When I began my journey into quilt making, close to 18 years ago, I had a vision of a quilt. It was an easy beginners quilt...nothing like the "Masterpiece" vision. I have yet to create that 18 year old vision. 2009 is the year! As far as pieced quilts go, I have a definite love for the 9-patch and also for star blocks, but my love of the log cabin quilt is by far the greatest! How you can take the same block and make so many different quilt patterns out of them is amazing!!!The variations used are countless....
Depending on who you are talking too, these all have names that, in some cases, have become interchangeable, though others are set in stone! Courthouse Steps, Sunshine and Shadows, Straight Furrows, Barn Raising...You can see a gorgeous variation of the diamond pattern on Niki's blog. It is unmatched!!
There are variations, on variations.....Log Cabin quilts are among the oldest known quilt pattern. In ancient Egypt the pattern was used in paint while decorating the wrapping of mummys. It has been worked in fabric for the last 200+ years, dating back to the mid-1700's in a Scotland Museum. My source is (of course) Barbara Brackman...Quilt Historian of the Universe! In America/Canada, we can date the log cabin quilt back to the 1860's...that being the oldest actual log cabin quilt we have that is signed and dated. I am certain there were others before that.
My personal favorite is called "Barn Raising". It is the vision I had 18 years ago.There are 3 colors that were used in the centers of the blocks in traditional log cabin quilts...red, yellow and black. Red and yellow represent warmth...fire, hearth, and heart of the home. Black centers (it is said) was used to help escaped slaves along the trail of the Underground Railroad.
In my planned and plotted 18 year old vision, I will use red centers. Scraps using only lights and darks (no medium values)....10 inch blocks, using a 10 by 10 layout, with a total of 100 center squares and 1,600 1 inch (finished) strips. A quilt measuring 100 X 100 when complete. It will be hand quilted.
That said, only the cutting of the "logs" will be worked on before the Pink and Brown is out of the hoop. It will be my 2009 quilt. I will continue to work out the Masterpiece during the next year, or two....or three....but in the meantime, an 18 year old vision coming to fruition, is an incredible feeling I am sure!!
What are you planning for 2009? If you are not a quilter, I encourage you to give it a try. The Log Cabin Quilt is a perfect one to start with! It can be machine or hand pieced very easily. Quilting is very satisfying and a true pleasure!