Brackman (Civil War Women) gloriously honors the Civil War without bellicosity: the renowned quilt historian developed 50 quilt blocks with narratives. Each block, featuring brown-toned reds (as if washed in sepia) offers a vignette in fabric of U.S. women’s history; each block stands alone but also as a complement within a sampler quilt. Brackman’s introduction explains how the project flowed from her blog, begun in 2011, for the sesquicentennial of the war’s start. Blocks fall into five chapters, from four patches to appliqué; each comes with two examples of shading alternatives (it’s always amazing the differences color and placement play in piecing). Also included are templates, cutting instructions for 8-in.×8-in. or 12-in.×12-in. finished blocks and occasional hints for piecing, plus references to historical sources for the blocks’ names, such as the Ladies’ Art Co. The blocks, many publicized in the 1930s rather than the 1860s, suggest the Civil War by name or pattern. Although some of Brackman’s connections are a stretch, most stories (such as ones about enemy-vandalized pins and needles and about split-up cousins) are heartbreaking history. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012 Release date: 01/01/2013 Genre: Nonfiction
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