1980’s log cabin

Back in January, Carrie Nelson and I were on a road trip and stopped by to see Kimberly at The Fat Quarter Shop. Kimberly decided to start a series of Q& A with Kimberly videos and we were the guinea pigs. We had a great time visiting and answering questions from online viewers. I mentioned the log cabin quilt that I made back in the 80’s. I have had several people ask me to show the quilt so I dug it out of the playpen from my grandson’s house.

I also wanted to share this quilt in anticipation of Oh Scrap hitting the store shelves this month. While my book is based on scrap quilts, it is really about color confidence and looking at pattern in completely different ways. The majority of my scraps are bits and pieces of Moda precuts or combinations of fabrics from several different designers. I have realized that in 35 years of quilt making I still love color and pattern…… man oh man, have the fabric choices changed for the better!

If only I would have known then that I was destined to work with Jelly Rolls as I was going to the fabric stores buying fabric by the inch. YES by the inch. I would buy 3 inches and I could get two 1 1/2″ strips if I cut carefully and the store clerk cut generously.

A quick google search brought up 1970 and 1980 calico prints. Both of these two prints are used in the log cabin quilt.

I used anything and everything. This was definitely everything including the kitchen sink type of quilt with a solid red in the middle signifying heart in the home. This quilt was really a hot mess! I didn’t know any better and still enjoy the process.There were bright blues, red and purple calicoes,  gold and brown ditzy little prints on one side of the block and whites and cremes on the other. The whites stood out like a sore thumb so I washed the entire quilt in tan dye. Overdying the quilt was just what it needed. It gave the entire quilt the same patina, calmed down the brights and dulled the whites.

I wouldn’t recommend doing this but at the time I didn’t know any better and it worked for me. A flannel green plaid is the back and binding. It has hung on the wall of my best friends house for many years. We hung it up to decorate for a party and that wall was it’s home for years. Now the quilt  lives at my grandsons house and is well used for playmats, fort building and picnics.

There is a phrase now that I am totally embracing, Wabi- Sabi.   There are several variations for the meaning of Wabi-Sabi but I choose this one from Wiki-pedia.

From an engineering or design point of view, wabi may be interpreted as the imperfect quality of any object, due to inevitable limitations in design and construction/manufacture especially with respect to unpredictable or changing usage conditions; then sabi could be interpreted as the aspect of imperfect reliability, or limited mortality of any object, hence the phonological and etymological connection with the Japanese word sabi, to rust.

I was limited in fabric choices and I washed it in tan dye, but a better description is simply imperfect.


Disclaimer: do not go into any fabric store and ask to buy fabric by the inch.

Here is a link to the video we did with Kimberly. Remember we were the guinea pigs, so don’t be distracted by the box around our faces.


Check back to see all the Oh Scrap events happening in March and April.

Get Scrappy,



  1. Linda R says:

    Love, love, love this new scrap book. I need to have this.
    Also, so happy to read that you are feeling good. What an ordeal to go through.

  2. Linda R says:

    Love, love, love this new scrap book. I need to have this.
    Also, so happy to read that you are feeling good. What an ordeal to go through.

    Oh, I love fat quarters

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