Log cabin explanation……

On Nov. 26th I wrote this:
In a traditional log cabin block there is a red center which in this case is a dark fabric.  That means the first two strips that are added should be light, then 2 darks, 2 lights, etc. until you have the same number of logs on all sizes.  Having made about 30 log cabin quilts over the years and teaching it many times I know that you get the best layouts with the last 2 strips being dark.
Several people mentioned they wanted to know more about that and I felt I needed an example so I had to wait until I had more blocks sewn.   The main design is usually the dark fabrics.  In the layout on the left, I stopped with the last 2 strips being light.  The star is disjointed with 4 floating bow ties and a diamond in the center surrounded with a white border.  The path represented by the column on the left is also not joined at the center so it will be floating diagonals.  On the right, I ended with dark as the last 2 strips and the star is joined together and easier to read as a star.  There are other layouts in which this would be even more pronounced and I know this because when watching the students try different layouts, the ones that ended in 2 light strips had a limited number of layouts that worked.  Personal preference will prevail however so if you don’t agree with me it’s OK.

I made 2 batches of Chex mix and another batch of spritz cookies.  I intended to make the cookies pink or green but had already added the flour when I remember that.

A friend is scanning the negatives of my third and fourth grade teacher and he sent me this one.  I’m sitting down in the front row next to my little brother.  My other brother is standing at the left in the back row and my mother is the third from the left in the back row.  I don’t remember the day this was taken.  There are younger siblings of some of the kids here so it must have been a party open to families of students.  Here is a post where I’m showing the only other photo I have from this one room school.


20 thoughts on “Log cabin explanation……

  1. Great tip on the log cabins! I have noticed the layout difference before, but never took the time to analyse it. Your explanation is perfect. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Mmm that Chex mix looks good. Do you make yours spicy and/or garlicky ? If it is either or both, I can hardly stop eating it.I love that picture. The there are two ladies in the back who look so much like some of our old family photos. They are the first lady on the left and the lady holding the baby. If this picture were put in the box at Mom's house we would swear they are relatives.

  3. What a great explanation of the log cabins blocks. It comes just in time for me as I'm getting fabrics together to make one,Your photos are wonderful. It's always easy to look at old photos no matter whose family they are.

  4. Spritz cookies – boy, do I remember my mom making hundreds of these. We called them cookie press cookies. I remember cutting up candied cherries into tiny pieces and placing one on each cookie – on the bow if it was a wreath and on the top of the tree. After packing them on paper plates and wrapping in plastic wrap we would get into the car and deliver the cookies to my dad's bosses and co-workers. My mom would work so hard on those cookies and she didn't even like to bake! Love the photo.

  5. My first 8 quilts were log cabins as I took a class with Eleanor Burns about 30 years ago in Julian. However, I never knew there was a difference of where one ended a block-thanks for the tip! My husband is delivering 5 doz deviled eggs and small boxes of cookies to our 4 doctors and a dentist today-I am working so he has to do it on his own:)

  6. The cookies look good! Your explanation is good about the light vs dark log cabin. The photograph looks like it might have been taken around/near Thanksgiving and there was a play… I see an Indian or 3, and what maybe a pilgrim (lady) in costume????

  7. ^5 to another one-room-school student – for the first 3 years at least. Mine was the largest class with a total of FOUR, 3 girls and one boy.I remember how I loved hearing the other classes reciting lessons while I did "homework" and waited for my class turn again. When I think back, the teacher really had her hands full preparing for each class that was represented; there were never enough students for all 8 grades every year. AND she had to handle the coal furnace in the room. Seems like we had an outdoor bathroom year round. Thx for the memories.

  8. Log Cabin ~ I agree with you Wanda. For (no doubt) all the reason's you mention my eye was drawn to the one on the right immediately. Fun to see the comparisons. Your baking photo's always make me smile… And your photo looks like it may have been Halloween ? ? You still have your cute face and personality as you no doubt did in your younger days. JJM

  9. Chex Mix is my son's favorite. I made him a full recipe of it last Christmas. I am sorry that I forgot to make it this year but too busy to do it now. Christmas is almost here. Hope I am on the good list and not the naughty one.

  10. I pondered that Nov blog post and tried to wrap my brain around what you were saying. NOW it's perfectly obvious. I'm in love with your photo and can't help wondering about these people. How did their lives turn out? Where did they go? Where are they now? And how about those cute little Hawaiian sisters. What were they doing amongst all those "Indians"? And look at that blanket the boy on the right is wrapped in. What a beautiful textile. This picture has me thinking about my Dad which always makes me happy. Thanks for a great start to my day.

  11. The visual example made it so easy to understand what you meant. Having never actually made a log cabin quilt, although I have a miniature pink and green one that's one of my many UFOs, I hadn't actually thought this through. I'm going to have a look at my pink and green one and see how I ended the blocks. Thank you for yet another fabulously good visual learning experience!

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