Love Letter To the Log Cabin
This Galentine's Day I've teamed up with a lovely group of ladies to bring you love letters to none other than... our favorite traditional quilt blocks. It wouldn't be a Galentine's celebration without a little extra fun, so once you read about my favorite block, the Log Cabin, take our little QUIZ to find out what block is your quilty soul mate! xoxo!
And once you've met your lovely match, hop over HERE to enter to win a beautiful fabric bundle from Cottoneer and a pattern from all the blog hop participants! Happy Galentine's Day!
Without further ado:
Dear Log Cabin,
How I love thee! Your rich history and versatile design are truly intriguing. Your level of symmetry is inspiring and yet your ability to create bold secondary designs is exhilarating. You look lovely in any fabric you choose, from darks to lights, prints to solids, and you are radiant whether you are planned or improvisational. You shine in every aspect and are an inspiration to us all!
We at Smith's General really do love log cabin blocks and their close sister block, the courthouse steps. Log cabins are made using a center square and then building out from the middle in a circular fashion, usually with dark colors on one half and light on the other.
Whereas courthouse steps build out from the middle by adding strips from side to side.
When the log cabin blocks are combined they can make so many unique designs!
A quick history of Log Cabin blocks from Caroline, production & design assistant at Smith's General:
'While log cabin quilts are widely thought of as intrinsic to American design, many have noted the pervasive nature of the geometric pattern throughout history. Ancient egyptian sarcophagus’ were discovered adorned with alternating strips of dark and light linens, evoking the character of the quintessential log cabin block. Others speculate that inspiration for the block was taken from medieval agricultural land plotting and mapping practices. While the earliest dated and signed log cabin quilt records 1869, it is widely accepted that the pattern and method made its way to the American colonies via migration from the British Isles. Log cabin quilts became especially popular in the United States during the Civil War and westward expansion. Worth noting is the symbolism some associated with color choice while constructing the block: red used in the central starting piece was meant to denote the hearth of a home, yellow, light in a window, while log cabin blocks with black centers were supposedly utilized in quilts denoting safe houses along the Underground Railroad. Whatever the origin story, log cabin quilts today are omnipresent and well loved.'
We've thrown together a couple of traditional log cabin blocks for you to enjoy in none other than Valentine's colors - but have played with the colors a bit to make them a little more modern! The first block is a traditional log cabin where the center block is built off of in a circular fashion, however we've used a ombre of dark to light instead of the traditional half dark and half light pattern!
And the second is a courthouse steps block, where strips are added to the center square side to side and for a little added fun we've made the dark and light section striped using 2 tones of each dark and light fabric.
A couple of our published patterns are modern variations on the log cabin block as well! The Intertidal Quilt, is a log cabin that starts with a triangle instead of a square and uses improv color placement for extra movement and fun:
And the Wildflower Farm Quilt is a variation of the courthouse steps block that uses accent units (those little white boxes) and turns the block on point for added whimsy!
The log cabin block is so versatile and we can image highly loved by many quilters today and will continued to be played with for years to come!