The Civil War Sewing Circle: Quilts and Sewing Accessories Inspired by the Era

by Kathleen Tracy

Paperback, 2011



Call number




That Patchwork Place (2011), 80 pages


Kathleen Tracy, popular author of Prairie Children and Their Quilts and Remembering Adelia, has outdone herself with this combination of lovely projects and fascinating historical tidbits. Patterned after quilts made during the Civil War era, this collection is ideal for nineteenth-century reproduction fabrics. Choose from 16 easy projects, including large and small quilts, plus a pincushion, sewing box, and needle case Learn how women's efforts during the Civil War era led to increased civil and political involvement among women See historical photos and read eloquent excerpts from letters written to and from soldiers during the Civil War

User reviews

LibraryThing member chatterboxquilter
This is Kathleen's fourth book published by That Patchwork Place and, as in her previous books, she combines historical content with projects reminiscent of that time period. Kathleen's inclusion of historical information, such as diaries and letters from the civil war helps to evoke the emotions
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and feeling of that turbulent time. The 16 projects in the book include doll quilts, wall hangings and throws as well as small sewing accessories and are, with a few exceptions, pieced projects.

We sometimes forget that quilting wasn't always a hobby, as it if for most of us, but a way to provide warmth and comfort in difficult times. During the civil war, it was the women volunteers of the U.S. Sanitary Commission who provided quilts for bedding for the wounded soldiers. The Soldier's Cot Quilt was based on one of the few remaining examples of the quilts made for this purpose during the civil war. Its simplicity would be effective in solid colours and reminds me of the quilts that are currently being made by modern quilt guilds.

Since I've recently begun making hexagons, The Hexagon Flowers Doll Quilt appealed to me. A simple design with hexagons in the centre and borders with cornerstones, it would stitch up quickly. I could see this pattern in both traditional and contemporary fabrics.

Another quilt that I liked in the book was the Union Stars Quilt. It's a throw size project with half square triangles (I love half square triangles). I think it would be equally effective in scraps or in a more controlled colour scheme as in the book.

There are also patterns in the book for a sewing box, needle case and pincushion, again reminiscent of items from the time period, but which would also be practical items in our quilt or sewing studios today.

The size of several of the projects lend themselves to handwork if you wish to have a portable project. Certainly any of the doll quilts could be hand pieced and quilted quickly. Although I don't usually do handwork, the projects in this book have my fingers itching to do some hand stitching!

I liked that most of the projects in the book were small enough to try a new technique. You could make one of the doll quilts or pincushion easily in a day and then spend a little more time hand quilting them. If you didn't enjoy the technique, then you haven't wasted a lot of time and energy on it. I also enjoyed the combination of information about the civil war and projects from that time period.
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LibraryThing member Tmtrvlr
The Civil War Sewing Circle has a nice variety of information, photos and quilts. There is a nice mix of patterns and history of Civil war era life. There are excerpts from letters written to their loved ones, soldiers and to other quilters. Included is the well known letter from Sullivan Ballou to
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his wife a week before he died.

The quilts are inspired by the patterns and fabric from Civil War times. Because of the popularity of the Dear Jane Quilt, we are fortunate to have many reproductions of Civil War fabric to choose from. You won’t have any trouble finding just the right fabrics for these projects.

Most of the quilts are small in size, doll, wall hanging, to cot size, but not full sized quilts. There is also a pattern for a letter pocket with a needle case and a felted topper for a wood keepsake box. I prefer larger quilts, but an experienced quilter could take the patterns and enlarge the size to suit their needs.

These are basic traditional patterns such as the Shoo-Fly, Ohio Star, One-Patch, and hexagons. There are large color photos of the quilts and good diagrams for cutting and piecing. This is the perfect book for those who like to add history to craft.
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Original language


Physical description

80 p.; 11 inches


1604680059 / 9781604680058
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