A century ago, cigar companies tied a bright colored silk ribbon around a bundle cigars. Women stitched them together with black or colored embroidery floss stitches onto a fabric foundation block. They were not cut or curved, but placed side by side. Cigar company ribbons had fancy logos and used attractive fonts in black ink on yellow or orange ribbons. The various advertising on the ribbons added decoration to the quilt block. Green, pink and purple ribbons were occasionally used in the block designs, signifying a rare cigar.
Just as with many string and selvedge edge quilt blocks, women took the cigar ribbons and arranged them to form designs. The blocks were usually square, with strips laid in log cabin designs, on the diagonal, or in quartered designs. The color would add another dimension as the secondary pattern that formed when the blocks were sewn together.