Sunday, September 18, 2011

Civil War Sunday -The Lee's Surrender Pattern and the Language of Quilts

I have never gotten into quilting - I am not what one would call an expert sewer - but I have always admired those who can quilt, and their handiwork.  Similarly, I am in awe of weavers.  I look at a loom, and my brain freezes up.  I can not even begin to imagine how weaving works.  To me, it is in the realm of calculus or algebra, two other things that freeze me up.

Earlier this month, I spent some time in a store in Brunswick, ME called "Maine Woolens". They had very reasonably priced, Maine produced, blankets and other items. They also sold coned yarn.  I was after a thin blanket for the summer (yes, we need blankets here sometimes during the summer) or at least yarn I could use to crochet one.  It only had to be big enough to cover me, as my spouse is somewhat warmer blooded.

I found an interesting blanket, thin enough for my needs.  It was on a good sale because it had a flaw - one I did not care about - and the price was right.  It was only $10.  But what really struck my eye was the name of the pattern:  "Lee's Surrender"

Yes, the proprietor explained to me, this was indeed an old weaving pattern.  The blanket I purchased was red and white.  The proprietor told me that the particular blanket wasn't finished right and needed to be fringed, something I know how to do.  So once I get this finished (and it will be delayed now due to the....no, I refuse to use that F word that has afflicted our area the last 10 days!) I will take a picture and share it during another Civil War Sunday.

Needless to say, I had to do some research on this fascinating pattern.

Not only weaving, but quilting, is an important part of Civil War history.  This only makes sense as both crafts were widely practiced before, during, and after the Civil War.

A quilt exhibit on the Civil War explains more about the importance of quilts, including the use of quilts to mark houses on the Underground Railroad.  How they were hung would communicate to the escaped slave if the house was safe to enter or gave information regarding the direction the slave should head in.

Maybe one day (if I can ever retire!) I will try to take up one or both crafts.  Some retirees paint.  Why shouldn't I quilt or weave my love of history?

1 comment:

  1. My mother taught me cross-stitching, and it was such a stress-reliever. Quilting sounds like a lovely hobby to takes its place.

    I love how you find an interesting angle with Civil War history. If you had been one of my history teachers, I would have been more interested in the subject... known as the War of Northern Agression where I grew up. ;-)

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