Log Cabin A

In August, Curated Quilts put out a call for submissions for mini quilts with a loose theme of “Log Cabin,” using a very beautiful triadic colour palette. The colours are blush pink, mustard, coral, navy, and gray/beige. These five are amongst my top ten favourite colours. I could not resist the temptation to respond to this prompt, even though I had many other projects on the go.

Curated Quilts is a new ad-free publication founded by Amy Ellis and Christine Hicks, and has just launched its first issue. Each issue centres on a broad theme; the first issue was “Linear” and Issue No. 2 will be “Log Cabin.” For those of you that are unfamiliar with the log cabin, it’s a traditional block that looks like the image below. It’s constructed with strips “spiralling” around a centre square. Often the centre is a contrasting colour and the two diagonal halves are also contrasting.

Luke Haynes is an architect-turned-textile-artist who has made 50 log cabin quilts and has explored this traditional block to death, all the while using repurposed textiles. His work is amazing and mind-boggling; the way he manipulates this very simple log cabin culminates in stunning results. It’s possible to achieve a seeming ‘curve’ with these straight lines, and this was my starting point.

I love letterforms, as you might know from the Wood Type Quilt and my Euclid x Lustig Elements from the last few months. The beautiful curves of a lowercase “a” really drew my attention this time around. The typeface is Baskerville, which is extremely accessible to anyone unlike other fonts. The greyish squares are the originating centre of each log cabin block. They are all loosely log cabins with different widths of strips, the smallest measuring 1/2″. Sometimes the strips are actually large rectangles. I am a “messy” purist — I do allow myself to bend the log cabin rules to a certain point. Log cabin-ish. (Aside: Have you ever read the book Ish by Peter Reynolds? Please read it with your favourite budding artist!)

Fabric:

  • Light pink: Northcott Colorworks #40
  • Mustard yellow: Free Spirit in Spark Gold
  • Orange-pink / coral: Kona Cotton in Nectarine
  • Navy: Kona Cotton in Indigo
  • Textured centre squares: Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen in Indigo
  • Backing: Friedlander by Carolyn Friedlander (not pictured)

The quilting was a bit messy and not completely well executed. The thread cutters on my machine leave ends quite short, so I’m glad that this is a mini, not a real quilt. The threads might unravel if it was a functional quilt. It was also my first time facing a quilt rather than binding it. I used Terry Aske’s tutorial to give this technique a try; I think I like it but I need to give it a few more chances to know for sure! I will finish out on one of these landscape sketches with a facing soon.

I have some more exploring to do with these log cabin curves – paper piecing, different widths of strips, etc. I just have to find some time.

Take a look at all the submissions on the Curated Quilts blog.

2 thoughts on “Log Cabin A

    • andrea says:

      Thanks, Lisa! A friend said that traditional blocks are like “open source” code – existing free information that we can build on.

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