Log Cabin/Pig Pen Variation
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
Log Cabin (Pig Pen Variation)/Checkerboard, ca. 1950-1960
Catherine Sommerville (American, 1870–active ca. 1960)
Aliceville, Pickens County
Cotton, cotton/polyester blend, and polyester
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase
In the mid-twentieth century, Catherine Sommerville, from Aliceville in Pickens County, Alabama, utilized worn blue jean cloth to create a quilt composed of various geometric forms. On one side she used a pattern known as Log Cabin (also called a Pig Pen Variation) and on the other a checkerboard pattern. The various types of jeans fabric is faded from frequent wearing and washing, and evokes the lives of the people who wore the clothing—it speaks to hard work, and the need to conserve and reuse valuable resources.
This is a double-sided quilt, a rare and valuable oddity in the quilt world. It is also unusual in that both sides are made from scraps of men’s britches. The Robert and Helen Cargo Collection at the International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, includes five other Catherine Somerville quilts.
Back to quilt pair.