Sunday, January 30, 2011

A little work and a little history.

    After church and lunch today, I was determined to finish sewing the last 11 of the 72 blocks for "Cozy Cottages." It felt good to be done and to clear off my cutting table, which is actually the bottom half of an antique Hoosier style cabinet. It is a rich warm cherry stained pine cabinet. Randy thought I was crazy to buy it when I had a perfectly good shiny white folding cutting table from Jo Ann's Fabrics that served that purpose already. I assured him this would be ever so much better for me and take less space in my petite 11' 3" x 11' 6" sewing room. It serves the same purpose as a center island in a kitchen. It has a tilt front bin on the right which is perfect to hide a large waste basket in that had taken up floor space before. The bin is large enough to also hold boxes of large Ziploc bags which I use all the time and the box of waste basket liners and any quilt shop bags that are too good to throw out. On the left side are 4 roomy deep drawers. The top drawer holds all kinds of tools and sewing essentials that used to take up table surface and looked like clutter. The second drawer is for any current project or 2 or 3 that I want out of sight yet kept together for easy access. The third drawer holds quilt tops that are awaiting marking and quilting. The bottom drawer holds all my business folders, ledger, bank book, etc. for Orphans of War. I'm not sure Randy's  convinced it was a valuable asset to my sewing room, but I sure am! Anyway, now that all the leftover romance fabrics are put away (in one of those 2 1/2 gallon Ziploc bags), I can see my large cutting mat and the wood surface of my cabinet again. All is right in my little sewing world. I can go down to my quilt frame with a clear conscience.

   Since this year is the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, I thought I'd start sharing some history in  each post. I've missed most of January, so I'll put all of the events from January,1861 in this one. The states of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana all seceded from the Union this month. Confederates forced the surrender of Fort Pickens, Fort Sumpter, and Fort Massachusetts. On January 29th Kansas was admitted to the Union.  Still, on January 30, 1861, few Americans had any idea they were headed toward a war of the states that would last for 4 terrible years.

   I collect pictures of people from the Civil War Era. Photos of women and children are more readily available and cost less than ones of men. Actual photos of soldiers are sometimes 10-20 times more expensive. I'll be sharing photos from my collection now and then too.

  These girls are twins, but no names were given. I find their hairstyles lead to the impression that they may have been actresses, saloon girls, or ladies of ill-repute.

This photo has writing on the back, some unreadable: G M Blackford , Flou--ta--- River, KY. They appear to be a mother and daughter. The daughter is on the right. Only younger women exposed their shoulders and wore short sleeves unless when wearing a ball gown. Notice the chattelaine hanging from a chain around her neck and then clipped to her belt. The older woman on the left has no wedding ring and could be an "old maid" sister. The younger woman's dress is of a richer fabric and she has an ornate belt buckle compared to the simple striped ,self-belted cotton dress worn by the older woman.

   Just like their quilts, photos from this era were seldom properly labeled. Another reminder to all of us the importance of labeling so future generations will know who we were and what we made. Thanks for visiting.

 Keep stitching!

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