Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to Build a Log Cabin

Members were treated today to a presentation by one of our own, Donna Burges. Donna researched the log cabin block and shared what she discovered. Did you know the log cabin design has been found on cloths used to wrap mummies in Egypt? Here are some other interesting tidbits Donna shared:
  • The design was first brought to the US by Swedish immigrants. Pioneer women modified the design to suit their supplies, situation and needs. The log cabin was easily hand pieced while riding in a covered wagon. The design allowed women to make use of any available scrap material. Because of this many of the early quilts had several different types and weights of fabric - for this reason the quilts were tied rather than quilted.
    • Though the first documented log cabin quilt was made in 1869, during the Civil War women were asked to make quilts to raffle and raise money to support the troops, the log cabin design was commonly used for these quilts.

    The traditional log cabin block has a red center square, signifying the hearth of the home. Some have a yellow center signifying the light of the home. The logs (the walls of the home) are done in lights and darks, the light logs signify sunshine, the dark logs signify shadows. There are many variations of the log cabin block - the pineapple, courthouse steps, and a chevron (made with an off center block). Members shared some of their log cabin treasures to demonstrate the various settings that are possible with this block - Barn Raising, Fields and Furrows, Sunshine and Shadows, and many more.

    Thanks, Donna for a great presentation. Now get to work, ladies, on building your own log cabin quilt to enter into the next show!