International Quilt Museum
Tradition Begins in America
Log cabin blocks first showed up in America in 1861. There are a variety of theories about the pattern’s popularity. Political campaigns, including Abraham Lincoln’s in the 1860s, drew attention to log cabins. A Democratic newspaper, the New York Log Cabin, and a campaign songbook, the Log Cabin Songbook, both contributed to the log cabin’s rise as a national symbol. Whatever the reason it first gained attention, log cabin blocks continue to capture quilter’s imaginations.
“It’s often the first block you learn—it’s straight-forward with simple seams,” says Carolyn. “At the same time you can take that block and turn and twist it so many ways to create incredible designs. It’s versatile and dynamic.”
To learn more about the IQSCM’s extensive collection of more than 2,300 quilts and the history behind them, visit quiltstudy.org.
Photo courtesy of International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2005.015.0001.