Quilt of the Month


August 2004

August 2004

Log Cabin - Courthouse Steps variation
Made by Mary Groff
Probably made in Pennsylvania
Dated 1871
85" x 82.5"
IQSC 2003.003.0211
The Jonathan Holstein Collection, including the 1971 Whitney Museum Exhibition Quilts
Design Dynamics of Log Cabin Quilts: Selections from the Jonathan Holstein Collection Exhibition

Nineteenth-century Log Cabin quilts are rarely inscribed with names or dates. This Courthouse Steps variation quilt, however, is embroidered with the date "1871" and the name "Mary Groff." It is believed to have been made in Pennsylvania.

The Minnesota Historical Society, likewise, owns an inscribed Log Cabin quilt embroidered with the initials "L.L.L." for Lucy Lee Lamson, the maker, and "no. 352 Du Quoin, Ill. May, 1865." These two pieces are particularly important because they are among the earliest known date-inscribed American Log Cabin quilts.