Sunday, January 25, 2009

Log Cabin Quilts - a favorite!

Sometimes when I am really busy and don't have much time to sew... well - that is a good time for me to remember past successes. Enjoy the quilts that I have done. So - here is a little history behind some of my log cabin quilts - which is a favorite pattern of mine!
This is a photo of my very first log cabin quilt, my 2nd quilt. I was 16. My Mom bought this extremely heavy sewing machine at a yard sale for about $20 and signed me up for the class. Poor Dad had to lug that machine into class for me every week. The teacher picked out the fabrics for me. And, this is the quilt I made. A very basic, simple quilt that I worked very hard on. It is bound. And tied. Amazingly - finished! BUT - the big thing is - it was my only quilt class and the lesson learned on how to make a successful quilt block stuck. How to cut. To use a 1/4" seam. How to chain sew. How to trim blocks so they are all the same size. Because really, I didn't know all this stuff back then. Which would explain why on my very 1st quilt, which I made for a 3D art class project - I got a D. That's ok - I loved that 1st quilt every bit as much as some of my newer quilts.
Growing up, this is the quilt that was on my bed. Ah-ha! A log cabin, but with bigger red squares. This quilt was made by either my Nana or Great-Aunt long before I was ever even born. I found it in a trunk somewhere and hauled it out and put it on my bed - which was a 3/4 bed . It is actually just a summer throw - there is no batting in there, but each log is quilted to the background. I've always liked it. And it has been my inspiration for sewing scrappy quilts using traditional patterns.
Eventually, I combined the idea of those bigger center squares and those scrappy fabric logs from my antique quilt with the lessons learned so long ago in that quilt class and started to make log cabin quilts. Lots of them! And actually, I am still making them now - but my point here is that it was the log cabin quilt that got me hooked on quilting. OK - so for a long while, it was really the only block I knew how to make, so I just kept making it. It is my favorite block to sew, very simple and relaxing. Once I was cleaning out my closet and came across an entire pile of blocks - enough to make a quilt, and I had (and still have) no recollection what-so-ever of making them.
Here is a photo of some of my log cabins - I've made more, but gave them away before taking photos. 2 of them had the same layout as my antique quilt. At least 6 of them used some of the same fabrics - 1 yard cuts of fabric used to be my favorite (but also took a long time to use) - now I usually buy just 1/3 yard instead. You learn these things as you go along, I guess.

With the left-overs strings - I make more quilts... here are 3 smaller quilts made from left-over log cabin strings.

I think log cabin variations are fun too! Here is SB's quilt before it was quilted. I bound it in SB's favorite color - orange. I would take a photo, but SB is right this very moment happily sleeping under it. HE has loved it since day one! Maybe this love affair with log cabins is a generational thing? I don't think you can go wrong with a log cabin! Maybe it is time for me to make another... or two or... because I don't think I could ever make just one!


Brenda said...

Great story. Log Cabin was my first attempt at 'quilting' in high school - although it was just to make the blk - no a quilt.... I have since made one for my DD - all I need to do is bind it..... then it's hers forever! Log Cabin hearts. Made out of browns - this daughter likes light brown (beige) so this quilt is hers. Favorite colour beige (and purple!)
My other daughters fav. colour is orange.
I love the log cabins you have shown. Love the hearts.

Fiona said...

Great post - I've only ever made log cabins in a 'crumb chaos' kind of way but it is such a versatile block.

Mary said...

I love log cabin quilts too and have made several over the years including a version of the hearts one in your post for my niece. My last two (including the one I'm working on now) are from my string bins using different width strips.

Christina said...

i love this quilt!