Quilt of the Month

September 2007

September 2007

Log Cabin, Chimney and Cornerstone Setting
Maker unknown
Probably made in Ohio
c. 1880-1900
74" x 69"
IQSC 1997.007.0561
Ardis and Robert James Collection of Antique and Contemporary Quilts
Visual Systems: The Quilter's Eye Exhibition

Log cabin patchwork was most popular in the last quarter of the 19th century. Made by joining "logs" to form a square, a log cabin block is "built" from the center out. In this rendition, the centermost log is red. Most log cabin patterns rely on the interplay between the dark and light logs that visually divide the block in half along the diagonal.

With its studied placement of striped, plaid and calico cottons and solid wool challis, this Chimney and Cornerstone Setting is made stunning by the creativity and planning of its maker. The dark outer logs of each block are placed to form a cross. These crosses draw the eye as the quilt's focal point, giving a three-dimensional effect. A secondary pattern of a square on point is created by the lighter plaid portions of the blocks.

The sheer size of this comforter and the amount of fabric required to make the matching blocks, each made of thirteen pieces is extraordinary. There are two hundred eighty-eight 4.5" blocks that are set in 16 x 18 rows, for an amazing total of 3,744 pieces of fabric. It is bound with a simple narrow black binding, backed with light-brown cotton chintz and tied.