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Some Patches of History-Projects

We are an informal guild of people learning and teaching the techniques of 19th century quilt making and keeping that craft alive at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. 

Civil War Tribute Quilt

Civil War Quilt Illustration

The Old Town San Diego State Historic Park Civil War Tribute Quilt began as an inspiration during the summer of 2010. With the sesquicentennial of the Civil War arriving, many people across the country are finding various methods to remember the war. Although San Diego seems a long way away from where the Civil War battles occurred, California was gearing up and preparing in case the war should extend west.  A Civil War tribute quilt was a perfect opportunity to create a new quilt. It is inspired by quilts made during the Civil War and will allow us to share stories about San Diego’s connection to the events of the time. Many considerations went into the design of the quilt.


Quilt Blocks Descriptions

Multiple quilts of the time included the tall triangle border. One is the famous quilt by Jane A. Stickle from Vermont in 1863. It consists of 169 blocks, each one 4.5” in size. It is surrounded by a triangle border.  “Old Homestead” Sampler quilt made in Maryland circa 1860 has the same triangle border in red creating a very dramatic edge.

Next to the triangles is a band of 16 blocks. Each block was chosen based on its name. Sampler quilts made with blocks of a variety of designs have been popular since the 1840s. We looked for block names that reflected San Diego and its history. The corner blocks are called the “California Rose” and the “Mexican Rose.” The other block names are “Road to California,” “Mariner’s Compass,”  “Anvil,” “Blazed Trail,” “California,” “Basket,” “School House,” “Broken Wheel,” “Card Trick,”  “Bear’s Paw,” and “Star of the West.” One block pays tribute to the quilt guild’s current project, the reproduction of Juana Machado’s 1850s quilt.

The third row is a traditional pattern called “Flying Geese” which will allow us to show off our collection of reproduction Civil War fabrics.

The fourth band is 8 “Chimney Sweep” blocks which will be green in color. This block is another pattern commonly found in Civil War era quilts. Many quilts during the Civil War were often done in just red and white or red, white and green. The connection of the green blocks to the red triangles will pay tribute to these quilts. The center of each block will contain facts about the Civil War and San Diego’s connections.

When finished, the quilt should be 81” x 81”. The majority of the quilt will be handmade and hand quilted. The quilt will be worked on by staff and volunteers. It is to be used as an interpretive and instructional tool for the public and when completed will remain with the park on display.
Quilt Blocks Descriptions

Multiple quilts of the time included the tall triangle border. One is the famous quilt by Jane A. Stickle from Vermont in 1863. It consists of 169 blocks, each one 4.5” in size. It is surrounded by a triangle border.  “Old Homestead” Sampler quilt made in Maryland circa 1860 has the same triangle border in red creating a very dramatic edge.

Next to the triangles is a band of 16 blocks. Each block was chosen based on its name. Sampler quilts made with blocks of a variety of designs have been popular since the 1840s. We looked for block names that reflected San Diego and its history. The corner blocks are called the “California Rose” and the “Mexican Rose.” The other block names are “Road to California,” “Mariner’s Compass,”  “Anvil,” “Blazed Trail,” “California,” “Basket,” “School House,” “Broken Wheel,” “Card Trick,”  “Bear’s Paw,” and “Star of the West.” One block pays tribute to the quilt guild’s current project, the reproduction of Juana Machado’s 1850s quilt.

The third row is a traditional pattern called “Flying Geese” which will allow us to show off our collection of reproduction Civil War fabrics.

The fourth band is 8 “Chimney Sweep” blocks which will be green in color. This block is another pattern commonly found in Civil War era quilts. Many quilts during the Civil War were often done in just red and white or red, white and green. The connection of the green blocks to the red triangles will pay tribute to these quilts. The center of each block will contain facts about the Civil War and San Diego’s connections.

When finished, the quilt should be 81” x 81”. The majority of the quilt will be handmade and hand quilted. The quilt will be worked on by staff and volunteers. It is to be used as an interpretive and instructional tool for the public and when completed will remain with the park on display.