Civil War Bride Quilt Update: LEAVES!

The last time I posted on my Civil War Bride Quilt, I shared about my need for symmetry.  Honestly, the issue of stems with asymmetrical dimensions won’t matter in the scale of eternity, but it bothered me at the time, and I redid my stems… so, this was from my last update:

I have managed to add a few more leaves to my block since then:

I am so in love with this project because it is a totally ME project.  I am not making this for anyone else but me! :)  My ultimate goal in quilting is to reproduce a Baltimore quilt.  So, this Civil War Bride quilt has been a great practice quilt for me to bone up on my hand applique skills.  I have used YLI Silk 100 with #11 Straw Needles by Jeana Kimball – I have liked the combination so far:

As you can see from comparing with the top picture, I have a long long long way to go before I complete this Civil War beauty!  The block I am working on is the one on the top left corner.  But one stitch made is one stitch closer to the finish line… :)

Civil War Bride Quilt & Ivory Spring’s definition of “progress”

The widespread application of the steam engines was considered a great stride in the progress of human history. It fueled the Industrial Revolution in the West that forever changed the social landscape of the world.

Railway Steam Engine from

The successful voyage to the moon was considered a huge progress in human history for no one prior to that had ever been to the moon:

Well, let me assure you that the definition of “progress” is no where as lofty! In fact, I am even embarrassed to call it progress. But I do want to show you the pieces I have successfully appliqued to the first block of my Civil War Bride quilt.

From eons ago:

After 4 hours of work this past weekend preparing the pieces, doing the applique by hand, re-doing the applique because I was not happy with a particular shade of green and had to hunt for a more suitable fabric:

Some of you seasoned hand applique-ers will laugh at me because I really don’t have much to show for 4 hours. I am a newbie in hand applique and am terribly slow in handwork:

Baby steps is my motto. We often forget the eventual use of steam engines and the voyage to the moon were in themselves the culmination of countless baby steps… so, we don’t ever have to be ashamed of our WIP’s (work-in-progress). Well, it might be sheepish for us to admit the number of WIP’s we have, but we should never have to be embarrassed about them as long as we keep on working on them. So, my dear friends…. do you harbor any WIP’s? If so, what is your favorite WIP project? If you would further delight us, how many irons do you have burning in the fire at the moment?

Thanks for stopping by. I will have pictures of my WIP’s to show you as the week unfolds, but I do have a finish to show you this Friday. Stay tuned.

I took the plunge and…

… 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.


from Threadbear Patchwork and Quilting

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:

cwb5How 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.

In the company of “rich”…

You remember this, don’t you?

I have been in nearly constant company of fabrics lately because of impending deadlines, some rich fabrics. Don’t you just love that rich red among the other colors? I have to say that red fabric is probably one of my very favorites!! This will be the last sneak-preview before the quilt is officially featured in “The Quilter”‘s March 2009 Issue:

Fabrics and what we make with them enrich our lives in many ways, historically and presently. They sort of tie eras of history together as each era emphasizes a different aspect of fabric art that is slightly different than the other eras. My fabric pursuits have largely been influenced by the rich history that is associated with the early American history. Last night I had a most enjoyable phone conversation with Judy Morton, chair of the Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge. She told me about how she too have been inspired by the rich history of America in her quilting pursuits. She is an amazing hand quilter – one of her quilts is featured in the “Photo Finish” of “The Quilter“‘s Christmas Issue. She has done the applique all by hand:

Okay, I need to get back in the company of more fabrics… (you will see what I mean in tomorrow’s post). I wish you all a wonderful day, rich with blessings! Till next time!