Thursday, January 28, 2016

Westering Women

Westering Women BOM

Have you heard about Barbara Brackman's new BOM on her Civil War Quilts blog?   This BOM will have a free pattern for one block per month during 2016, along with historical perspective of the women who traveled the various overland trails in the westward migration of the 19th century. Barbara provides some great links to biographies and diaries of the women who made this journey along with each month's block, and I for one can't wait to see this series unfold!  For many years my favorite reading material has been women's diaries and biographies covering the period from the American Revolution through early 20th century, including these three from my personal bookshelf:

  • Covered Wagon Women Diaries & Letters from the Western Trails, 1852, the Oregon Trail, edited and compiled by Kenneth L. Holmes & David C. Duniway
  • Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey by Lillian Schlissel
  • Quilts of the Oregon Trail by Mary Bywater Cross
Our first block was provided in Barbara's post yesterday, and is called Independence Square, commemorating Independence Missouri, the starting point for many on their westward journey.   

One block per month I should be able to manage, so last night I foraged through my scraps and found some pieces that should work for this adventure.  Everything for this quilt will need to come from my scraps and stash, just as the pioneer women did, and like them, I can smile as I discover bits and pieces of quilts made for loved ones in past years, or pieces of fabric shared by friends far away.  
Here is my block, completed this evening, slightly wonky, but I can always pretend it was stitched sitting by the evening campfire, can't I?!

Are you planning to join the journey?


  1. I enjoy Mary Bywater Cross's book. The other two are new to me.
    I like the story of having stitched your block by the fire. Very authentic. : )
    BTW, doesn't look wonky to me.

  2. Thanks for this, I won't be doing the BOM, but I'll be following along just to read the history.

  3. Great block.....more stash busting for you this year.

  4. Love your block. Haven't done mine yet. Still deciding on colour scheme.

  5. Hi, I am Catherine ( French) and I want to make Westering Women Block 1: Independence Square
    but : the sizes are finish or not finish ? Help !!!!!! �� Thank you
    Kind regards,

    1. Your block should measure 12 1/2 inches square after you have sewn all the sub-units together. Each of the nine sub-units should measure 4 1/2 inches square before you sew them all together. I found the sub-units with the 3 long strips needed to be trimmed before attaching them to the remaining units. Hope this helps you!

  6. What a great beginning to an interesting journey.

  7. Thank you @Quilting Babcia ! I will start by measuring as you explain it to me ! thank you very much

  8. Beautiful block! Does not look wonky to me. I love looking at these traditional blocks and reading about the history of women and quilting. Thanks for sharing ... :) Pat

  9. I'm in too - your block looks great to me

  10. Me too. Thanks for explaining to Catherine.


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