During the Seige of Vicksburg (May1863-July4, 1863), quilting never ceased...it became a past time for keeping spirits up and making the best of a bad situation.
A ridge located between the main town and the rebel defensive lines provided the diverse population with safe houses for the duration.
Over 500 caves were dug into the clay hills, which were deemed safer than any home, structurally sound or not. Women did their best to make their living spaces comfortable, bringing quilts, rugs, furniture and pictures to hang. They timed their activities with the rhythm of the cannonades. As a result of the caves, the Union soldiers gave Vicksburg the nickname of "Prairie Dog Village."
The name "Winding Blades" conjures up the image of spinning windmills on the prairie - the perfect name for a quilt found in Oklahoma - and the inspiration for this collection. Could this treasured keepsake, with its linen backing, have been carried to Indian Territory by a cowboy's bride?
Winding Blades was made around 1845-1850, a time of westward expansion and rapid population growth. Fabrics imported from Europe influenced the styles made by the increasing number of American mills. Beautiful Prussian Blue, introduced to America around 1830, was often used to make sought-after ombre prints. Brown was a reliable color, dyed with manganese, madder or wood.
Featuring botanical art from antique seed catalogs and distinctive engravings of old garden tools, this beautiful collection captures the ever-growing spirit and enthusiasm for creating lavish home gardens in the mid-to-late 19th Century.
Popular for their beauty and botanical importance, seed catalogues are a window into early graphic arts.
Working with these vintage elements, Paula combines colorful coordinates, offering many choices for designing together for quilting or crafts, or they can each stand alone for your next design project.
Pink Fusion, c. 1930 by Sara Morgan
Often referred to as the “Renaissance of Quilting, the 1930s brought a great quilt revival, a result of the hard times of The Great Depression. All across America, activities devoted to the home arts became popular. Quilting groups, shows and newspaper gained popularity, bringing women from California to New England together around their quilting frames. Eleanor Roosevelt's campaign for American Arts and Crafts further helped propel quilting to the forefront of activity. Although times were tough for Americans, quilts of this era were usually bright and cheerful.
Lincoln Era, 1860-1865
This Rare Estate Collection comes from fabrics found in antique clothing from General Stores in New York City, Philadelphia, Charleston and Richmond.
The General Store was quite popular in rural areas around the country, especially during the mid-to-late 1800s. Folks depended on their local mercantile, not just for the necessities such as coffee, spices, baking powder, flour, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, fruits and vegetables, honey and molasses, cigars and tobacco, but also for a host of other “essential” items. Store owners tried to anticipate the needs of their customers and often extented credit or bartered for their goods.
We tend to think of quilts from the Civil War era as full of blues, grays, blacks - generally dark colors. These fabrics, reproduced from a quilt of the same name in the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum collections, is a cheerful exception. Most of the fabrics in this quilt date back to 1860-1880, although RMQM believes the black ombre may have been a little earlier. The vibrant green color in the small-scale prints was obtained by an overdyeing process popular at that time. The other prints, although typical of the time period, are somewhat rare finds: the dark red with blue and brown, the double pink with machine ground, turkey red with chrome yellow, and brilliant Prussian blue. It is these beautiful fabrics that inspired Blue Hill Fabrics™ to re-create a vintage collection that would appeal to both traditionalists and contemporary quilt artists.