Friday, October 29, 2010

The Magick of the Log Cabin Quilt Block

Log Cabin is my favorite quilt. It is very versatile. Depending on how the blocks are arranged, it can carry the names Barn Raising, Lightning, Straight Furrow, or Crooked Fence. It is very easy to sew and doesn't require much measuring. It's nearly impossible to screw up. It works as either a scrap quilt with a multitude of fabric, or as geometric art when arranged carefully with color.

Log Cabin is an old quilt pattern. No one knows exactly when or who invented the block, but it is believed to have been created after the Civil War by a pioneer woman. Because it's so easy to make, it became popular quickly. Log Cabin is what I think of when American patchwork is mentioned.

Quilt blocks almost always symbolize something. There are quilt blocks of flowers, birds, and animals, blocks about politics, and blocks about life trials and hardships. But Log Cabin is a special block that represents the love of hearth and home.

When the center square of the block is red it symbolizes the hearth fire or the center of the home. And when the center square is yellow

it's the lantern in the window that will always lead you home.

One of the first quilts I ever made was a Log Cabin. I keep it on my bedroom wall. Mine has red center squares. I made that quilt when I still lived with my parents. It was very important to me to have my own house. I made a list of things I thought would be good to have in a home. Spider webs for magick, hearts for love, roses for romance, my dog for happiness, the sun, the moon, and the stars. I made 49 blocks (7x7) I stitched one thing in each block- animals, trees, my intial, I even stitched around my own hand so that I would always be in my quilt. I worked on my quilt almost non-stop. Surprisingly, it didn't take that long to finish. I had it pieced, bound, and hand quilted in under one week. I was obsessed. But I have a happy home now.

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