Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Granny’s Log Cabin Quilt, done


I had forgotten how much I love Log Cabin quilts. I have had some fun with them in the past, especially when Denyse Schmidt first got into my head about ten years ago and I made a whole bunch of log cabins, all completely improvised and once, memorably, out of batik fabrics. (That quilt lived on my bed for a long time, and served me well, but let’s just say I have Moved On.) Around that time, I also made one that was—it’s hard to believe this—almost entirely black, with the occasional teeny bright square punctuating the big bleak expanses. Very moderne, no? Eventually, that quilt became the dog’s bed.


I really enjoy this style of working, where you just throw a pile of fabric strips on the worktable and start sewing them together, just cutting off the too-long ends. Cutting away the parts that aren’t the quilt block.


This time, I measured (gasp) the strips to 2 1/2” wide, and the center squares to 3 1/2”. I also made an attempt to alternate a dark round with a light one, but I’ll admit, I didn’t always stick to that.


You can arrange the value contrasts in a log cabin quilt about a hundred different ways, and since I know next to nothing about actual quilting, I don’t know if this piecing arrangement has a name or not. It looks like a bull’s eye to me, so that’s what I kept calling it, and my quilter friends didn’t tell me to shut up, so maybe that’s what it’s called.


I have plumb run out of rustic locations for quilt photo shoots, so this is just pinned to the chicken coop. The hens were clucking around very nervously on the other side, wondering what the heck was happening, and trying to find a way around so they could see what I was up to.

I used all stash fabric, except for the sashing strips—I loved this quilt, and I thought Alicia’s use of that gorgeous tan solid for her sashing was brilliantly inspired. I wouldn’t have ever thought of that, but it was, of course, just right. The color I chose is what Michelle would call “greige.”

I recently remembered something, a tiny little something that has had a proportionally huge influence on me: I saw the phrase “a huge stack of floppy quilts” in a Martha Stewart Living magazine article about Denyse. A huge stack of floppy quilts. I want the kind of life where I have a huge stack of floppy quilts, soft and comforting and beautiful, well-designed or not; quilts that can go in the wash, can be dragged outside to sit on while we watch the fireworks, can be made into forts or tents, cuddled under, wrapped up in. I love that a huge stack is not too many, that it’s okay for me to keep making them as long as I want, to just pile them on the beds, the couches, the backseat of the car. I love quilts.