… started on the Civil War Bride quilt over the weekend. Aside from magazine projects, I get bored easily with just one project. So, I like to have a few going on at the same time that I can work on in rotation.
The original quilt was called the “Bird of Paradise” quilt, and its picture is on the cover of “The Flowering of American Folk Art”. That was where for the first time I came across this beautiful quilt. The footnote given in the book is as such:
“Bird of Paradise bride’s coverlet, appliqued, cotton, silk, wool and velvet on cotton muslin, 87″ x 71 1/2″, 1858-63, near Poughkeepsie, NY. Unquilted, unbacked, apparently never finished; dated from patterns for appliques cut from newspapers. Collection of John E. Bihler and Henry S. Coger.”
This quilt project is a totally new animal to me because I am having to do something I have never done before – needleturn hand applique.
This is how the original block looks compared to how my block looks (though incomplete):
I am using the back basting method. This is what I have to show for after hours of labor. I decided to use a terra cotta urn as opposed to a darker tone in the sample or original quilt:
How do you think I did on my first attempt in hand applique? I think I would have liked the curves to be a little smoother… so, any tips on how to improve on my needleturn skill are more than welcome!
I try to imagine how the quilter of the original quilt had felt when she was making this Bride Quilt. Was the quilt for herself, was it for her daughter, was it for a friend…? If it was for her, was her beloved far away from her as she put in stitch at stitcher during a highly uncertain and tumultuous time? And why was the quilt unfinished? Is it because the wedding never took place? And if so, what is the reason? To get me in the Civil War mood, I am reading this book to give me a better idea on life as a woman during the Civil War:
You can see how others have interpreted the block here – some amazing colors!!!
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have yourself a stupendous day!
p.s. Leaves update – 140 to go at the time this post was written.