Friday, October 19, 2012

The Challenge of Designing the Log Cabin Series

Log Cabin~Spring

I have made some progress on the model for Log Cabin~Spring. It isn't nearly as far along as I thought it would be by now, but I under estimated this last foot surgery and am still having to take pain meds which definitely don't lend themselves to doing anything too precise! lol

I thought this might be a good time to share the challenges this series of designs presented. Two things came together to give me the inspiration for this series. I was looking at a cross stitch pattern I had stitched a few years ago before I started designing my own, and it was a four seasons pattern made up of four sections each with a word - "Autumn", "Winter" - broadly declaring each season it represented. And like most people probably feel, I found the concept of something for each season appealing. Though I wondered why each season would have to be labeled? The colors and motifs should make me feel the seasons they portrayed.

Playing with the idea of using the shapes found in quilt patterns, I thought about how a quilter takes a piece of fabric and cuts it into strips, squares, circles or triangles and then combines them into something new and if it is a good design it will feature contrasts in scale, color, intensity, texture, and most importantly it will have motion.

So I drew in a motif pattern on the software and since I'd decided to start with the iconic log cabin pattern, 'cut' the design into strips and then put the strips together to create the 'quilt block'. Since these would be four individual patterns that could be framed and hung in a group, they had to come close to a standard size which affected the scale of the motifs that could be used. I wanted the outer strips of each block to have an open background that would look somewhat like a toile fabric had been used and I wanted the inner strips to be more densely detailed. It was important to use similarly sized and styled squares for each block's center.

Choosing the right colors for their seasonal tonality was essential and yet they had to compliment each other to make the four patterns work as a group.

Overall I'm happy with how they came out.


  1. Kathy, your latest Sampler is absolutely gorgeous!
    And I love the colors you've chosen. Keep up the great work!