Log Cabin dated May 15th 1881
by Catherine Bush Gwin (?-1914) Iowa.
Collection of the Eastern Washington State Historical Society
Yesterday's post looked at regional styles in quilts dated 1881.
Other new ideas were popular all around the country
Log Cabins in silk and calico dated back about
15 years and became increasingly popular in the 1880s.
The date is on a piece of needlework so the quilt
might be later.
August 15, 1881
A related innovation was the pineapple or Maltese cross variation.
It says "Frances C.W. Rauch from Ma Matoon," 1881.
A silk crib quilt for C.L.S. dated 1881, perhaps
to take the baby to church.
Silk was an expensive fabric, often imported, but in the 1880s American mills began weaving silk cloth, which reduced the price and increased the availability. Ready-made silk clothing factories also
proliferated and marketed scraps from the cutting tables in clever ways. We see the explosion of silk quilts made from these scraps after 1884 or so.
In 1881 Knight's Dry Goods sold imported silk yardage
for $1 to $2 in Montpelier, Vermont.
People made silk quilts in 1881 but they remained a rather luxurious hobby for a few more years.