Saturday, October 08, 2011

Civil War soldier cot quilts - again!

 I had the opportunity to teach a class this year at the Utah Quilt Guild's Quiltfest a few weeks ago.  It was so much fun.  The theme for Quiltfest this year was A Symphony of Colors, so my class was titled Blue and Gray; The War of Colors Cot Quilt.  Of course I taught a fun civil war cot quilt pattern that can be found at  I had a few of our Utah Civil War Association guys come in and share some history with the class, as well as my friend Amanda, who played her hammer dulcimer for everyone.

 Jake, Scottie, and Jamin did a fantastic job talking about their weapons, their uniforms, civil war stories, and of course singing civil war songs while Amanda played her dulcimer.  Whenever the guys would stop to take a breath, the sewing ladies that took my class would tell them to tell another story.  There were not very many ladies that signed up for my class, but there were a ton of ladies that came in to visit and listen for awhile!

My class was 3 hours long, so we had tea, chatted with the ladies, listened to great period music, and of course listened to the fellas tell civil war stories while the ladies sewed up their civil war cot quilts.  It was a wonderful evening and the guys were so great to come and help me out.

I also started another civil war cot quilt a month or so ago. My friend Kaye Dawn Epps from our local quilt guild showed this quilt at our guild's Sew and Tell a few months ago and I loved loved loved it.  She made hers with modern red, white, green, and blue fabric and it turned out gorgeous!  The block pattern is called 'Kentucky Crossing' and is a fun period quilt block.  The pattern can be found at and was written by Patricia and James Cummings.  It is a Sanitary Commission reproduction quilt pattern found at the A.K. Smiley Library, Lincoln Shrine in Redlands, CA.

So of course I used civil war reproduction fabrics for my quilt.  Most of the fabric I used was fabric that I like and just purchase over time, but some of it is made from leftovers of the civil war dresses I have made.  Emmitt loved seeing his dress fabric in the quilt.  He would point it out every time!  He also recognized Kendal's dress fabric, and my dress fabric.  I guess that is what the ladies would have done 150 years ago when they made quilts for their soldiers off at war.

The sashing and corner stones sure add to the layout.

I used two batts - one wool and one cotton.  I wanted to use period correct materials, and I wanted it to be warm, since it would really be used by a soldier when reenacting.  These pictures are horrible, but it was probably 2 am and natural lighting was non existent! 

I laid down the backing fabric, a pretty black floral civil war reproduction fabric, and taped it to the carpet.  Then I laid out the cotton batt and then the wool batting.  It was so so soft!

Then I laid the quilt top on the batting and got to pinning it together, starting in the center and working out to avoid any monster wrinkles.  After 250 pins, I was finished!

I placed the pins where I wanted to tie the quilt.  Since I would be tying it from the back, the pins made a perfect marker.  Many of the utilitarian quilts of the mid 1800s were tied on the back with a very small stitch that was almost unnoticeable on the front.  I used both a black and cream cotton string for tying; the black was used on the black cornerstones and colored fabric, while the cream was used on the cream sashing.  This made sure that the ties were not seen from the front, and made the back super fun!

Here is the finished quilt, hanging sideways, but complete.  It will hopefully keep a sweet Rebel soldier warm while out fighting The War of Northern Aggression! 

I also made this quilt for another soldier in the Utah Civil War Association.  He does mountain man rendezvous as well as civil war reenacting, so I made his quilt with homespun fabrics so it would be appropriate for both time periods.  It was also made with one cotton batt and one wool batt for super warmth!

Emmitt thought is was super snuggly!  He loves it when I lay quilts out, that is why I usually have to do it at night when the little man is having his sweet dreams.

So, that is what I have been up to lately.  Well, sort of.  The months of August and September were busy ones for me and I am looking forward to a nice carefree fall!

1 comment:

mom said...

Oh my gosh, I love both ofd those quilts. So amazing!!


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