This is the second in a series of quilts I’ve done for my cousin Rosemary. As I mentioned in a previous post, her daughter recently passed away at only 38 from breast cancer – I have been working on some memory quilts for both my cousin, and the husband and young son – see previous post here https://bluebeaglequiltsblog.com/2019/01/21/a-beautiful-woman-a-beautiful-memory-quilt/
Rather than mail the finished quilt to Rosemary, we met at my parent’s house – a small family reunion of sorts. I have another cousin living in the same town, so we all got together, went to dinner, even had a few drinks – reminisced a little and retold many a family legend. I can’t remember the last time we three cousins were together – it was good to see them. I guess that’s part of the wonder of a memory quilt – bringing people together and sharing stories.
I chose a log cabin block for this one, because I could foundation piece it – which is ideal for clothing fabric of different types and weights. As with the first quilt, I used muslin for the foundation. You can see in the photo below the boundries of one block. According to the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) log cabin blocks gained wide-spread popularity in the U.S. in the 1860s, although there are examples of a similar design on Egyptian mummies. Traditionally, log cabin blocks are made using light fabrics on one side, and dark fabrics on the other – as mine are here, which lends itself to a myriad of arrangements and layouts. This one with the diagonal rows is called “straight furrows”. The center square was often made using red fabric symoblizing the hearth and warmth, or yellow fabric symbolizing the welcoming glow from a window – and around the center square are the “logs” making up a symbolic log cabin. Interestingly, the AQS also notes that according oral tradition and folklore – a log cabin quilt with a black center square hanging on a clothes line signaled a stop on the Underground Railroad.
In my version, I used black centers so there would be contrast with both the light and dark sides of the block. Additionally, among the clothing there was one sweater with a bird on it that I was able to fussy cut and include in the quilt intact – so cute.
I used an all-over quilting design – I didn’t want to take away from the fabrics of the clothing, yet wanted to ensure it was well quilted and secure. I used one of my favorite “go to” designs that I call a “molar flower” with leaves and vines.
Rosemary intends to hang this quilt – so my husband, who is a blacksmith in his spare time, made this hanging rod for her. A heart shaped finial on the end seems appropriate! He made the hooks to hang the rod as well, and you can see his “touch mark” in the last photo and on the hooks – I like that idea, much like labeling a quilt! He designed the mark himself and had it made into a metal stamp that he can hammer into the iron while it’s still warm. You can see it is an anvil with an “S” on it – for Simpson. He’s really quite good – and totally self taught.
I also made a pillow using a log cabin format – just put it together using a different layout. This arrangement is called “sunshine and shadow,” although with only the one iteration of the pattern. I do love log cabin blocks – so versatile.
I inserted a zipper in the back of the pillow, with a nice flap enclosing it. And even wrote a tutorial for the technique – if you’re interested, check it out on my blog under the tutorials tab.
Thanks for reading, and keep on stitching!