Flash sale! Quilts from the Civil War era + a special Civil War story

If quilt patterns from the Civil War era make your heart skip a beat, you won’t want to miss today’s flash sale on a very special eBook:

Remembering Adelia flash sale

Through actual diary entries in Remembering Adelia, you’ll get a rare glimpse into one year in the life of a teenage girl during the Civil War: minding daily chores, joining in sewing and quilting circles, and watching friends and neighbors go off to war. Interspersed throughout Adelia’s diary entries are beautiful quilt patterns from the Civil War era—authentic Civil War blocks and quilt designs typical of the time are included.

Peony Star quilt
Peony Star Quilt from
Remembering Adelia

In this excerpt from Remembering Adelia, author Kathleen Tracy explains how she came across Adelia’s diary and was inspired to write her second book.


Kathleen Tracy“While I was visiting local historical societies and researching pioneer families for my book Prairie Children and Their Quilts, I came across a small, leather-bound journal dated 1861. The journal was written by Adelia Thomas, a young woman of 19 who lived in a farming community in northern Illinois, miles away from the conflict when the Civil War began in the spring of that year.

Adelia and her daughters
Left: Adelia Thomas Bennett at 54 years old, 1896. Right: Adelia’s daughters, Grace, Alice, and Hester.

Despite the intensity of the war, Adelia’s journal focuses on family life and daily experiences and is filled with records of births, deaths, marriages, and social visits. It’s a wonderful look at what kinds of activities and thoughts occupied the lives and minds of young women at the beginning of that crucial time in America’s history. Journal accounts like hers show us just how much sewing and quilting was a part of life for the average woman, and perhaps provided sustenance in times of strife, as well as fulfilling a desire to “do something” patriotic to help the soldiers. For many, quilting was also a way to preserve their memories.

Orange Peel quilt
Orange Peel Quilt from
Remembering Adelia

The diary begins in January 1861, just months after President Lincoln was elected and before his inauguration in March. Fort Sumter was attacked by the Confederacy in April and Lincoln’s first call for volunteer troops occurred a few days later. Most people, including Lincoln himself, expected that the war would be short-lived and over within a few months at the most, with minimal casualties. The actual loss of life that did occur (over 620,000) would have been unimaginable. As the year unfolds, we watch the crisis build as Adelia’s friends, family, and neighbors join the fight to save the Union, some never to return.

Civil War soldier
Civil War soldier from McHenry, Illinois

Many quilts were made during this time in history, but few survived because of the devastation brought by the war. The quilts that did survive are excellent examples of quilting trends of the time. Inspired by a variety of antique quilts and the diary entries, the quilts and projects included in Remembering Adelia reflect some of these trends.

Quilts from Remembering Adelia
Quilts from
Remembering Adelia

I can’t look at antique quilts without imagining the lives of the women who made them. Adelia’s diary shows what daily life was really like for many women in the latter half of the nineteenth century. I hope this book will take quilters into that world. At first it may appear far removed from our own lives, but a closer glance will show that we are not so different from women who lived and quilted a century and a half ago. In remembering Adelia, I have tried to honor quiltmakers from the past and their extraordinary quilts that have been left to us as inspiration to re-create and treasure.”

Quilting party, 1898
Quilting party, 1898


Read entries from Adelia’s diary and enjoy Kathy’s small quilt patterns from the Civil War era in Remembering Adelia—download the eBook for just $6.00 through May 29 at noon (PT).

Small and ScrappyLove Kathleen Tracy’s antique-inspired style? Pick up her best seller Small and Scrappy, filled with tiny Civil Warera treasures that are full of scrappy charm. Keep Small and Scrappy by your fabric-cutting area: every time you create a new pile of scraps, you’ll have this inspiring resource at the ready.

What inspires you most about Civil Warera quilts: the colors, the quilt blocks, the stories behind them? Tell us in the comments.

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23 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I love the colors of the fabrics and the stories that are told.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on May 26, 2017
  • History has always held an interest to me. Reading historical fiction is one of my favorite reading material. Learning more about America’S history allows us to understand the trials, sacrifices, joys and challenges-good and bad that our forefathers endured. Helps us to appreciate the beauty in what remains

    —Sue on May 26, 2017
  • As a history lover, I first purchased Kathy’s books for the stories. I didn’t start making the quilts until a few years ago when I joined her online group SmallQuiltTalk. I love the stories behind the quilts, the wonderful reproduction fabrics we have available, and traditional quilt blocks made in a small and scrappy style!

    —Robin McGuire on May 26, 2017
  • I love to read about the civil war. The women and how strong they were and the beautiful quilts

    kathy on May 26, 2017
  • I think I have about 1-5 but would l8’ve t8 add embroidery Santa’s. Thank you for the chance to win

    —Nancy Koch on May 26, 2017
  • The blocks and the stories behind them.

    —Becky DuBose on May 26, 2017
  • As a wife of a husband who served in Desert Storm and my father who served in World War II, I can’t imagine what the women and families endured during the Civil War. The blessings of quilts is a beautiful contribute.

    —carol on May 26, 2017
  • It is understanding the quilt blocks of the past and using my browns, reds and blues. Will soon have two to finish and quilt (longarm) no hand work much. Wish I could hand stitch for the weight and feel is better.

    —Linda Christianson on May 26, 2017
  • Very interesting history, would love to be a winner

    —Karen George on May 26, 2017
  • It would have to probably be the stories surrounding the quilt blocks that made up the quilts of that era. Most quilts were made up from bits of fabric that were left over from making dresses and everyday clothing — in other words they made do with what they had on hand or traded off fabrics with other quilters around them. I have made traditional quilts using c.w. repro fabrics and have always been pleased with the way they have turned out. It has always amazed me when at an estate sale I have found an old cigar box filled with quilt pattern pieces–nothing went to waste. Maybe that is why I am such a devoted scrap quilter myself (and the proof is in the two rooms of fabric stash that I have accumulated over the past few years). I really need to start documenting my own quilting legacy for my children, grandchildren and future generations–while they all have quilts made by me I would really like my quilting life remembered as well. I can’t wait to teach my 2 year old granddaughters how to sew and quilt!

    —Sue F on May 26, 2017
  • The stories behind them. I love to hear about the courage and strength it took the men and especially the women in building this country of ours.

    —Vicki Entze on May 26, 2017
  • Everything about the people who lived and made history for me and the generations yet to come inspires and has developed a curiosity in my since my childhood. to find their stories and see pictures of people satisfies my curiosity. To finding people have the same joy in creating quilts and their work having left behind a legacy of education in waste not want not is the one i love the most.

    —wilma serrao on May 26, 2017
  • All 3 inspire me. The history of their stories is a time capsule and we know that women have always needed a creative outlet.

    —Connie on May 26, 2017
  • I like the fabrics!

    —Karen Longo on May 26, 2017
  • I love history! The endurance, creativity and courage of the people I’ve read about astound me. I’d like to make some quilts as a tribute to them too.

    —Kathie on May 26, 2017
  • The colors and prints of the fabrics.

    —Barbara on May 26, 2017
  • I love the civil war fabrics which are timeless in appeal. I love the little prints, I love the colors.

    —Frances Claassens on May 26, 2017
  • I so want to do a Civil War era style quilt depicting the area that I live in but really have no idea how to go about putting such a project together. I am intrigued by the colors, the designs but mostly by the people that created these quilts. I live in Western North Carolina, so the area is rich in history and Appalachian charm.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice you can give me regarding how to or where to start putting the pieces together for a quilt that will provide the character of the Civil War era and shows what might have been specific to the geographic region also.

    Many thanks,
    Sandy

    —Sandy on May 26, 2017
  • I just love the colors.

    —ANN on May 26, 2017
  • When CW Repros became a "thing", I realized that many of the fabrics I had always been drawn to exemplified the color palette used during that era. Having spent a few years making quilts using the repro fabrics, I’ve also watched a lot of shows (during the centennials of the start and ending) and read a lot of books (both historical fact and fiction) about the period so have gained a lot of knowledge about the conflict and the lives of people at that time. A visit to the Grant National Monument a few years ago was so much more richer for me because now I truly understood the significance of the displays in it. When I started quilting, I never expected it to also provide a refresher course in American history!

    Vivian on May 27, 2017
  • My main focus in quilting is civil war fabrics. I love the colors and the history associated with this era. I like using small pieces and try to save all scraps…probably too much!

    —Gloria on May 27, 2017
  • It’s the colors, greens and browns, and blues and grays. More somber shades with small prints. I love the history stories that go with them.

    —Mary Gonzales on May 27, 2017
  • I am an avid collector of the Civil War era patchwork books as I love the stories behind them, the fabrics and the satisfaction I get knowing that I am reproducing quilts that were once lovingly made by women back in the 1800s. I am so enamoured by the era that I even draw up templates, trace and cut the pieces with scissors and handpiece them.

    —Ondrea on May 29, 2017

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