Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Surrounding Burgoyne

Quilt block names come from many different directions. Most of the names came from the women who originally created the patterns, passed along to their neighbors and friends, who changed the name to suit their own creation.  This was way before paper patterns were created.  Sometimes the pattern was drawn on paper and mailed to a sister-in-law.  Sometimes a block was created and sent.  So what a block is called depends on the person/time/event.  And some blocks were created for something specific.  The Burgoyne Surrounded, also called The Homestead, is a classic quilt pattern that was taken from a specific event in American history.  

The battle of Saratoga, summer of 1777, was a turning point in the American Revolution.  British General John Burgoyne lead more than 7,000 men down from Canada to Albany.  American rebels were picking off the British troops when they separated from the main group, off to gather more supplies, but the British troops were so large and strong the American snip attacks were like my fight against ants in the house.  But in the first Battle of Saratoga in June, while considered a British win, the American troops surrounded the British troops and picked off two for every one American lost in the battle.  This weakened Burgoyne's troops considerably.  Burgoyne stayed where he was, waiting for reinforcements who never arrived.  The second battle caused Burgoyne to surrender.  This victory by the American rebels convinced France to enter into and support the revolution between the Americans and the British.

 The quilt shows this battle, very David and Goliathlike.  Traditionally made in red, white, and blue--either blue background or white background--the quilt shows the large British troops in red, surrounded by the small band of American rebels.  A triumph!  I completed the top and will quilt it this weekend (after I get backing for it!).

I'm all for battles ending.  What is your battle today?


Lynn W. said...

Beautiful quilt, Doris. Love yout colorway, too.

Scrappy quilter said...

Wonderful quilt. Love the history you gave us. I always enjoy reading a bit about history about specific blocks. I would love it if every block has a story that we knew about. So many times we wonder why that specific block was given it's name.