Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hot off the Statler Stitcher!

My latest Civil War quilt has just been squared off 
and is ready for pink binding.

My paternal great-grandfather Jacob Buck 
served as a Union infantryman 
in the Ohio 29th Volunteers from 1861-1865.  
He fought in 19 major battles and never missed a roll call. 
 Only three soldiers in the entire war had that distinction.  
Amazingly he was never wounded and
 left the military as full lieutenant colonel.
I learned all this recently 
as I was unaware of much history on my father's side.  
His parents died when I was a child and he died when I was 7 1/2.
No one was there to pass on the family stories 
and I wasn't interested then anyway.

I am making a series of Civil War quilts 
and each is being named to commemorate a battle 
in which Jacob fought.
This quilt is named Columbia, South Carolina.
Columbia was burned to the ground in December, 1864 
by either withdrawing Confederate soldiers, 
drunken Union soldiers, or by 
out of control fires that spread by the blowing cotton fibers 
which were used as fuel.
For these reasons, 
I used the machine quilting pattern "Fire" by Cyndi Herrmann.  

The backing I chose is a red and black streaked fabric 
to represent blood and charred wood.  

I clipped this photo from a magazine
several years ago 
and always knew I would make it.  

Okay, okay I know it says 
"Turn-of-the-century quilts from the Midwest", 
but I figured since I was using fabrics from the Civil War era, 
it would become a Civil War quilt.
And that's all I'm going to say about that.  

Two of my sisters think this latest accomplishment
 is a waste of my time and fabric.  
(And hope that I soon finish this Civil War phase
and start using some prettier fabrics.)

Each of the Civil War quilts is being made 
from the same pool of 1800's style fabric, 
but is based on different blocks and 
has various settings and different border fabrics.
Some have been inspired strongly by Civil War quilts 
in books by Barbara Brachman
and others have come from my collection of quilt ideas.

Since I am a quilt artist, I am creating as I am inspired.
Also they are quite warm, bed-sized 
and are most often used when eyes are closed.
So I see it as a win-win and a part of my estate when I die.
Someone will be drawn to it, surely.

Actually when you think of it, 
we still are fighting some of the same battles today.
State's rights, civil rights, economic development,
political turmoil, etc.
Humans are so ornery.  
They never learn to truly work together, 
each giving a little and doing things the best way for the majority.
Most keep their stubborn habits.

Speaking from experience,

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