"Ghost" communities featured
In the research library of the McHenry County Historical Museum is a diary written during the year 1861 by an 18 year old girl - McHenry County resident Adelia Thomas. She reference piecing and quilting with other friends and neighbors – even sewing on a machine for others. Her family must have been among the few that could afford a machine at that time.
Adelia mentions many male acquaintances who signed up and marched off to serve in the Civil War. It is not hard to imagine that she would have quilted and tied comforts to send to soldiers.
It has been estimated 250,000 were produced and donated to the U.S. Sanitary Commission during the war.
This year we are looking at a timeframe 150 years ago – the 1870s. This puts us five years after the end of the Civil War. Shortages have eased, prices,(which rose tenfold) have dropped, and women can now begin to quilt for family.
There would have been a dearth of quilts, since the majority of those sent away did not survive to return home with veterans.
Our Heritage quilt this year is made from two blocks – an old favorite 9-patch, which was used widely in the 1800’s – and a horizontal rectangle using a constant print. Strips of these blocks are set apart by a sashing of black, and a print fussy-cut to produce period visual interest.
A variety of colors are used for the 9-patch and all were available and popular during our time period around 1870.
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