Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saturday at the Quilt Museum - Log Cabin Quilts

Log Cabin Collage

The first quilt I ever made was a Log Cabin.  It was in 1982 or '83 and for our first child. 

This is her with her cousin in the first of what we call the "Cousin Couch Pictures," and in the end there are 9 cousins!  The quilt is behind them.

Couch Cousins & Log Cabin

And my most recent finish is also a Log Cabin - Colorado Log Cabin, actually - and I made it for our youngest.  It's a bit bigger than that first one I made!  By the way, that's our oldest helping me hold it.  That's about 32 years after the photo above!

Colorado Log Cabin

And some others for someone who wanted to see. :-)
It's hard to get a true red in pictures.  Some look way too pink.

These are the fabrics I used:

Block Closeup:

On the Frame for Basting (12 hours!)

 At the Fair

I have always been drawn to a log cabin quilt.  There are so many ways to set them and the possibilities are endless.  

So, for the next three weeks, we'll take a look at some of those from the 1800's.

I think the most common setting is Barn Raising, so we'll start there!

* * * * * * *
Log Cabin - Barn Raising
Mrs. Halter
Log Cabin - Barn Raising Mrs. Halter Missouri 1870

Aren't the colors fabulous in this?  I just love what she did.

See more here:

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Log Cabin - Pinwheel
Agnes Robertson Phillips
100" x 114"

Log Cabin - Pinwheel Agnes Robertson Phillips 1875-1900

I love a pinwheel, and I'd never seen a set like this!  What a fun way to use Log Cabin blocks.

See more here:

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Log Cabin - Sunshine & Shadow
Mary Jane McDonald
Nova Scotia, Canada
59" x 67"

Log Cabin - Sunshine & Shadow Mary Jane McDonald Nova Scotia, Canada 1897

I really like the use of lights and darks in this one.  I've never seen a Sunshine and Shadow that looks like this.  The depth is amazing.

This story is part of the documentation on the Quilt Index:

"The quilt was one of two Mary Jane McDonald created for two of her granddaughters. On Mary Jane's death, this quilt was left to her granddaughter Winifred Viola Macdonald, then in her 8th year. Winifred gave the quilt to her daughter Audrey Marion Turton who passed it on to her son Keith Douglas Turton who then donated it to the Royal Alberta Museum in December 2004, approximately 100 years after the quilt was created."

See more here:

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Streak of Lightning

Streak of Lightning 1865

Isn't this one fun?  I particularly like the border and how it echoes the main blocks.  It looks to me to be pieced.

I have no information about it at all.  The picture originated on flickr, and is linked below.

* * * * * * *
Straight Furrows
Morning Star Elkins
1840 - 1860
67" x 80"

Straight Furrows Morning Star Elkins 1840 - 1860

This one has the traditional red centers.  I did the math, and these blocks are less than 3 1/2" square!  That means the strips finish at less than 1/2".  Wow.  Beautiful!

See more here:

* * * * * * *

We'll continue next week with more quilts
using the marvelous Log Cabin block!

Happy Quilting!!

- I am not a quilt historian.  I simply enjoy finding interesting quilts and sharing them with you!
- The quilt images on this post were sourced from The Quilt Index unless otherwise noted, and are linked to their origin whenever possible.


  1. I like Log Cabin quilts. These are amazing!

  2. Love, love, love your most recent log cabin w the stars! What fabrics did you use? They are just perfect!

  3. Oh, my. Well, I used lots and lots of reds and blacks, most from Jo Morton lines. The gold is from a Kansas Troubles line from a few years ago. I went from store to store gathering reds and blacks until I had the variety I wanted. Not a bad job to have to do! Tomorrow I'll upload a closeup of some of the blocks so you can see some of the fabrics. Thanks for your kind comments!

    1. Oh, I'll be so excited to see more pics! My heart actually lept when you said Kansas Troubles :) I've just started collecting some of their golds/cheddars myself! One of my new favorites! My son is retired USMC so this will def be my version of a QOV for him! I'm also starting your BOW too for me and my daughter. Love your blog and fb page! It's become my new home away home :) Thanks for so much inspiration!!

    2. Wow, that's a cool idea to use this pattern for a QOV! Awesome. Here are more pics of it through the process of making it. The colors are not true in many of the pictures. The reds look more like the first and the last picture. Not pink at all. I used a pattern from a book as the base idea, but made some changes in the sizes of the strips, etc. If you want any dimensions, I can get them to you. Thanks for your sweet comments. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog and FB page. :-)

  4. Thank you so much for posting the extra photos! I've been a collector of reds for some time so now to add to my blacks and I'm good to go!! Cannot wait to begin!! I'll send you pics once I get going. Thanks again Debbie! ~ Lisa

    1. You're welcome, Lisa! My pleasure. I look forward to seeing your pictures. ☺ We'd also love to see your blocks for the BOW! If you'd like to send them to us, we'll post them in the BOW gallery on our website.