Friday, March 16, 2007

ANTIQUE LOG CABIN QUILT TOP

I have this antique quilt top that I just love. I think it is interesting that each block is so unique. A half-square triangle is placed in the center of each Log Cabin block. According to some of the blocks, it really didn't matter if the HSTs were all the same size or not. The maker just added logs to bring the block to the right size. Also of note is that the logs are not all the same width. Another display of frugality, I imagine. My favorite, however, is the pieced strips. This is especially noticable in the black check. Oh, and look at the strips in photo #2 where the logs were pieced to make them long enough.



This quilt is so fragile. I wish it was quilted, but it's a little late for that! Can you see the strip that has decayed down to the threads? I am no quilt historian, and I can't remember which color was famous for doing that. Was it purple? Does anyone want to hazard a guess as to when this top was constructed?

8 comments:

Elaine Adair said...

That's pretty cool! And really when you think of it, it DOES serve the purpose (even unfinished) of making good use of scarce fabric.

YankeeQuilter said...

I love when they strip pieces together together to make a "piece" in a block. The maroons, blues, and shirtings have me thinking circa 1880 but that pink on the right side of the photo has me concerned that it may be 20 to 30 years later. Circa 1900 may be safer. I have one in poor condition that also used the half-square in the center...that is on my list of future quilts!

Carol said...

What a treasure...wouldn't you just love to know what the maker was thinking when she did this? I love it!

Conni Lu said...

I'm no help with dating the quilt top but from your description it must be quite old. Thanks for the description pointing out all the things the quilter did to get it pieced. Makes a very interesting story. If you ever decide to quilt it please tell about it on the blog.

Sweet P said...

The top is great. I have no clue how to date a quilt. But I'd be interested in knowing if you ever find out how old it is.

Libby said...

Quilt dating is far beyond my little pea brain. I bet that top really has a story - it's so fortunate to be with someone who will give it good care.

Patti said...

I am picking up a lot about quilt dating in my classes with Eileen Trestain (I think you read about them on my blog.) She says you must look for the newest fabric in the quilt in order to date it because so many quilts were made from scrap bags that had aged like good sourdough through several generations. I agree with Yankee Quilter - a lot of this fabric is 1880's or so, but the give away piece in my mind is the light purple gingham I see on the right of the middle picture. This places the quilt much later I think. Eileen's fabric dating book places fabric like that in the 1910-1935 era. It's a wonderful quilt no matter what. And I'm guessing it's a black that is down to the threads. That indicates a heavy metal treatment which was typical of silks and taffetas and other fabrics. And black dyes were very caustic at this time. Purple wouldn't disintegrate like this - it turns brown.

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

It's a lovely quilt - I love the way the maker 'made do'. I was reading in a Barbara Brackman book that the Madder colours were made with iron mordant which interacted with oxygen in the air, which rusted the fabric. Apparently the darker the brown the more iron was in the mordant, and the more likely the fabric was to rot. So interesting all the history of fabric and quilts you have in the States. I'd love to see an antique quilt.