Family Civil War Wall Hanging

In this sesquicentennial year of the beginning of the Civil War, I have commemorated it by participating in Barbara Brackman’s block-of-the-week series (see my efforts under CATEGORIES – CIVIL WAR QUILT on the right hand side of the page), and making a wall hanging for my youngest daughter that incorporated pictures of her family taken in Civil War costume in Gettysburg.

My latest project is a wall hanging made up of pictures of my ancestors who were alive during the Civil War.  To fill out the hanging, I added current family pictures taken in Gettysburg plus one that was taken of me in 1952 during Portsmouth, Virginia’s Bicentennial. These pictures were scanned and then printed on inkjet printable fabric.

I wanted to use some Barbara Brackman reproduction fabric I had received for Mother’s Day and included some solid pieces to make up the  blocks.

From my Electric Quilt 6 software, I chose a Sawtooth Star pattern in an 8-inch finished size.  The printed pictures formed the center of the star.

I machine stitched a feather-stitch as quilting around the blocks and through the centers of the triangles.

I decided to make the piece without a border and with white binding to draw more attention to the old photographs.

I made a label for the back with the pertinent information for each ancestor and the current family.

Paternal Great-Great Grandparents

Three Pictures of Maternal Great Uncle

Maternal Great-Grandmother

Maternal Great-Aunt

Paternal Great-Grandfather

Lillian – 1952 – Portsmouth, VA Bicentennial

Youngest Daughter and Son-in-Law, Gettysburg

Youngest Grandchildren – Gettysburg

Oldest Daughter – Gettysburg

I like the idea of having the ancestors who endured the Civil War join with our present-day family in commemorating the Sesquicentennial.

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

14 thoughts on “Family Civil War Wall Hanging”

  1. You are so lucky to have photos of your CW ancestors. I’ll be including info on my g-g-grandfather who fought in the CW on my CW quilt but I don’t have his picture to include…

  2. I love all of them, and the feather stitching on this latest one is really a great idea – reminiscent of crazy quilt stitching. What a legacy you are reinforcing!

  3. I love this! and I agree, I think the feather stitching looks like crazy quilt stitching.
    I think my favorite picture is the one of your grandkids with the guns!! That picture is adorable!

  4. These wallhangings are real treasures, I should say heirlooms. How wonderful that you have pictures of so many of your ancestors. I like the way you have incorporated present day pictures in with the older ones. I once bought some old pictures at a flemarket and they have gotten mixed in with the few family pictures that my sister gave me——now I am not sure who is who. Hopefull, my sister put names on the back..

    1. Some of the pictures I acquired as family members passed away, the great-grandfather picture was given to me when I was 12 years old because already I was the one in the family who loved old pictures. We got a couple of the very old pictures from contacts on

      My sister who passed away last December was always buying old pictures at flea markets and they were on the wall right along with any family pictures she had. Lillian

  5. I enjoy vintage photos even when they are not of my own family.
    Working in the quilt shop in WY I made a number of quilts for clients who wanted photos incorporated. The Sawtooth Star was my favorite block to frame the photo. I didn’t like having to be so careful with the printed fabric–I’m one who likes very sharp pressing and you simply can’t let the iron touch the pieces with the ink-jet photos.
    What a nice job you have done!

    1. I ran into the ironing problem you mention when I made a wall hanging for my daughter’s birthday using the process where the pictures are almost a rubbery texture on the fabric. Like you, I found out I couldn’t press anywhere near the fabric and wound up having to make the wall hanging all over again using the newer fabric that can be ironed – such as the June Tailor Sew-In Colorfast. I don’t like to use even this fabric in a quilt that is going to be washed often – I pretty much confine it to wall hangings.

      Thanks for your nice comments. Lillian

  6. Your quilt is lovely! How great to have family photos that date back so far. I enjoy making fabric collage wall hangings using old photographs, but usually have to use old found photos.

    1. Thank you for your nice comment and for introducing me to your blog. I love how you are using found photographs. It seems such a shame to have them just thrown away. I could never do the collages as you do – just gorgeous. Lillian

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