Civil War Cot Quilt

This little cot quilt was one of the first quilts I made…back when I was going to bust into that lucrative niche market of Civil War quilts. Ha!  This one never sold, but that’s alright.  Currently it, along with two other quilts, is MIA since our move to the new house less than two years ago.

I’m hoping all three turn up at my mother-in-law’s house.  I try not to think too hard about it in the meantime.

**UPDATE** They have all been found!

Anyhow, this is a cot quilt because the dimensions were meant for a quilt being used by a soldier – most likely on the march.  My husband and I have a friend who used to make Civil War replica shirts, and he gladly gave me a bag of his scraps.  I then went in and added solid pieces of different colored cotton fabric.

I was still new at the whole quilting art, but I knew enough to know that 1. quilts were NOT machine-quilted during that time and 2. I was NOT about to hand quilt it if I intended on selling it.  I figured no one would buy it for the amount it would take to make hand-quilting worth my while.  (Joke’s on me – no one bought it anyway. And now it’s lost.)  This left me with one other option, making it a tie-quilt. I’m  bit partial to tied blankets because I have a Holly Hobby baby blanket that was tied.  I must have played with those yarn ties for hours as a child.


I was trying to be authentic and used non-synthetic yarn to tie the quilt at the square corners, but in doing so the yarn frayed and looked fuzzy.  It was sound as far as strength and knot, but it looked funny.  In the end there wasn’t much I could do about the fuzz, so I left it alone.  But I’m still proud as it’s one of the first ones I’d made aside from baby quilts for my niece.

I tied it together instead of quilting it.


So yes, I’ve come a long way from my early quilting days, but this one makes me smile.  It also reminds me to organize a search party and look for those missing three in my mother-in-law’s basement.

Related posts and blogs:

Civil War Quilts blog

Resources for Quilt History

Pre-American Civil War Quilts


Author: Quest Quilts

Just your average citizen who loves literature and quilts and has an uncommon proclivity for both.

2 thoughts on “Civil War Cot Quilt”

  1. Thanks for linking. I enjoyed the story of your small quilt. You might be surprised to know there probably was actually machine quilting back then! With the sewing machine introduced in the 1850s, those who used the machines started finding all the uses for them as a substitute for hand stitching. By the 1870s, quilters had figured out how to use moveable frames to hold the quilt sandwich while quilting on the machine. Even so, a humble bed cover like your sweet one would more likely be tied or utility stitched, with big stitches in straight lines. It’s very pretty. I hope it comes back to you some day.

    Liked by 1 person

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