Log cabin patchwork quilt or carriage rug
England, United Kingdom
This log cabin patchwork is believed to have been used as a ‘carriage rug’. Carriage rugs were made from thick, warm materials and were draped over the knees and legs whilst travelling in a carriage to help protect against chills and draughts. The many overlapping strips of fabric used to make log cabin patchwork create a dense layering of fabrics perfect for warm and practical items. This piece is also backed with beige and black checked flannelette, which the original collector describes as a ‘horse blanket’. This would have provided even more warmth and also formed a sturdy backing for an item that was intended to be well used.
The log cabin patchwork is formed of strips of mainly wool fabrics in a variety of finishes including twill, worsted and tweed with a mixture of both plain and patterned designs. The careful balance of colours and the contrast between light and dark toned fabrics is important when creating the desired design in a log cabin patchwork. By rotating the blocks and changing where dark and light fabrics are placed many different patterns can be achieved. This particular arrangement is known as ‘geese in flight’, as the contrasting triangles look like a simplified flock of geese.