Log Cabin and friends
First appearing in the 1860’s, this block pattern is named for the Log Cabin that President Lincoln was born in. It is made by working from a center outwards in rounds. The center is traditionally red, although some historic examples are known with yellow or black in the center. This is supposed to represent the warm light from the hearth and there are underground railroad myths about what each color in the center stands for, but we need to remember that the underground railroad quilt stories are almost all fictional and if true, they are very regional. Log cabins can be made with so much variety and still be recognizable as a log cabin block that you could almost consider Log cabin a form of construction rather than a distinct block. However since it is usually used as a block in multiples we will refer to it as a block unless stated otherwise.
Many vintage or antique log cabin quilts are scrappy but they can be made in more coordinated, and often shaded for value, colors. ( see the Pineapple version below ) The size of the center square can be varied, as can the width of the logs, and in contemporary quilts, the center can be a triangle, hexagon, or rectangle, making the blocks that shape as well. The classic square arrangement is with two adjacent sides in dark, and the other two sides in light colors, forming a diagonal division of the block into dark and light. This allows for an almost unlimited number of ways of arranging the blocks to make patterns across the whole quilt. Our four-block cushion cover uses this form. Scroll down for details.
Another very common version of log cabin style construction is known as Pineapple. After each square round, a diagonal strip is added to each of the four corners, creating a completely different look. This method is often done on a foundation, and ours is no different. You can do this by hand or machine, or a combination, scroll down for details.
This Pineapple has four blocks and very carefully coordinated colors with no batting. We have it hanging in a window so the light comes through it and lets it glow. We would be happy to help you choose fabrics if you also desire this effect.
Our third showcase workshop is a baby quilt or play mat called ” Growth Rings ” and it is a large single block of log cabin in yet another arrangement. Babies love the contrasting rings of color — add a fun fabric that matches the nursery on the back and you have an instant hit with new Mom too. Older siblings like to play as if it was a street map with toy cars or animals. This is a wonderful project if you are looking to improve your cutting skills and consistency of seam allowance. It also makes a nice medallion center for a larger modern style bed quilt.
As with all our showcase workshops, in addition to the group sessions listed below you can schedule it by appointment as a private lesson. During the showcase period the price for privately scheduled sessions is the same as the group rate. ( other times it is $25.00 per hour )
Log Cabin Cushion cover or table mat
20 inch square cushion or table mat, January 19 & 26 ( Fridays ) 10:30-1:30, or April 17 & 24 ( Tuesdays ) or schedule Two 3 hour sessions $50.00
Materials: Sewing machine in good working order, loaded with thread and bobbin in neutral or coordinating color. Rotary cutting setup, pins, fabric, assorted darks and lights cut to 1 1/2″ strips. ( The Shoppe will share ours, up to enough for 4 blocks if you want them ) 5/8 yard backing, four strips WOF x 2 1/2 for binding. One red Charm square ( 5″ ) for centers.
Pineapple Block Workshop February 23, or April 19, 10:30-1:30 or schedule for 3 hours, $30.00
12 inch block on a fabric foundation, by hand or machine. Bring basic sewing tools for either hand or machine sewing. Use a neutral colored thread or to match fabrics. Be sure to have some pins, and a permanent fabric marker and ruler at least 18 inches long. You will also need a square of muslin 14 inches for the foundation. You will need a few chunks of fabric in darks and lights for the centers, and a small rotary cutting setup for that. Fabric scissors are also needed for this workshop. Bring strips of fabric cut to 1 1/2 inch wide, in darks and lights of all lengths from 4 inches. ( The Shoppe will have many on hand and if desired you may have enough of ours to make a scrappy block from our collection of strips )
Growth Rings Baby Quilt or Playmat
February 7 or March 22, 1 pm – 4 , or schedule for 3 hours, $30.00
40 inch square, Bring rotary cutting setup with 24 inch ruler. one yard each of a dark and a light fabric, sewing machine in good working order, with bobbins and thread in coordinating colors of your fabric. Pins, pencil for taking notes. You will need 1 1/4 yard of backing and batting, and four strips at WOF x 2 1/2 inches for binding.