Cigar Band Quilt
Unidentified Quilt Maker
65 x 69 inches
Found in New York State
Around the turn of the century, tobacco companies began suggesting that women could use the silk ribbons wrapping cigars to sew into decorative items. This suggestion significantly increased sales of tobacco products -- because up until then, some women had been discouraging their men-folk from smoking or chewing.
Most often the cigars bands were sewn into pillow size patchwork pieces, stuffed as pillows and used for decoration in a Victorian parlor. A few very ambitious quilt makers went the extra mile, and made larger textiles -- even full size quilts. Wives or daughters of tobacconists had access to many ribbons -- others may have simply asked around, gathering from friends and family.
This example, organized in a design similar to Log Cabin, is in superior condition. It's impressive for its size and for its graphic impact. Cigar band quilts this size are rare, and especially difficult to find in such great condition.