The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

Fancy silk and velvet fabrics characterize this "Diamond with Four Squares" variation of a "Log Cabin" pattern quilt made between 1870-1900. Log Cabin quilts appeared around the Civil War, perhaps inspired by nostalgia for pioneer life on the frontier. Recalling the warmth of a hearth, a maroon velvet square in the center of the quilt represents a chimney. A pattern as complex as the Log Cabin required many different fabrics and more time to complete than a simpler design. In the late 19th century, women had both the increased leisure time to work on difficult quilts and greater access to such imported fabrics as silk. Elaborate quilts like this one became showpieces and were displayed in parlors rather than used as bedcovers. In quilting competitions at local fairs, Log Cabin quilts earned their own category, testifying to their popularity. Other quilting fads followed, but the Log Cabin pattern remained a favorite into and throughout the 20th century.

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  • Title: Quilt
  • Date Created: 1875-1900
  • Location: USA
  • Type: Hobbies and Crafts
  • Medium: satin, velvet, silk
  • Object ID: 78.4613
  • Credit Line: Gift of Frances B. Barbera