Monthly Archives: September 2019

Civil War Sampler #13: London Square

My Civil War Sampler Block 13 is London Square:

London Square, completed June 24, 2019

London Square, completed June 24, 2019

The story for London Square on Brackman’s blog and in the book reference England’s role in the Civil War. She briefly states the relevant economic situation:

England was our greatest trading partner and cotton was the currency. Many in England supported the emerging Confederacy with its crop that was so vital to the English economy.

Translation: England wants alllllll the cotton for alllll their textile factories. And they want it at a good, cheap price… Though some were bothered by slavery as the means of that good, cheap price.

She then launches into the story of Fanny Kemble, a London actress who married a Georgia plantation owner and was horrified by what she saw there. When she published her diary as Journal of a Residence on a Georgia Plantation (you can read it for free online in Project Gutenberg) in London in 1863, it had a strong impact on British readers regarding the Civil War. (Her marriage had self-destructed already in 1849, btw.)

Anyhow, getting back to the quilt block. Nothing in the story spurred any particular thoughts about colors or prints, so I looked to the block title. London…England…does London have a flag? Yes. Colors: red and white. Hmm…meh. Something else. England in the 1860s. Queen Victoria. Victorian era. Victorian prints.

So I let my eyes wander over the fabrics in my Civil War fabric “section” (yes, it’s come to that- it has its own section in my sewing room) and looked for anything that seemed “Victorian” to me. The dark print with the big flowers jumped out and said, “Pick me!” Is this historically accurate? I have no idea. But it fits the vague, hazy, two-time-history-degree-earner and archivist’s idea of what could possibly be a Victorian fabric? So I went with it and picked the others to coordinate.