Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The 30" by 70" question!

Determining the quilt size for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Quilt Challenge was a long thought out decision for us to make.  This exhibit will be our 12th annual quilt show and we had the input and opinions of many quilters (including published quilters, quilt historians and historic re-enactors) as we planned this challenge.  So with that being said, here are the reasons we decided the Cot to Coffin size (30” by 70”) would be the best choice for our quilt challenge:

  • Documentation verifies the making of Cot to Coffin size quilts for soldiers during the Civil War (1861 to 1865) and we are assuming that making quilts for soldiers during the War of 1812 may have happened also.  However, in that earlier time period there is no documentation or standard size for us to replicate and 70 inches is about the size of a man (from cot to coffin.)  This size would have been small enough to roll into a backpack while on the march (armies moved on foot) and may well have served as a burial shroud also. 

  • This smaller size quilt is much less of a commitment for makers (and particularly new quilters) than a large piece.  There are few opportunities for folks to participate in activities commemorating the War of 1812 and we thought this small size would encourage more people to participate.  We hope to get at least 200 entries for the 200th bicentennial of the War of 1812.

  • More quilts will be able to be hung in our available space.  Our headquarters are in an historic 1817 limestone building listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has usage limitations.  Therefore, with this smaller quilt size, we will be able to accommodate all entries in our building and two additional historic buildings from the 1812 period here in the village of Sackets Harbor (which was a headquarters of the Northern Army of the United States during the War of 1812.)  

  • In our travels we have noticed many decorative pieces about 30” x 70” draped across the foot of beds in hotels so our 1812 reproduction quilts might be a good size for over the foot of our beds.

In summary we think this size quilt will make a very dramatic display. We picture the exhibit as soldiers’ standing at attention to commemorate those who fought in the War of 1812 and also honoring 200 years of peace between the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

This quilt-in-progress, which will be entered in our 1812 quilt challenge upon completion, has been designed to honor an ancestor who fought in the War of 1812. 

The quilt measures 30" by 70" and was created using reproduction prints in indigos and browns.  

The quilt artist selected 23 different fabrics and each fabric has no more than three colors in any print. 

In discussing her design and choice of fabrics she said her regret is that she did not include more large-scale floral prints that would have been popular in 1812.  She is also considering tea dying the quilt as she feels it has much higher contrast than would have been seen in quilts of the era.  What say you?

1 comment: