Since becoming a certified Quilt in a Day instructor things have gotten very busy with the trip to California with Quilt in a Day, teaching quilt classes, the holidays, family weddings, colds caught at family weddings and a trip to Quiltcon. Quiltcon 2017, in Savannah, was very exciting as I went exploring to learn all about the world of modern quilting. Modern quilters are just as passionate about their craft as traditional quilters, and they love to share their thoughts and ideas with other quilters. I was trying to get a definition for modern quilting and what I came up with was use of lots of solid colors, like Kona Cottons, lots of negative space for beautiful quilting, think Angela Waters, quilts are more utilitarian, taking traditional blocks and incorporating them into modern quilts or blowing the traditional blocks up to a much larger size so there is more negative space for quilting. Here are some photos of the exquisite work that I saw in Savannah. I hope you enjoy!
As we discussed in Part 1 last week, this is a excellent block for beginning quilters to learn how to quilt. It is the pattern that I used when I was first learning to quilt. The most recommended book to make this pattern is “Make a Quilt in a Day- Log Cabin Pattern” by Eleanor Burns. So many people, including me, have used this book to make their first quilt. Thus, Quilt in a Day and Eleanor Burns are endeared to many quilter’s. Eleanor was a school teacher and her patterns are clearly written and easy to follow. The book is pictured in the photo below.
One helpful tool that the book contains is a paste-up sheet, where you lay out all of your fabric samples to see if you have a good mixture of lights and darks. An additional trick that I learned was to photocopy this sheet with the fabrics on it as it will highlight the contrasting tonal values for you. Here is a photo of the paste-up sheet that I did for my first quilt and a photo of it photocopied. To obtain the desired pattern effects, you want a strong contrast between the lights and darks. Remember this was my first quilt and I now see that I could have done a better job of making a stronger contrast between the lights and darks. Today, I would have made the pink center square darker and the two outer light colors lighter. This palette with the floral fabrics created a very country look and today I would most likely shy away from that as well. This quilt pattern is also good for a beginner as you can quilt it yourself by quilting straight stitches in the ditch.
This pattern is very versatile and can result is many different looks, depending on how you rotate the blocks. Let’s take a look at the traditional quilt from last week laid out 8 different ways. Depending on the fabrics you use and the layout, this traditional pattern can take on a modern look. I think that Whirligig and Navajo have a more modern spin to them.
My favorite is “Positive/Negative” as I love how the lights and darks create a a dimensional feel to the pattern. Which one is your favorite?
Next week, we will look at the Wild Geese Block which can create some fun modern patterns.
Today we are going to look at the log cabin block. This is the quintessential beginner quilt block because it is so easy. All you have to do is sew strips together and cut various sized units. Those units keep getting sewn to another strip and then cut again. Here is what the block traditionally looks like.
You will note that there is a red center with light fabrics on the left side and dark fabrics on the right side. The red center is thought to be the fireplace of the cabin, and the light side is the sun shining on the cabin, or goodness, and the dark side is thought to be shadows on the house, or sadness. Sometimes this quilt is called Sunshine and Shadows depending on how the blocks are arranged. The next photo shows how this quilt is traditionally laid out.
Happy 4th of July America. This is a patriotic home in Whitefish Bay Wisconsin.
Blue Bear is taking some time off to celebrate with his family. He has been working on several new patterns to be released soon. A couple are patriotic and use fabrics designed for Quilts of Valor. Another is a bed runner that he is designing.