I found my inspiration quilt in my own collection. I had purchased it from a dealer in Illinois, largely because of two factors: its beautiful mid-nineteenth century fabrics and its names on each block, except for one. This quilt, utilizing the Snowflake block, is a friendship quilt with names. There are no signatures since the names are not inscribed by hand but stamped in ink using individual letters. Each person’s name is accompanied by a place name.
I call this quilt the Conklin quilt for the farm in Illinois where the antique dealer purchased the quilt, although the place names on it are in New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. Genealogical research revealed that some of the men on the quilt served in the Civil War and that some of the women who are unmarried on the quilt married Civil War veterans.
I decided to make a nine block quilt with blocks large enough so I could print the names of these Civil War veterans in the center square of each block. I printed the names by hand. I used reproduction fabrics that reflected the colors and print styles of the Conklin quilt. I hand quilted it using the same simple by-the-piece quilting of the original. As I cut and then joined the piece together, I was reminded that edges cut on the bias can definitely stretch and that when cutting stripes, one needs to consider the placement of the piece in the block to get the stripe’s direction to appear as one wants.