Quilt, Log Cabin Top
1875-1900, with some earlier textiles
Origin: United States, Missouri or Illinois
Gift of Jean and Jerry Jackson and Bob and Helen Jackson Brewster
Acc. No. 2012.609.1
Rectangular unfinished quilt top constructed primarily of silks in the Log Cabin technique. On hundred and ten small squares, each centered with red or pink, are assembled to create a visual pattern of larger diamonds in creams, blues, and reds, alternating with blacks. Some of the decorative textiles are woven or printed in florals and plaids. The foundation textiles consist of small-scale printed and plain cottons. The basting threads remain in place in areas, and the edges are raw.
Label:This quilt descended in the African-American family of Helen McWorter Simpson (d. 1993 in Cleveland, Ohio). Curators speculate that the quilt was made by Mrs. Simpson's maternal grandmother, Anna "Jane" Parker, born about 1841 in North Carolina. By the 1860s, Mrs. Parker was the wife of Charles E. Parker of St. Louis. Mrs. Simpson wrote in her family genealogy, "Makers of History," that her grandmother Parker "sewed beautifully" and worked as a seamstress in St. Louis. She apparently had the sewing skills and access to dress silks such as those in the surviving quilt.
Provenance:Descended in the family to Helen McWorter Simpson, who sold the quilt to the donors, Jean and Jerry Jackson.