Log Cabin block. I used to dislike this block. Twelve years ago I was going to make a log cabin quilt for my cousin Heather’s new baby boy. It took me 3 hours to make one little log cabin which turn out half an inch smaller than it was suppose to be. There was lots of seam ripping because I’d sewn the wrong color on the wrong side. “No way. The baby will be in college by the time I finish this.” Plan B. I made an Irish chain quilt instead.
Fast forward 10 years from then. Melissa Emery Grech, at In Between Stitches was giving me the opportunity to teach the Start Quilting class. One of the blocks was a log cabin. I cringed from QPTSD (Quilter’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). That first class, I assisted Melissa as she taught the class. When we got to the log cabin block, she taught a method she said she learned from Eleanor Burns. OMG!!! This was so much easier than the tediously torturous way I had made that first block so many years ago. I loved it. No pre-cutting the many small strips and you made multiple blocks at a time “chain piecing”. I love it! I was cured!
We American quilters have long considered this block to be the quintessential American design, though the pattern really dates back to ancient Egypt. But to us, the block represents log cabins on the prairie with red center squares for the hearth, light values on one side for the sunny side of the house and dark values on the opposite side for the shady side of the house. The hey-day of the Log Cabin quilt in this country was in the third and fourth quarters of the 19th Century.
Try out this very American tradition. You can download the instructions for the November Block for the I Love Us Year Long pattern instructions here ILoveUsYearRound.all pages34-35. If you’re local, you can join me next Sunday, November 8 from 1-5pm at In Between Stitches in Livermore. We’ll also start the background blocks for the center House Block as well.
As the weather chills, start a red square fire in the hearth/heart and cozy up in your own little cabin/home and stitch some tradition of your own.