The 35th annual Quilt Show is now open, and features beautiful displays of skill and color, with a focus on the pattern “Log Cabin.”
The Log Cabin quilt pattern has a rich history in America, and it is thought that its name may be connected to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, who famously grew up in a log cabin. In this way, these quilts were made to show support for the Union, with some anecdotal evidence, based on oral folklore, suggesting that Log Cabin quilts with a black center were hung on clotheslines to signal a stop for the Underground Railroad. However, the pattern itself is much older than the 19th century, and can trace its roots even before the pioneers began venturing westward, though the design is often associated with the pioneer movement. In fact, in Great Britain, a square perfume bag has the Log Cabin design worked in lattice silks, and a box made for sewing tools, located at the National Museum of Scotland, was embroidered on four sides with classic Log Cabins and a row of Courthouse Steps Log Cabins. Both items were around the mid-1700s.
There are also several theories that the design can trace its origin even further, with some even stating that it got its start in ancient Egypt. In the early part of the 19th Century, thousands of small mummified animals were found in a tomb, placed there as funerary artifacts for the departed royalty. With some being housed in the British Museum, many observers have pointed out the Log Cabin pattern in the way the strips of linen were wound around the animals.
The design typically consists of light and dark fabric strips that represent the walls of a log cabin, with a center patch, often made of red cloth, representing the hearth/ fire/ chimney.
In addition to featured pattern, many others were submitted, as well, with some including “Nine Patch” and “Prince’s Feather.”