Friday, August 26, 2011

Civil War Quilt Block Three

And now the third in Barbara Brackman's Civil War quilt-a-long, which apparently had more than a couple people gasping because it involved—quelle horreur—appliqué. Fetch me my smelling salts.

Now I'm not saying my appliqué is perfect, though, really, I'm not sure how anyone can get those points pointy enough; but it looks nice and handmade, I think. I cut the backing square a quarter of an inch larger and then trimmed it, as I know that appliqué (especially just done in the air and without a hoop, like how I did it) can gather up the fabric a bit, and I didn't want it to be too small. I did end up trimming it a little.

This one is called Seven Sisters, and is based off an early flag for the Confederacy, with the seven stars representing the first seven states to secede: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.

I assume that the title 'Seven Sisters' also references the Pleiades star cluster somewhere along the line. In Greek myth those stars were literally seven sisters, the daughters of Pleione, one of the Okeanids; their names were Maia (the mother of Hermes), Taygete, Asterope, Merope, Alcyone, Electra, and Kelaino, that last name shared with one of the Harpies. It is an old motif, certainly.

So as I stitched it I thought about each state in turn, and was surprised by how much I didn't know about them. Though I'm guessing that three of them—Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana, were actually named after kings, which is kinda funny given how anti-monarchy the colonies turned out to be.

And I thought of the story Brackman tells about nineteen-year old Sarah Morgan in Baton Rouge, and how she sewed and then wore a Confederacy flag as an act of rebellion when the Union occupied the city; and I thought, What a little snot. I mean, okay, nineteen year olds aren't generally known for being mature, I suppose; and yeah, it's what she knew, but still. What a privileged, entitled, little snot.

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