Saturday, June 20, 2015

Leaders, Enders and Log Cabins

Using scraps to sew off the end of a "regular" project keeps the thread from tangling and knotting when starting a new seam. Originally I sewed onto a scrap (and threw it away) but eventually realized that a scrap block seam serves the same function AND finishes an extra top before you know it!

In the past I made little nine-patches but about two years ago I returned to log cabin blocks as my leader/ender project. And not just log cabins, but half-inch logs. Crazy.

I haven't paid much attention to them; simply set them in a bin. During a bout of cleaning last week, I pulled them out. What a huge collection - so many that I considered making a bed quilt. Finally decided they worked better for baby quilts. That's helpful; several are needed soon.

Every different corner a block has increases the setting variations that can be made. Part of the reason log cabin is a perennial favorite is that it has four different corners. Here are some of the variations I laid out on the design wall.

These Streak of Lightning variations use some "all light" blocks to create more open space.

Half-inch logs in darks and lights form these blocks.
Streak of Lightning variation, log cabin blocks.

By rotating every other row of the layout above, I created this triangular setting. (Definitely making this one!)

Triangular rows variation, Log Cabin blocks

More Streak of Lightning variations.

Half inch logs in lights and darks create large zig zags across this quilt.
Large asymmetrical streak of lightning log cabin variation.

Half inch logs in lights and darks create large zig zags across this quilt.
Streak of lightning log cabin variation 2.

Multicolored scraps cut into half-inch logs make this quilt.
Chevron log cabin variation.

 Medallion variations:
An inner border of "light only" log cabin blocks surrounds the center star.

Half-inch logs create an Ohio Star in the center of this medallion quilt.
Medallion log cabin with lone star center.

The star is rotated into a Sunshine and Shadows variation.

Half-inch logs in dark and light form a medallion layout.
Medallion log cabin 3.

A bit of zig zag on this outer border differs slightly from the previous one. 

Half-inch logs in dark and light form a medallion layout.
Medallion log cabin 2.

A log cabin heart.

Half-inch logs in dark and light form a heart on this quilt.
Log cabin heart set on a background of "light only" blocks.
There are enough blocks to make five baby quilts.

I finished a Sunshine and Shadows log cabin and a Barn Raising log cabin a while ago. It's time for a different leader/ender.

Another trip to San Francisco, another tour. This time, we walked around Telegraph Hill. These 1937 apartments are decorated with raised plaster called sgraffito (yes, same root word as graffiti) by Alfred Du Pont. An outline of California appears behind the image of Califia, the mythical queen of the island of California in a Spanish novel from 1500. It was so popular that when the first explorers mistook Baja California for an island, they could think of no better name for the land.

Sgraffito on the Malloch Apartments
Sgraffito of Califia on the Malloch Apartments

Lauren Bacall's character lived in one of these apartments in the 1947 film, Dark Passage, with Humphrey Bogart.

Around the corner are these gorgeous Carpenter Gothic homes. The middle is a former grocery store. The lavender one (then painted dark brown) starred in The Streets of San Francisco with Michael Douglas. The lower floors of all the homes were added when the city paved the streets. Can you believe how much paving lowered the street? And it's still so steep, it's scary.

Carpenter Gothic houses near
Union and Montgomery streets, San Francisco.

Of course, loads of blooming plants wherever you turn.

Hydrangeas on the Filbert Stairs.
Enjoy the day, Ann


Mystic Quilter said...

These blocks are simply wonderful!! What an excellent idea to produce these from leaders and enders a - great layouts!!

Ann said...

Thanks, Maureen. Log cabins take a long time to finish so these were probably a good choice. There are loads of setting variations, though, aren't there.

Kaja said...

What a great idea to do your log cabins this way, especially given the insane size of your strips. I like all the variations - so is always so much potential with log cabins.

Ann said...

I think log cabins have the most variations of any block. I think barn raising is my favorite but just wanted to play around with different layouts.The only reason these logs are so small is that they are the last of these fabrics. Sometimes I'm afraid I spend more time with the leftovers than with the cool, new stuff.

Lara B. said...

You came up with so many fun log cabin variations Ann - some I have never seen before too! These will make beautiful quilts. Wow, enough for 5 is quite amazing! Especially considering that those are 1/2 inch strips too.
Loved the little tour... so many interesting facts!

audrey said...

Very interesting to see the different settings! The log cabin remains one of my favorite patterns, especially in a truly scrappy setting!

Ann said...

It's always fun to play with the blocks, isn't it.
My mother and grandmother loved to tour homes and gardens... and took me with them. Now I'm just like them. That's how I know I'm getting old.

Ann said...

Log cabin has so many setting possibilities. It was fun to lay some out.