|
The nine-patch quilt is well-traveled. It has gone to band camp, to college, and to music festivals. The log cabin quilt remains on my son's bed at home. I still have some of that fabric left over. Expect to see another scrappy quilt using those fabrics in the future!