the civil war diary quilt

I’d been planning on a new quilt using just solids, which I’ve been wanting to do since about a year ago, when I made this quilt for my brother.

I’d been wanting to do an all organic quilt for a while, too. I’ve noticed a lot of fabric designers who just do organics: Daisy Janie, Monaluna, Birch, Cloud9, just to name a few. Beautiful designs, but nothing grabbed me.

So when I decided to buy a bundle of solid fabrics, and I stumbled upon the Robert Kaufman Pure Organic bundle, I was sold.

Materials aside, the impetus to pursue the project itself came from reading Heather’s post about the Civil War Diary Quilt book. Heather wrote:

“I instantly fell in love with the stories of the women living during the Civil War and the quilt blocks they inspired. They tend to be more gritty, edgy, and more masculine looking in nature than the Farmer’s Wife blocks.”

I started reading more about the book, and I was taken by the block names: Alarming Conditions, Anxieties, Dark Gloom, Texas Rangers, News, Sad and Lonely Days, Grammar Class, Beginning of War, Misleading Dispatch, Degradation, Guerrilla Warfare, More Pigs.

Just for comparison’s sake, some of the blocks in the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt book: The Brightest and Happiest Place of All, Live a Successful Life, I Love the Farm, The Best of All Good Things, Clear-Eyed and Clear-Hearted, Marry a Good Farmer. The Civil War blocks definitely read more gritty and edgy.

So I’m joining Heather and, at this point, two dozen others on Flickr in making my own Civil War Diary quilt. I’m looking forward to reading the stories that go with the quilt blocks and glimpsing the lives of 10 women who lived 150 years ago.



Another big inspiration in this endeavor has been Jeni‘s fantastic series on color. I’m hoping to use each of the 35 examples she gives and go from there. There are 121 blocks, so I have lots of room to play.

If you’d like to join and make your own Civil War Diary quilt, check out the flickr group and Heather’s post about the quilt-along.


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