Quilt of the Month


March 2009

March 2009

Spider Web
Maker unknown
Probably made in Union County, Ohio
Dated 1936
78 x 70 inches
IQSC 2006.043.0016
Yikes Stripes Exhibition

Strip construction techniques like the one used in this Spider Web quilt were popular with American quiltmakers during the second half of the 19th century. Log Cabin quilts in every possible variation proliferated. Perhaps surprisingly, this quilt is a Log Cabin variation itself. Starting with the Pineapple variation of a Log Cabin block, the maker of this Spider Web quilt continued adding strips until the octagon reached nearly 80 inches across. The quilt was then cut to form a rectangle and borders and binding were added.

Though Log Cabin style quilts were at the height of popularity during the second half of the 19th century, this quilt was made much closer to the middle of the 20th, in 1936. None of the typical, "pretty" 1930s design elements such as pastel colors and floral motifs are present. Instead, the maker used darker, heavily saturated colors reminiscent of the earlier Victorian era. However, the quilt does not have a somber look. Rather its unconventional appearance has an exuberant quality that would have made a lively, heartening addition to the home of its Depression-era owner.