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Mrs Phillips Log Cabin (1885)

Ref: 1995-1

1995-1 Mrs Phillips log cabin
1995-1 Mrs Phillips log cabin
1995-1 Mrs Phillips log cabin

This unfinished log cabin top, made in about 1885, was the first piece in the Quilt Association collection. It came from the small town of Ystradgynlais on the south west tip of Powys not far from the Swansea valleys.

It was made by Mrs Phillips’ grandmother. She had eight children, a smallholding with two cows and a large garden. She also fostered two children. Mrs Phillips’ mother was the oldest child, and did much sewing. Mrs Phillips remembers her grandmother making various ointments and liniments for “one and all”. “There was always a kind atmosphere in the house.”

The unfinished piece is in two sections and features the Sunshine and Shadow log cabin design. It is machine pieced, with a twill sheet used as the foundation fabric.

Log Cabin Cushion

Ref: 2007-7

2007-7 log cabin cushion
2007-7 log cabin cushion

This beautiful log cabin patchwork cushion came from the Aberaeron district of Ceredigion in West Wales. The 16 blocks of Sunshine and Shadow pattern have been pieced by hand with very narrow strips of velvets and silks. Some of the silks have degraded. The backing is a twill weave cotton in a tan colour, machined around 3 sides, with the other side closed with over-sewn black thread.

The cushion measures 455 x 440mm, and is probably filled with feathers.

Mr Hill's Log Cabin (c1870s)

Ref: 2002-16

2002-16 mr hill's log cabin
2002-16 mr hill's log cabin

This traditional log cabin quilt was owned by a well-known portrait painter – Mr Hill of Harrow. It was made in the late 19th century, and donated to The Quilt Association in 2002.

The quilt measures 2275 x 2050mm, and is a log cabin patchwork made with plain weave printed cotton fabrics of various weights. Some of the fabrics are from the early 19th century, whilst others are later. The red squares in the middle of the blocks are of twill weave cotton. It has been hand quilted in a white cotton thread.

In 2004 the quilt featured in “Celebrating Ten,” The Quilt Association’s 10th anniversary summer show.

Log Cabin Coverlet

Ref: 2009-4-B

2009-4-B log cabin coverlet
2009-4-B log cabin coverlet

This log cabin patchwork in the Sunshine and Shadow design was made in the small village of Llanarth, West Wales, in the 19th century. Table coverlets like this were popular in the Victorian era in the late nineteenth century. Scraps of cherished fabrics such as silks and velvets were perfect for using in log cabin and crazy patchwork pieces.

It is not known exactly who made the patchwork, but the donor believed it could have been one of the Davies family, who lived in Llanarth. David Davies (1826 – 1903) was the registrar of births and deaths in Llanarth, and lived there with his wife Grace (1828 – 1901).

The log cabin is constructed of various fabrics, including silks, satins, velvets, wool in a variety of colours. The patchwork is tied to the backing fabric. Around the edge is a cotton sateen frill in deep pink faded to rusty orange. This has been machine stitched to the log cabin patchwork, perhaps at a later date. The reverse fabric is a pink cotton sateen.

The coverlet is in good condition, especially considering its probable age. Some of the silks have degraded and  repair work has been done to hold the silk in place with a running stitch.

Log Cabin Fields & Furrows (c1860)

Ref: 2010-3-A

2010-3-A log cabin fields and furrows
2010-3-A log cabin fields and furrows

This large log cabin quilt in Fields and Furrows style was bought by the donor in the early 1990s at Dolgellau cattle market in North Wales for about £52.00. She took it to the quilt documentation day organised by The Quilters’ Guild as part of the British Heritage Quilt project at Shrewsbury in the mid 1990s. This is where the quilt was dated at c1860.

The log cabin patchwork incorporates velvets, silks, cottons, and brocades in various colours. The brown cotton backing has been quilted in a trellis style onto an internal layer of carded wool in dark brown. The blocks have been hand stitched and pieced to create diagonal lines of darks and lights which are said to look like the rows in a freshly ploughed field. The quilt has a border of brown velvet with black squares in the corners, and has been turned to the back and sewn with a herringbone stitch.

Some of the silks have degraded over time, and on many of the velvets the pile has rubbed away, but the quilt is still an impressive example of a style popular in the late 19th century to this day.

Log Cabin Panel

Ref: 1999-1

1999-1 log cabin panel detail
1999-1 log cabin panel detail

Donated in 1999, this panel of 20 log cabin blocks is made using the folded log cabin technique .  The fabrics are silks, ribbons and brocades and the centres of each block are machine quilted fabrics.  The backing fabric is white twill sheeting and the panel was probably originally part of a larger piece.  1465 x 290mm.

Log Cabin Windows Quilt

Ref: 2003-1

2003-1 Katherine Guerrier's quilt detail
2003-1 Katherine Guerrier's quilt

This is a contemporary quilt made using the folded log cabin technique and was made by Katharine Guerrier.  It was made in 1988 and in the same year it won first prize in the ‘piecing’ section at the first Quilts UK exhibition at Malvern.  It was donated to us by Katharine Guerrier in 2003.  It is made from scraps of Liberty Tana Lawn, a fine lawn cotton fabric, in various colours but mostly reds and blues. 


The folded log cabin blocks are built onto foundation squares of calico, beginning in the centre with miniature nine-patch blocks.  The blocks are laid down edge to edge and stuck down with bondadweb, then satin stitched to conceal the edges.  The folded strips are then built outwards in the log cabin design. The calico backing to the blocks forms the quilts middle layer – there is no other wadding.  It has a reverse of airforce blue cotton and has been quilted by machine in the ditch along the edge of each block.   The quilt appears in Katharine’s book How to Design and Make Your Own Quilts, which was published in 1991.

1520 x 1520mm.

Log Cabin Quilt

Ref: 2003-10

2003-10 log cabin quilt
2003-10 log cabin quilt detail

This quilt was made, in the late 1930s or early 1940s,  by a lady called Lily from East Yorkshire. She was in service in Ilkley when she met Jack, a bicycle mechanic from the Kendal area.  They married and had two daughters but then Jack went off to war so Lily had to go back into service, leaving her children to be looked after by family.  After the war, the family moved to Middlesex, where Lily died in the 1950s. 


We assume that Jack survived the war although we’re not certain.  The quilt was donated by Lily’s granddaughters.  The top is a log cabin patchwork made of cotton fabrics which are a mixture of floral, striped, spotted, checked and gingham fabrics in a variety of colours.  The blocks have each been hand pieced onto gingham fabric but joined together by machine.    The wadding is a flannelette sheet edged with blanket stitch and the reverse is a cotton floral fabric.  

1370 x 1645mm.

Log Cabin Hanging

Ref: 2004-1-A

2004-1-A log cabin hanging
2004-1-A log cabin hanging detail

This is a log cabin wall hanging of unknown date, in a variety of fabrics including velvets and satins in reds, blues, browns and beige.  It was donated as part of a collection of small textile pieces in 2004.

1343 x 568mm.

Silk and Brocade Log Cabin Quilt

Ref: 2021-05


The donor of this quilt purchased it from the collector Ron Simpson in the 1980s.  It is believed to Welsh, made between 1870 and 1900.  The top is a log cabin, multi coloured patchwork  The reverse is made from three pieces of printed twill.  There is no wadding, and the reverse has been turned to the front and stitched in place to form a binding.  The top and reverse are joined together in places by black stitches which have been tied.  1895mm x 1889mm.

Tegwyn’s Quilt

Ref: 2021-8


A quilt made from a variety of cotton fabrics in red, white and blue. The top features a square central medallion made up of nine log cabin blocks each having a small blue square at the centre and red and white strips forming the surrounding triangles. From each corner of the central square is a row of 3 log cabin blocks which radiate towards each corner of the quilt. These are separated by alternating strips of red and white fabric. 


If you look closely you can spot a design flaw as one of the rows of log cabin blocks is facing a different way to the others! The blocks and strips have been pieced together by machine in a white thread. There is no wadding and the reverse is made of white cotton twill. Both layers have been quilted together along the strips in a trellis pattern.  There is no quilting on the log cabin blocks except within each small blue square.   2210mm x 1830mm.

Landing Chest Coverlet

Ref: 2022-6-B


Made by Jane Hughes (nee Bate) in around 1865, this quilt was donated by her great, great niece.  Jane was apprenticed to a court dressmaker before setting up as a quilter in Wolverhampton before her marriage in 1861. 


Beautifully made from bias cut silky fabrics, the top consists of sixteen folded log cabin blocks with a light and dark pattern forming a central square.  This is surrounded by a border of deep green velvet.  A frill of green silk or rayon has been added.  1787mm x 1800mm.

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The Minerva Arts Centre, please get in touch with us here

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