Quilty Pleasures – Log Cabin Quilts Kick it Old Skool


Let’s talk Log Cabin quilts. Log Cabin quilts are almost as popular today as they were they first emerged as a quilt style (sometime during or just after the Civil War in the United States, in the mid-1800s).

Log Cabin, Streak of Lightning Setting
The International Quilt Study Center & Museum’s next new exhibition is Design Dynamics of Log Cabin Quilts, which first appeared in a small gallery on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus, The Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery, in 2004. This expanded and reprised exhibition will open March 7, 2014. It shows traditional Log Cabin quilts in many sizes and formats.
Check out this Log Cabin, Straight Furrows setting, from the Johnathan Holstein Collection. It was made in the late 19th or early 20th century, but its graphic appeal still resonates.

 

Log Cabin, Straight Furrows Setting
One theme in Log Cabin quilt folklore is that the center square of each Log Cabin block should be red, to symbolize the hearth and center of a home. While red was certainly a popular color, it wasn’t the only color quiltmakers used for their center squares. This Log Cabin, Barn Raising setting, from the Jonathan Holstein Collection uses yellow center squares.

 

Log Cabin, Barn Raising Setting
Contemporary quiltmakers have continued to use the Log Cabin block in their quilts. Quilty Pleasures alumni Luke Haynes uses Log Cabin blocks in many of his quilts. The wonky Log Cabin is a popular quilt block among many of today’s modern makers.
I hope you’ll check out all the Log Cabin quilts we have on display in our galleries by looking at the Design Dynamics of Log Cabins online exhibition.

You can also check out our Log Cabin quilts on the Google Art Project, where you can see a contemporary Log Cabin quilt by Yoshiko Jinzenji, a Log Cabin made from fabrics dyed with indigo by Nyx Lyman, a few traditional Log Cabin quilts that aren’t in the Design Dynamics Exhibition, plus Log Cabin quilts of many sorts by contemporary African-American quiltmakers from Alabama.

 


Jennifer Graham

Jennifer Graham

Jennifer Graham is the Exhibitions Assistant and Photographer for the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, which houses the largest publicly owned collection of quilts in the world. Jennifer’s monthly column, Quilty Pleasures, will highlight what’s happening at the museum, and in the world of quilts.