Reconciliation Quilt

Reconciliation Quilt by Lucinda Ward Honstain – Pomegranate – 300 pieces

Long time readers know I love a puzzle with quilts, and this is an image of just one very old quilt – and a busy one at that. It was pretty difficult for only 300 pieces, and for some reason I decided to make it harder on myself by putting the box away and working without an image. Wow.

Yep, that about covers it. Just…..wow.

The quality of Pomegranate puzzles is exceptional, and I found myself absentmindedly rubbing my thumb over the pieces as I contemplated where they should go. The hand feel is so nice that I couldn’t help myself! The fit was excellent, everything was as it should be – which is quite rare in a puzzle these days.

There’s a whole blurb on the back on the box about this quilt, it’s maker, and the museum where it now resides. “This forty block quilt depicts scenes of domestic life and public events in the 1860s. There are two blocks that celebrate what she (the quilter) viewed as significant reconciliatory events in postbellum America: the freeing of former Confederate president Jefferson Davis and the granting of suffrage to freed slaves.” The story behind the quilt is one of the reasons it is so valuable, and rare.

This quilt is considered one of the rarest in the world, and was the most expensive quilt ever sold at auction in America. It was purchased by private collectors for $264,000 in 1991; and the couple who purchased it eventually donated their collection of over 1000 quilts to the University of Nebraska. It’s an amazing piece of history, and a beautiful example of the form of art that many women used to express themselves.

Look at the different fabrics, the pattern – the amount of work that went into just a single quilt block is amazing to me. And this was done in the 1860’s! Imagine the time it took for just one section. On one hand there were no “electronic” distractions, after all the work was done for the day what else was there to do? On the other hand, I imagine it must have been difficult to work on things like quilting at the end of the day – by candlelight. One of the blocks has “Done Nov. the 18, 1867” embroidered into it; if that is when the entire quilt was finished, it was more than two and half years after the end of the civil war.

Check out the detail here, it’s amazing. What people can do with just imagination, a few simple tools and their hands sometimes astounds me. Truly.

This is a fantastic puzzle, with an interesting image that is challenging to assemble, but completely worth it. It would be a wonderfully entertaining 1000 piece puzzle!

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