Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Barn Raising Quilt

Yesterday, Lori at Humble Quilts had a post about the annual quilt show held at the Aurora Colony in Oregon's Willamette Valley each fall.   This year's show featured antique log cabin quilts, and Lori's post  photos highlighted some asymmetrical log cabin variations that immediately made me think of another great old log cabin variation I found at an estate sale in Dayton, Oregon several years ago. Dayton is a mere 23 miles by road from the old Aurora Colony, and much less as the crow flies.  So many questions came to mind as I studied the quilts featured in Lori's post:  is it possible that the quilt I found also originated with a member of the Aurora Colony;  was the asymmetrical barn-raising variation  a popular "modern take" on the traditional log cabin design around the turn of the 20th century, etc. My quilt has no label or initials to indicate who might have made it, when, or where. The best clue I have is a relative time period - most of the fabrics appear to date from the 1890-1910 era.
Each corner is different.

 Great old fabrics.

 A wonderful paisley in some of the center squares.

 I love the horseshoe fabric!

The quilt back is a fabulous old "cheater" print, now very thin and worn through in a couple places along the edges.
The batting is thick and appears to be wool, although I haven't tried a burn test to be sure.  The quilt is hand quilted rather sparsely, just enough to hold the layers together.  The wide binding is a woven tape.
The quilt is heavy and warm and obviously made to be used, not a show quilt.  It was well used and now has faded areas and a few tears, especially in the thin backing fabric.  If these old quilts could only tell us their whole story ...


  1. Wouldn't it be fun if these old ones could tell us that story? It is so fun to see the techniques used in older quilts.

  2. What a great old quilt. Love the quirks and oddities! : )

  3. Indeed, if only those old quilts could tell us their stories ...

    I love log cabin quilts, and over the last couple of years, I've seen so many different settings (my personal favorite is the carpenter's star setting) that take that simple block and transform it into a spectacular quilt. I chose an asymmetrical setting for the log cabin quilt I made for my husband last year as well as a spiral setting for my oldest grandson and a "V" setting for my youngest grandson.

  4. Your quilt is fabulous. I love the red and black prints and the blue centers. The asymmetrical design is so "rebellious" and modern in style. It would be nice if these quilts could tell their tales. Maybe back then Quilter's didn't think anyone would care. Well, it is still something I keep trying to convince the Quilter's around me to do, document!

  5. Very interesting and wonderful!

  6. What a wonderful quilt! I love the blue centres. It's funny I was thinking that it looks like the asymmetrical sections have pieces 'missing' (a column on the left for e.g.) and the quilter just made do with what she had, which has actually makes a much more interesting design! Keeping to a limited palette makes it so graphic too, gorgeous! I really love your close-up photos - I rarely get the chance to see antique/vintage quilts up close and personal, thank you!


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