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.
One of the most recognizable American quilt blocks has got to be hands down the log cabin block.
One of my quilts is featured in I Love Log Cabins by Martingale Publishing.
The setting seems fairly common but for me it is really different. I did not use 5,000,000 different fabrics like I usually do. Each “log” is the same fabric as it is built out from the center, rotating from light to dark and back to light. The blocks are then sashed with assorted putty grey fabrics on only 2 sides, making the blocks easy to assemble. This quilt looks just like it could be a modern version of a quilt on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s bed. Little House on the Prairie fan, anyone?
How about this classic log cabin with the added stars?
Quilt made by Kimberly Jolly
Log cabins with red centers represent the hearth (fireplace/warmth) of the home while the light side of the blocks represents the sunny side of the home, dark side represents shady side. to me this version represents a happy cheerful home full of warmth. Isn’t that the fun part of quilting and sharing stories? Each quilt speaks to each of us differently.
And if you think quilting is for “old ladies” then you are in for a treat. Just look at this Log cabin variation, Rockin’ the Rainbow by Jackie White. I have not meet Jackie and I have no idea how old she is but she has got to be a ton of fun just by looking at her quilt. It makes me happy, plus I love the funky pieced binding.
The log cabin quilt is symbolic for the westward movement following the civil war. There are all kinds of stories about the underground railroad and the use of log cabin quilts to send the enemies locations just by the direction of how the quilts were hung along the fence. Truth or Fiction? Who really knows but as a quilt enthusiast, it does my heart good to believe that quilts have had a social and political statement for hundreds of years. If you would like to learn more about the history of Log Cabin quilts, visit Barbara Brackman’s blog.
If you are as hooked as I am on Log Cabins and want to make one of these quilts, visit Martingale for all the details.
One of my previous posts mentioned that I was going to document a few of my quilts and share their stories. so in no particular order……
This is probably one of my best loved quilts, really I should say best USED quilts. It is also one of the first quilts that I had machine quilted in a wonderful all over snoopy loop design. At the time commercial machine quilting was fairly new. Machine quilting and the talented machine quilters have single handedly reinvented the art of quilting. Machine quilting has also helped facilitate making more quilts. Thank you for that!!
The general poop about this quilt is as follows:
The strips are 1″ finished. The layout of these blocks is done in a big barn raising style. The border is a mission valley woven. Traditionally the center of log cabins were red or yellow representing love or warmth in the home. A friend of mine hung this quilt in her den for years. She needed something to cover the wall while decorating for a party and we both thought this quilt was just the thing. Since her home was like my second home the quilt stayed there for years until I pointed out to her that the corner of the quilt still needed the binding sewn down.
Since then this quilt has been on many a family picnic, fort building adventure and now resides as a play mat for my little grandson.
Another tidbit about this quilt is that I used all kinds of fabrics. In the 80’s I was a young mom and a fairly new quilter. There were not very many quilt stores around at this time. I would go to any fabric store and buy fabric by the inch. Can you believe that?
That would be insane now.
I would go and buy a few inches of as many different fabrics as I could possible find. Since the selection was limited this also meant that not everything matched or maybe I was not yet very confident in my color choices or both.
I sent the quilt top to a machine quilter in another state. This was in the early eighties and keep in mind, the quilting resurgence started in 1975. There were not many quilt stores, and there certainly were not many home machine quilters. I found a company that quilted fabric for those big puffy bedspreads.
I convinced them to quilt my patchwork and NO, I did not want 3″ tall batting.
I am sure they thought, oh this poor young thing, she has no hope or sense of color.
Little did they know that I had a plan all along. I wet the entire quilt and threw it in my washing machine along with a little bit of tan rit dye. I thought what the heck, and loved the look of the quilt when I was done. Some how magically the tan dye made all those calicos “go-together.”
You could possibly say this was the beginning of my love of jelly rolls. And I do still love to experiment with bleaching and dyeing fabrics!!
|Magazine on Newstands, Feb 4, 2014|
|“Used with permission from Quilts and More (TM) magazine. Copyright 2014 Meredith Corporation. All Rights reserved.”|
As I sewed the dark browns, blacks, tans, blues and greys on one side and then mixed the soft romantic floral on the other side, I couldn’t help but think of this movie and the power of opposites attracting whether in a chick flick, real life or a patchwork quilt. Throwing in some medium fabrics on both sides for the “Clash Factor” helps make it all interesting.
The Log Cabin block is one of my all time favorites. I made larger blocks for a graphic look. The color and layout options are endless. You can find all the instructions on how to make this quilt in American Patchwork & Quilting, but I have taken those same blocks and given you several layout options below.
|my beautiful scraps
this isn’t a great picture but I had to introduce Bo’s new puppy, Cassie. A black lab with huge feet just like my boys!
I love the idea of mixing two such different lines. How clever of you to have come up with that. It never would have occurred to me. I love the log cabin. I also love the simple 9 patch.
November 3, 2011 6:31 PM