“Gun Boat Quilt” was a term given to the raffle quilts made by southern women in order to finance the building of gun boats needed during the Civil War to protect the ports of the southern states and the shipping lanes in and out of southern harbors. This is part of the story.
The cochineal is an insect slightly larger than a poppy seed. The bug’s carcass is the prime ingredient in creating a natural dye using carmine. Primarily a parasite, they are native to tropical and subtropical South America and up through North America and are collected from the pad of prickly pear cacti.