Since it’s Labor Day Weekend, I’m taking it “easy” on my blog post for the week. I really love to delve into the history of quilt blocks, especially my favorites. So, I thought it would be fun to share three of my favorite blocks and some trivia about them. There’s also a chance for you to win a free pattern by commenting and sharing your favorite block or blocks!
This is probably my favorite block. There are many variations of the Log Cabin block and I think I’ve probably made them all. These blocks are thought to be very American, representing the pioneers as they moved west and built homes of logs. However, this pattern has been found in earlier quilts and on other items as early as the mid 18th century. The traditional Log Cabin has a center square with “logs” added on alternating sides. Two sides of the block is light fabrics while the opposite sides are built with darker fabrics.
The center square was often a red fabric to represent the hearth of the home.
One of my favorite variations of the Log Cabin block is the Courthouse Steps variation.
It’s named that because the “logs” look like steps up to a door. Here are a few other variations that I have used in quilts:
If you are a fan of my designs, you will notice that most of my patterns contain star blocks. I love stars! One of my favorites is called the Sawtooth Star block. It’s one of the most common and easiest to make. It is also known by other names like Evening Star or Variable Star. Because women in the west often shared patterns, but didn’t know it’s original name, they would often rename a pattern to their liking. That’s why a lot of traditional blocks are know by more than one name.
The block is made with one large center square, 4 flying geese units and 4 smaller squares.
The stars in the photo above are Sawtooth Star blocks. They can be all one color, or the center and points can be separate colors. This block first appeared as a pattern in Farm & Fireside magazine in 1884.
Here are some of my quilts with stars in them.
This block design comes in as a close second to the Log Cabin block for me. I have used this in many, many quilt designs of mine. The Churn Dash is one of the oldest block designs. It dates as far back as 1800. Since it was an easy pattern to learn, new quilters often learned to piece by making this block.
For the quilt pattern on the right, I combined the Sawtooth Star and the Churn Dash blocks for this fun design!
Many quilt blocks got their names from everyday items that women used everyday in their homes on the frontier. Women thought this design resembled the butter churn and dash so that’s how this block got it’s name. There are a lot of Churn Dash variations with different names like this one:
This pattern is called Monkey Wrench or Shoo Fly.
So, share with me your favorite block to make. Comment below and be entered in a drawing for my Country Dance pattern!
The drawing will be on Monday, September 9th. Good Luck! *** We have a winner! Congrats, Deanna Bassett!***