Saturday, February 15, 2014

Civil War Housewife in Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini

My Housewife with Stork Scissors Attached

Do you love to quilt AND love to read?  I invite you to join the free, online Quilters' Book Club.  Each month, we read a book, discuss it through comments on my blog posts, and then make a quilt block to represent that book.  I research several potential blocks to go with the book's themes, setting, main characters, and events.  And I find the patterns free on the internet, making it easy for everyone to access.  Each member can choose the block or blocks they'd like to make.  To join, become a follower of my blog so you won't miss any blog post.  To make it super convenient, you can also sign up for my posts to be delivered right to you via email.  If you love to quilt and read, please join us!  It's easy to jump in anytime.  Check out the Quilters' Book Club Schedule right here.  
 
Our book to read and discuss during February 2014 is Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini.  Get the book from your local library or bookstore and join us!  If you want to read it on your Kindle, you can get it here.


In the book, Elizabeth Keckley, Mrs. Lincoln's modiste or dressmaker, receives a letter from the captain of Company D, First Missouri Volunteers, informing her that her son has been killed at the Battle of Wilson's Creek.  When she receives George's personal effects the next week, included was a housewife - a sewing kit that could be rolled up and tied.  

This housewife was essential for Civil War soldiers, who needed to be able to repair their uniforms.  It's also a very useful kit for modern quilters today.  Here are some photos of my housewife that I made with my Persian Pickle Club quilting group.

The Outside of My Housewife

 
My Housewife Starting to Be Rolled Up


My Housewife Almost Rolled Up
 
My Housewife Completely Rolled Up and Tied
 
What do you use as a sewing kit?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Answer in the comment section below for a chance to win a copy of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker.  Plume Books is generously offering two copies of the book.  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others.
 
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Job's Tears Quilt Block and Abraham Lincoln's Birthday.
 

17 comments:

  1. Right now I am using a little zippered pouch that my sis brought me from Guatemala. I like the looks of your housewife. I really should make one like it for myself.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have read about these "housewives" but could not fathom a mental picture of one that would be small enough for a soldier to carry. Having backpacked a bit in my life, I know that smaller is definitely better. Love the outside fabric - would be a great picker-upper for a project that I have in mind, the smattering of red. Will have to scour the fabrics online to see if I can find some. Thanks for sharing. Haven't stated the book yet, life has to been too hectic for the simpe pleasure of sitting and reading. Shirley

    ReplyDelete
  3. OOOhhh I want to make a housewife like yours! Excellent choice of fabrics!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love that. I might have to make one since I don't have anything in particular that I use.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a little tin box with a flip latch and a cloth handle at one end. It isn't as small but it can hold several spools of thread and whatever small project I am working on at the moment. It is about 5.5 inches by 3.5 inches by 3.5 inches and that is big enough that I won't forget it and will go "clunk" if I drop it out of my bag, keeping it from getting lost.
    What I really want to make is something to wear around the neck that includes a pocket for my glasses ans maybe a pocket at the neck for something warm (or cool) to help on cold or hot days... and of course a pin cushion and needle case and scissors pocket with a tie so they won't wander off.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This was a really great post, so informational and practical! When I travel, I tend to put my emergency sewing supplies in a plastic sandwich zip bag -- I know, I know. That's extremely impractical for needles and pins. I have a small piece of felt that I use for securing the sharp things…. nothing so clever and pretty as the "Housewife" that the Civil War soldiers carried.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am using a lunch tote from Thirty-One and also one of their small pouches! Thank you for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I made me a pocketed long roll up thing for mine, thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. My small kit is a hard eye glass case with felt covered form glued to top for pins and needles. In the bottom is bobbin, small scissors, seam ripper, thimble, and needle puller. It goes in my knitting bag which goes everywhere with me as it holds a project.
    I love the housewife.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have made a kit that hangs round my neck. It has a small pouch for scissors on one side and another on the other side for a reel of thread, and a small pocket on either side for a hankie, small change, whatever. It also has a needlecase with felt. I put my quilting pins and my name tag on it too, Helen

    ReplyDelete
  11. I use a substantial canvas zippered bag that I purchased at and with the Virginia Quilt Museum name and logo - wonderful memories of all the friendly docents and fabulous exhibits I have seen there every time I use it. Actually, it is about time I return again!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Using a cylinder bag with yo-yo's at the end in cat fabric that was made by my secert sister at quilt guild. love the memories of that year. thank you for a chance to win

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have just started following your blog and I'm already in love. This is such a great post. My husband and u were just talking about this today and I read this tonight it was weird. I'm going to have tho look up the book on my kindle and start reading. I loved Mrs. Lincoln. She was a lady that went though so much, but still stood by her husband.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have a little plastic box that I use when I go to my quilting group to hold all the notions I need that day. If I am at home, I just grab what I need from my sewing cupboard. I'll be researching this and making my own soon! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have just found your blog and I'm following you. I have only just found the Jennifer Chiaverini books as well, Mrs Lincoln's Dressmaker has just downloaded onto my Kindle. I use an Altoids tin to carry,small scissors, a tiny needle case etc with me. I am now off to make a hussif.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have a little sewing kit that I made (from a pattern) when I started hauling my sewing projects around with me.

    I am also reading Mrs Lincoln's Dressmaker and enjoying it. It's the first book I have read in quite a while, so thanks for the encouragement.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have a small cloth pouch that hangs around my neck and holds scissors, thread and needles on a scrap of felt. I also use a zippered pouch that holds larger items if I have a larger project, like embroidery or English paper piecing. I am fascinated by Hussifs, or housewifes and have perused many patterns but have not yet made one.

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from readers. Your comments make my day!