Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vintage Log Cabin Quilt Blocks

I bought the 16 vintage log cabin blocks in this top at a quilt show in Oakland, CA a few years ago that I was lucky to catch while visiting my sister in Petaluma. Their bright colorfullness caught my eye and heart. I set them with the blue sashing and border using a reproduction fabric that I always think of as Dodger blue. I think the blocks date from the 1940's.

Whenever I see a vintage top or blocks that I like, I always wonder why wasn't the project finished. Was it lack of time, loss of interest or some problem that cropped up? (Ok, those are the usual reasons for my UFOs).

These blocks certainly had some problems: some were a little bit too big and some a little bit too small. That's one of the reasons I chose to use the sashing, an unusual choice for a log cabin but I have seen pictures of 1930s-40s log cabins with sashing and the sashing helped with the size problems.

I had to add a "fourth log" to one side of two too small blocks. For one I was able to trim a piece

of fabric from one too big block and use that -the red polka dot fabric on the left side is the added piece .

For the other, I had to go to my "stash" of vintage fabrics (which would fit in a sandwich bag) and I found a suitable piece! -the bottom blue and yellow print.

One of the nice things about having a vintage top or blocks is that you can turn them over and see how they were made. These were foundation pieced and were hand sewn to the foundation. I wish my camera was better (I'm getting a new one in December!) . I love the little piece of fabric caught in the seam.

I hope the unknown maker is pleased with what I have done with her blocks. I do plan to quilt this top; I'm thinking of quilting only in the sashing and border leaving the vintage blocks as they are.

For more Vintage Thursdays goodies, click here:


Carrie said...

Great project!

^..^Corgidogmama said...

You don't see fabrics like that anymore. What a great item today!

Eileen said...

I have not seen log cabins set like this. It really looks terrific! I am working on some very crooked vintage triangle blocks, but they were so bad I ended up picking them all apart and making double pinwheels to use the different sized pieces. I really like how yours is turning out. Ok.. my first time here, so I am going to look at your blog some more. :-)

Eileen said...

Oh.. I guess I was here before. I remember your pink tumbling block quilt now.

Jenny said...

These are beautiful! I love vintage fabric.

American Homemaker said...

That is really nice. I like it.

Lynn said...

I love those blocks, also what you've done with them. Doesn't it feel good to save and appreciate something made by some unknown quilter.

Anonymous said...

The log cabin pattern is my very favorite quilt block. So much history and lore behind it. Great job!

Anonymous said...

I love vintage quilt blocks and yours are gorgeous...the blue sashing sets them off beautifully!! xx

Anonymous said...

Hello!!! Is beautifull your blog!!!
My name is Aldana. I am argentina but now I live in Spain
Do you want exchange a thimble with me?
Sorry but my english is so so


Susan said...

Love the vintage blocks and the log cabin is one of my favorites. Thanks for the sweet remark you left on my anniversary post.

Susan said...

I love what you have done with the Log Cabin blocks. What a great way to make sure that the work of that unknown quilter didn't go to waste!

Am really glad that you have started a blog and signed up with Quilting Bloggers. I am the other quilter in Israel who is signed up. I will follow your blog with great interest!