I’ve become obsessed with log cabin patterns.
Or rather, maybe it’s the lack of a pattern that appeals? Once you learn how to sew this basic, traditional block, you can get started on any size and any setting that you want for your blocks and your whole quilt. In other words, you really don’t need to follow a fancy pattern. I read that log cabins are among the most famous “patternless pattern”–and perhaps that why they often feature in “folk art” quilts, like those made in and inspired by Gee’s Bend quilters.
Just start making blocks and roll with it. The look is completely determined by fabric choice and the way you arrange your log cabin squares.
So far, I’ve made three log cabin quilts: one with batiks (of course!) in a “barn raising” pattern (a central diamond element in darks and then outlining concentric diamonds), one with 1930s “feedsack” fabrics, and one with a mix of modern and reproduction Civil War-era fabrics (both the second and third in a “fields and furrows” setting – diagonal lines of light and dark).
The first is residing in my living room, the second is destined to decorate my children’s bedroom wall very soon, and the third has been sent to a dear friend who lives in Greece, Marion.
Marion has inspired me to take my crafting to new levels. She’s a terrific knitter and she makes lovely beaded necklaces, among many other things (she mentioned making a pinata… pretty ambitious). When we spoke on the phone recently, she explained why she loved knitting, quilting, and all crafts: “In a world of mass produced objects, handmade things give your space another quality,” she said, adding, “They help me live more peacefully.”