June 2, 2010 - 10:50 am

Book of the Week: Borderland in Butternut and Blue

This week’s Book of the Week is Barbara Brackman’s Borderland in Butternut and Blue, which means it’s $5 off! Barbara Brackman herself wrote up some information for you all to enjoy!

From Barbara:

The 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War will be here in 2011 and I’ve had a few requests for ideas for a commemorative quilt. I have written several books about quilts and the Civil War but I always tell people that my favorite is the one I did for Star Books a few years ago, called Borderland in Butternut and Blue. There are patterns for a sampler of blocks plus stand alone patterns honoring women on both sides of the War in the West.

It’s my favorite because it’s about the war in my region of the country, the Kansas/Missouri border. And I loved doing the research, finding out more about women who lived through the Border War, like the Southern-sympathizing Kreeger family.

Order Number ElevenOrder Number ElevenEver since I got my copy of Ruby McKim’s old book 101 Quilt Patterns and found a pattern named “Order Number Eleven” in there I have been intrigued by the story McKim told. Fannie Kreeger Haller, a friend in Independence, Missouri, was “a dear old lady in her eighties who was a little girl …back in war times [who’d] seen her mother’s choice new quilt snatched from the bed by marauders. She carried the memory of this striking pattern in her mind.”

McKim is not known for her historical accuracy; she usually favored a good story over any actual evidence. The more I learned about Fannie Kreeger Haller, however, the more I began to believe McKim.

From a quilt dated 1830 in the collection of the Winterthur Museum.From a quilt dated 1830 in the collection of the Winterthur Museum.“Order Number Eleven” is an old patchwork design going back to the 1830s with other names such as “Hickory Leaf” or the “Reel.” Fannie’s name for the quilt pattern is obscure to most today, but the words “Order Number Eleven” were code back then for all the injustices Missourians suffered during the Border Wars. After Quantrill’s raiders burned the town of Lawrence, Kansas, the U.S. Army directed that civilians living in Jackson, Bates, Cass and Vernon Counties “remove from their present places of residence within fifteen days.” Order Number Eleven was viewed by Kansans as a wise precaution to prevent more terrorism. Missourians saw it as a vicious act of revenge.

Seth Thomas Rose is patterned in the book.Seth Thomas Rose is patterned in the book.I also discovered that another of Fannie Kreeger Haller’s quilts found its way into McKim’s pattern designs (actually, Edie McGinnis noticed this). Fannie loaned a red and green applique quilt that her mother Araminta Kreeger made in 1862. McKim called it the “Seth Thomas Rose.” Fannie, Araminta’s eldest child, said she copied the design from the face of a Seth Thomas clock brought from North Carolina. Shelf clocks at the time often had glass doors with hand-painted scenes and florals. Unlike her reel quilt, the rose quilt survived the Civil War.

Frances Araminta Daniel was born in North Carolina in 1830 and came to western Missouri with her family when she was young. She married George Kreeger when she was 22 years old. Araminta Kreeger had 12 pregnancies between 1853 and 1875. She delivered two pairs of twins. She died two days after her 45th birthday, a few weeks after the birth of her fourteenth child who only outlived her for a month.

The Kreegers had been a prosperous farm family when Order Number Eleven forced them to leave their land with their six children. Martha Frances Kreeger (1853-1929) was ten years old when she became a refugee in 1863. Fannie had seen a good deal of war by then. In her obituary it was noted that the night before the Battle of Lone Jack about a year earlier she watched “General F. M. Cockrell with forces of Confederates camped in the pasture of her father’s farm and [heard] the sound of the guns and the roar of the battle.”

To learn more about this tumultuous time in history, get Borderland in Butternut and Blue this week and save $5! Click here for more information or to purchase.

One Response to “Book of the Week: Borderland in Butternut and Blue”

  1. Barbara, as Ruby’s granddaughter I must say you are “right on” about her loving a good story…but like you said, this one had basis in fact due to her proximity to the person who told her. I thoroughly enjoy your quilt writings so that I have the “real” story! And thanks for plugging her book…it’s still used by so many quilters today, along with the Star quilt patterns that she designed or re-designed during those first few years.

    Christina Fullerton Jones

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.