May 26, 2021

A Log Cabin Quilt with Mystery

I really fell in love with this "homey" log cabin.  It's such a cozy look - and feel, too, as the fabrics are well-loved and very soft.

Family history says it was made in Virginia for the owner's mother, at or shortly after her birth, so in 1920-22.  The fabrics support that oral history, and it's a lovely collection of fabrics from the 1920s.

The mystery is that the top row of blocks was cut off at some point, and then reattached.  You can see that the straight furrow design reverses at the top row.  The reattaching was done by simply overlapping the two raw edges and stitching several rows of machine stitching with no attempt to neaten up the rough cut.

I decided to leave it all as is, because there's a story there, and because the fabrics are so soft that taking out multiple rows of tiny machine stitches could easily have damaged the fabrics.  Also, I would've needed to deal with the binding, too, i.e. more stitching to take out of the delicate fabrics.

All I did was remove the batting that was "leaking" out and hand stitch along the open edges to hold them flat to the quilt.  I'd originally thought that I'd appliqué a strip onto the back to totally cover the cut and add some strength to the join.  But in the end I liked the effect on the front and repeated it on the back.  There were enough rows of machine stitching, that I felt comfortable with the durability.



Here's a look at the c. 1920 fabrics in the quilt.  The first photo is the repair report with swatches of the fabrics I used.  The fabrics are identified as vintage vs. new.  You can look over the photos and see if you can find the patches.  This can give you a feel for the ways vintage and reproduction fabrics blend in with the original fabrics. 


Did you quiz yourself?  Let me know if you have comments or questions.  Would anyone like an answer sheet?

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