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Thread: Coffin Quilts?

  1. #1
    Senior Member stefanib123's Avatar
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    I came across this :

    sbailes876.googlepages.com/Ann_Rinaldi_The_Coffin_Quilt.ppt

    (copy and paste that in your browser, when you do a box pops up, click "open")while doing a google search. It's a powerpoint about the book "The Coffin Quilt", by Ann Rinaldi. It has a lot about the Hatfield and McCoy fued, which happened in the area I live in. The only public hanging in the fued was in my town!

    The "coffin quilt" was done with a dark center block, that was the "graveyard" surrounded by patchwork blocks. The border contained coffin shaped applique embroidered with family member's names. As each person passed, their coffin was taken from the border and sewed in the center, in the "graveyard"!

    I am amazed by this! I've heard the Hatfield/McCoy fued stories my whole life, but never about this. I'm going to get the book, here it is on Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/Coffin-Quilt-b...p/0152164502#_

    And here's some info on coffin quilts:

    http://www.shadowmanor.com/blog/?p=169

    I'm attaching a picture of a coffin quilt (***deleted because of copyrights***), and here's the flickr page it came from with more pics:

    http://www.shadowmanor.com/blog/?p=169

  2. #2
    Senior Member stefanib123's Avatar
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    I also found this about them:

    ***deleted***

    please provide links directly to articles on the internet, or the information we'd need to find things at a library.

    no matter how well intended, the copy/paste method of sharing can get you into hot water. ;-)

  3. #3
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    *Insert nervous laughter here*

    So, if your "coffin" is starting to hang a little loose on the outside border, does that mean your time is near?

    I have *never* heard of this before. I'm gonna have to mull it over...at first glance, it's a little creepy...

  4. #4
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    Interesting. . . . 8-)

  5. #5
    Senior Member stefanib123's Avatar
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    I know, right? It's freaked me out. I've lived here my whole life and have never heard of this. I'm going to call my Mom and see if she's heard of them.

  6. #6
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Interesting .... I wonder if it was a way to keep track of family back before all the communication devices came along ?

  7. #7
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    It just kinda creeps me out. I've never seen anything like that.

  8. #8
    Super Member mamaw's Avatar
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    I saw one of them last year on display at the Maine Quilt show. It really took me by surprise lol.

  9. #9
    Senior Member cinnya's Avatar
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    That's a little bit to morbid for me..I wonder where they kept it??
    Hanging in the parlor?? :shock:

  10. #10
    Junior Member rebeccalr's Avatar
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    Oh wow! This is so cool. I will definitely be making one of these for my family. Of course, we are a family that LOVES to watch horror movies together. This is fascinating from a historical prespective and a creepy prespective. (Insert woo-haa-haa creepy laugh!)

  11. #11
    mlaceruby's Avatar
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    Definitly a family heirloom!
    thanks for the info!

  12. #12
    Super Member TexasGurl's Avatar
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    These coffin quilts are really cool, kind of creepy yes but also fascinating ... I've seen several different ones incl. this one
    Also very interesting are the mourning quilts and child & baby mourning quilts that were often made
    People back then embraced and accepted death so much more readily than we do today -
    Also, it was very common to have photographs or early daguerrotypes made of the departed, as if they were just "asleep" - esp. touching are the ones made of babies and children, they were often posed on a bed or chaise (not in a coffin)

  13. #13
    Ms. Shawn's Avatar
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    Creepy Quilt but nice :twisted: :? :hunf: I am very interested and just might have to get the book also!! :thumbup:

  14. #14
    Senior Member ClairVoyantQuilter's Avatar
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    I find the whole thing fascinating . . .keeping track of familial history and passed down from generation to generation. I would imagine it was a way to not forget those who'd passed on. Maybe the blanks left in the border when someone had died could be replaced with new family members as they were added.

    I wonder if women who married into a family were placed on their husband's family's quilt or remained on their parent's quilt . . .

  15. #15
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    This is really interesting. I have never heard of coffin quilts.I wonder if this is a regional cultural tradition?

  16. #16
    Super Member QuiltingNinaSue's Avatar
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    I have read the book referred to (few years ago) and was under the impression a "coffin" quilt was one made by the family from clothes of the "passed on" member of the family, and given to members of the direct family (parents, children, sibblings) in rememance of the departed loved one.

    I guess it might make a perfect October quilt project for those doing genealogical studies of familly histories with complete info on cemteries, dates of birth and death. at one time, I had 2600 names on record in my computer, but the computer crashed. May be it was too many coffins in storage of my family records.

  17. #17
    Super Member walen's Avatar
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    Yikes, I don't know quite what to think. I have never known of this type of quilt before this. I am always interested in historically based quilts and read a lot. I am surprised that I hadn't run across coffin quilts before this, but I am also very pleased that you have given me something to research. Thanks a bunch!

  18. #18
    Senior Member momymom's Avatar
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    The museum in Paduach has one. It's very fragile. I saw it several years ago. I find them very interesting.

  19. #19
    Senior Member stefanib123's Avatar
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    Any other info that you may find, if you don't care, would you pass it on? I love the history involved with quilts also, I keep a very detailed scrapbook and want to add these to my quilt scrapbook.

    My mother is going to call my great-aunt. She said she remembers someone in the family doing or having one of these when she was a little girl! She said it was a source of a family arguement, because some thought they were bad luck.

    I'll let you guys know what I find out.

  20. #20
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I've never heard of a coffin quilt either. When I saw the thread title I thought it meant a quilt that went INTO a coffin. A long, narrow one. Is there such a thing as that too?

    Going to have to look into the coffin quilts, always interested in quilt history.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ClairVoyantQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittsburgpam
    I've never heard of a coffin quilt either. When I saw the thread title I thought it meant a quilt that went INTO a coffin. A long, narrow one. Is there such a thing as that too?

    Going to have to look into the coffin quilts, always interested in quilt history.
    LOL . . .must admit, I thought the same thing . . .though I'd be HARD pressed to part with one of mine in such a way :D

  22. #22
    Super Member pamesue's Avatar
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    This is kinda creepy.....I have never heard of them..but i might get the book, definitely sounds kinda interesting.

  23. #23
    montanablu's Avatar
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    This is quite interesting! I'd not heard of it either, but want to look into it a little more just for the sake of curiosity. It's also interesting when you think that the whole notion of death was treated much more matter-of-factly back then. It was just an accepted part of life (sorry, no other way of saying it!:), whereas today most of us run from any mention of it with the speed of lightning!

  24. #24

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    Right after I started quilting a lady died in town and she was a quilter. Instead of a casket spray of flowers she had one of her favorite quilts layed over the casket. This was something I have through of for years That I would like to have done at my service.
    I'm not planning on going anytime soon but its something to tell my kids I want

  25. #25
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    My grandmother who died 35 years ago, told me all about the Hatfields and the McCoys. Her family the Fullers lived around the families and at one time time my Grandmothers parents had two wounded family members (one of each) staying at their homes. My GMP told the children not to tell the injuried families that they were taking care of each other. Feared that they would be killed. My GM told me about these quilts and she had helped in makeing them. My GM move from Kentucky to Va when she was 20 years old and she live to be 96. She would tell me all about the fighting families and how they would come to the Fullers for help. A small civil war.
    I wished I had taped her stories, I never knew I had a living history book in 'Granny'. My Mother(her daughter) has alz. and she lives with me and my husband, she now does not know me(hard to swallow to know that your Mother will never know who you again).Thank God for His Grace, Gospel Music on the radio and this board. I have no one else but you FRIENDS. Please keep my in your thoughts.

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