The quilt top cupboard « Ann Champion’s Blog


Today instead of pulling something from the quilt top cupboard, I’m going to show you what I found at a couple of garage sales I went to on Saturday.

One of the sales was at the home of an elderly couple.  I always like to look at the  linens and this sale had quite a few.   I saw embroidered dresser scarves and pillow cases, along with many crocheted doilies.  Then I saw a very soiled piece of fabrac that was neatly folded.


I opened the fabric out and my heart nearly skipped a beat when I saw this beautiful appliqued block.  The stitches were tiny and tight, and I thought the design was beautiful.  I could picture a quilt made from these blocks.  With the gentle curve of the stems of berries a quilt made from blocks like this would look like they were dancing across the quilt…square dancing style?  I really like it!

I didn’t see a price on the block though.  I asked how much they were asking and the lady came over to look at the block.  She said..”oh I didn’t mean to put that out for the sale…it’s so old and dirty!  I found it when I was going through things. 

antique-applique-block-and-civil-war-006-300x225-7390614If you want can have it.” 

Then she called her husband over and said “look honey.  I think this is a quilt block your Mom made years ago?”  He came over and we chatted a bit.

He said his Mother’s name was Cora Jordon and was born in the 1880′s.  She had two sisters, Nora and Dora.  He thought it was funny that they all had names that rhymed. 

I don’t know much about geneology, but it might be fun to try to look the family tree up sometime? 

The block is hard to date.  The green looks like it might be an over dyed  blue?  Years ago indigo prints were dyed with chrome yellow to create the green color.  There are a couple of blue streaks in the green here and there, which is common with over dyed fabrics.  The style dates to a time that’s earlier than Cora’s birth.  Maybe it was made by her Mother or made from fabrics that had been handed down?  The block is 17.5″ square.

antique-applique-block-and-civil-war-012-300x225-5389968I also picked up a book that looked like a fun read to go along with the anniversary of the start of the Civil War and the blocks that Barbara Brackman is posting each week.  It’s based on the diary postings of a young woman who lived at the time.

I got an envelope of Confederate money too.  Not real money, but replica’s that are made to look and feel old, by the Smithsonian museum.  Fun to look at.

After the South ceded from the North the Confederate government began to issue money from the first capital in Montgomery in 1861. Later, individual Southern states, banks, municipalities, and associations all printed their own money. 

confederate-money-002-300x225-8874555The first Confederate money demonstrated engraving and printing of the highest quality, and many of the notes were beautifully designed. Many issues contained portraits of Southern heroes, while others were of mythological deities, such as Ceres, goddess of agriculture.  Other drawings showed business activities, including picking cotton and steamboating.

By the end of 1864 nearly 2 billion dollars worth of currency had been printed.

The need for speed and the shortage of proper paper stock eventually resulted in lowered quality of the currency.  To reduce costs, most of the issues were not printed on the reverse side. The South’s impending defeat along with excessive printing of the currency resulted in its rapid depreciation.

UPDATE: Ady sent me a note that this block looks like a Coxcomb and Currents pattern she has.  I looked at the book I have here about that pattern, but it’s different.  A search online found a pattern very similar to this one that dates to the 1850′s…so now we have a name.  Thanks for telling me Ady!