by Daughter Fish

I’m a sucker for hand-made quilts, which is why my attention perked up a few months ago when I found out the New York Historical Society planned to do a show on Civil-War era quilts. I’ve been wanting to expand Thread Cult into more textile-driven stories, and this show seemed an obvious good fit. Little did I know just how interesting, from a textile perspective, it would be. Did you know, for example, that cotton and the economics of cotton production were one of the biggest drivers of the war? Or that women all over the country made quilts to raise millions of dollars for the war? Or that these same women, galvanized by their wartime work, went on to push for women’s suffrage? Heavy stuff, and all told in tiny stitches and colorful fabrics in Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War. You can head over to Thread Cult for my interview with two curators of the show, Lynne Bassett and Margi Hofer.

Here’s a peek  at some of the beautiful examples of the show, which next travels to the Shelburne Museum, in Shelburne, VT, and the Nebraska State Historical Society, in Lincoln, NE:

Images c/o the New York Historical Society.