Most quilters are familiar with the traditional log cabin block – it is the most recognized block and its origins are often associated with the American Pioneers. However similar designs have been found on ancient mummies and in English quilts predating 1830.
Strips of fabric were hand pieced around a central square, usually with one half dark strips and one half light.
A red centre symbolized the hearth of the home; yellow, a welcoming light in the window; and a black centre in a quilt hanging on a clothesline is believed to have meant a stop for the Underground Railroad.
How has this block become “Modern”?
see my next post: Modern Log Cabins – the process.
Being part Irish, I am attracted to Celtic knots so it was no surprise that I signed up for a class recently in No Mark Celtic Interlaces with Linda J. Hahn. Check her patterns out at http://www.froghollowdesigns.com.
I learned a wonderful new FAST AND EASY way to machine applique them to a quilt – the last one I did by hand took a year and a half. Do not like doing the handwork…
Linda had put these together in a 4 patch setting but I was short on one of the fabrics I wanted to use as a border, so I decided to make 2 pieces with different borders.
About 2 weeks ago I was at the Vermont Quilt Festival. I usually take classes in things that I like but also in techniques that don’t appeal to me (which most people don’t understand). I like a challenge LOL and sometimes I wind up making beautiful discoveries.
So the class that did not interest me was Landscape Using Woven Fabric with Nancy DiDonato. I like making landscape quilts but the woven fabric backgrounds? Not so sure….
It was a very small class and we learned a lot. Aside from the technique she taught us, which I loved, she also shared some of her art. What I really liked about her was that she used very innovative ideas in the creation of her quilts. Thrift shop finds or bark from the forest – she uses what she feels will work for the concept she has in mind. The “Only 100% Quilting Cotton Fabric Police” would not understand…
I’m following a blog called Christa Quilts – and she’s doing a quilt-along right now – so in an effort to use up some of my fabric, I joined it. (BTW according to my poll, I am a perfectly normal quilter, not a hoarder – so there!)
Here’s what I had to do this morning: take 40 pieces of fabric, cut them in half and match them up in pairs. So for the mathematically challenged, that’s matching up 80 pieces of fabric.
I placed half of them on my ironing board and table and tried to do it randomly: my fingers kept putting pairs together… and my brain kept saying “oh no, that doesn’t go”, forcing my fingers to move them around until they matched.
Then I sewed the strips together, pressed them & cut them into blocks and finally lay them out in neat orderly piles of coloured blocks – much happier camper now!
strips matched up and ready to be sewn
nice orderly piles of coloured blocks
And according to one poll I did recently, 86% of my readers prefer to work in a logical orderly fashion, so I am not alone 🙂
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got about quilting was that you should have a glass of wine before attempting Free Motion Quilting. It helps to relax your shoulders and make the process more enjoyable. (Doesn’t wine do that for everything??)
Today I was working on a project, and realized my shoulders were up around my ears. Uh oh. I instantly realized the problem: I had forgotten the wine. And I was almost finished the Free Motion Quilting…but…