Friday, August 7, 2009

What it is.............

The Civil War Bride Quilt is an interpretation of a piece in the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, c.1858~1863.
Quote taken from the American Folk Art Museum website ~
Artist unidentifiedVicinity of Albany, New York1858 - 1863
Cotton, wool, silk, and ink with silk embroidery 84 1/2 x 69 5/8 in.
American Folk Art Museum, gift of the trustees, 1979.7
The Bird of Paradise Quilt Top, made during the Civil War period, is thought to be an unfinished marriage or wedding quilt. This idea is supported by the vertical rows of appliqued blocks that feature pairs of birds and other animals. In addition to these animal pairs, other symbols of union and fertility can be found on the bedcover; they include birds tending nests of eggs, flowers, and fruits. The only aberration appears in the two top blocks of the quilt top. A single female figure is appliqued onto one block, but the square next to her is nearly empty, save for the decorative leaves and flowers. Newspaper templates, including a template of a male figure, were found with this quilt top, suggesting that perhaps the quilt was never finished, and the marriage it was intended to celebrate never took place.The quilt top also features depictions of famous nineteenth-century racehorses and of an elephant named Hanible, who had traveled throughout New York State during this period with his trainer."
This week, both Lurline and myself have started block 1, we decided to create a new blog dedicated to making this beautiful quilt. So if you are stitching this quilt, thinking of starting the quilt or even just want to follow along, please join us.


  1. looking forward to seeing everyones first block and their fabric choices.
    I am waiting for my pattern to be delivered and still thinking about fabric choices.
    I am leaning towards reproducing the quilt as close as possible to the original at the AFAM.

  2. What a stunning quilt! I will be checking back regularly to watch your progress.

  3. Hi Lizzie,

    I had never read your very first entry on the blog until now. What a great amount of info. Thank you! I had heard about Hannibal the elefant before and I think he can be found in other antique quilts from the period as well. I think he is depicted in at least one other quilt, because he apparently trampled someone to death and was shot! I'll have to research on that...

    Greetings from the Rhine,


Thanks to everyone that is following our journey with the Civil War Bride Quilt. We love to read your comments and appreciate your encouragement...............