Thursday, June 7, 2012

A log cabin for a log cabin

This past weekend, I finally got a chance to visit my friend Lesley and her husband in their new house in Virginia. It was a "me" weekend, the first one in almost a year, and it was loooong overdue. I had actually planned to go several weeks earlier, but the stomach flu visited our house that weekend and it was a no-go. I was also going to give her the housewarming gift I made her that weekend, and when we had to postpone, I couldn't wait, I had to mail it to her. She loved it (thank goodness!) and this weekend, I got to snap a few pictures of it in its native habitat :)

First of all, Lesley and her hubby's new house is a log cabin - an actual, custom-built, middle of the woods log cabin. So of course I had to make her a log cabin quilt! I followed the Bright Furrows Quilt pattern from Modern Log Cabin Quilting: 25 Simple Quilts and Patchwork Projects by Susan Beal, a Christmas present from my husband. This particular pattern uses distinct light and dark colors to make the pattern stand out. The colors were inspired by looking at pictures of the house and surrounding flora. Not my typical color scheme, or Lesley's either, really, but it felt very "log cabin-y" to me. I wanted to make the quilt as personal as I could, so I tried to bring in some fabrics that said "Lesley" to me.

A little Castle Peeps by Lizzy House, a nod to Lesley's love of Renaissance Fairs.

Venice from The Grand Tour, the Victoria and Albert Collection - a reference to their honeymoon in Italy. By the way, this fabric has A Story. I knew I wanted to use this fabric in the quilt from the beginning, but it is out of print and pretty much sold out every where. I emailed several online fabric stores who had carried it, begging for even scraps. They were all very nice about it and emailed me back, but there were none to be found. I even emailed the company that distributed it - nothing. When I had finally resigned myself to not having it in the quilt, I went browsing through my fabric trunks to try and find a replacement - and I had a fat quarter of it already in my stash. It was in a bundle I picked up from Fabricworm. Total forehead smacking moment.

Now, Lesley loves her some Star Trek and I desperately wanted to find some fabric that matched the color scheme, but green and brown are just not Star Trek colors. So I decided to name the quilt "Live Long and Prosper" - which not only gave me my Star Trek reference, but also is a pretty good housewarming sentiment, I think! I tried to hide the name by embroidering like color on like fabric, and it's actually pretty subtle.

For the back I used some faux bois fabric to sort of frame a window around a scene of trees and birds - what I imagined her view to be from the cabin.

And of course a little hand stitched label.

I used some Heather Ross Wildflowers, one of my favorite fabrics, for the binding. I wanted the binding to contrast the green and brown and pick up the little bits of yellow in the Castle Peeps fabric. And of course the wildflowers fit right in with the theme.


I followed the quilting suggestion from the pattern and just did horizontal (sort of) straight lines. I really feel like it makes the whole thing actually look like a log cabin - especially on the back with all of that Kona chocolate solid and the "window".

This is the first time I've ever used wool batting (Quilter's Dream Wool) and I have to say I love it. It was easy to sandwich with minimal bearding, no shrinkage whatsoever when I washed it, and it didn't crinkle like cotton does, so the pieced top stayed neat. Sometimes I like the antique look crinkling gives a quilt, but often I'm disappointed by how you kind of lose the look of the piecing after it's been washed. Not this time! I also really like wool in general, for its warmth and breathability.  Lesley wrapped herself up in the quilt while we were enjoying our vino by the fire pit this weekend, and she looked pretty toasty. Here's to many more glasses by the fire with my oldest (not in age) friend!

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