It's about that time of year in Minnesota where, after two months of dark-by-the-time-you're-home-from work, way-too-cold-to-do-anything-but-eat-creamy-soup winter, the sun is sticking around for a few extra minutes every day, the snow is melting, and people are starting to get a little stir-crazy for spring. For me, this time of year is always consumed by an intense and very literal cabin fever- my husband's family owns a cabin in northern Minnesota, and it is a definite happy place and prominent feature of many summer weekends.
But Krystina, what does this have to do with quilts?
I'm so glad you asked! A certain kind of cabin fever seems to have hit the quilting world this spring- LOG CABIN fever!
I've counted no less than three new log cabin-inspired quilt patterns this spring, and my friend Tiffany over at Village Bound Quilts has a courthouse quilt pattern (Variegated Squares) due out in April, which is really the sister block to the log cabin quilt.
For the unfamiliar, log cabin (and courthouse) blocks are super traditional, classic blocks, and they're great for scrapbusting because they're built from the inside out (see diagram below). You start with a small block in the middle, and gradually add larger pieces to each side. For log cabins, those pieces get added to adjacent sides (you can see this really well in my test version of Suzy's new Campfire Quilt pattern (which just dropped today!), so you end up building the block from the corners. Courthouse blocks are similar, but you alternate building up opposite sides.
I always end up accumulating a million long strips of scraps from backing overhang, end of yardage, etc. so I love a good log cabin to clean those out! These three patterns are all brand-spanking new and all have a different take on log cabin quilts. If you're looking for a good scrapbuster, check them out!
The newest pattern in the bunch, this pattern by Suzy Quilts came out today! I tested this one for Suzy earlier this month, and literally cranked the top out in an afternoon in the middle of a March snowstorm. I think I was looking for cozy, and those are exactly the vibes this quilt gives off! This was a great use of some long (like 9 foot) strips of cotton poplin I had leftover from some Hawthorne Threads fabric I ordered, and I mixed some red, gold, and yellow strips with black prints and linen and especially that gingham to give it a vibe I'm calling "summer camp chic". I'm backing it with a super fun Birch Organics jackalope print to really cement that feel, and now that I've missed my pattern release deadline, I might take the time to handquilt it and make it extra cozy.
I loved seeing all of the tester's takes on this quilt, because it can feel so scrappy or so super modern. Suzy's version to the left is so soft and perfect, and she even backed it with a super cozy flannel. It's on sale today so run over and get yourself a pattern!
Monarch Flight Quilt
My friend Brooke's (OhSewBrooke) first quilting pattern is a totally different take on a log cabin motif- she turned her's on point and added those super fun HST butterfly borders. It's such a graphic and modern quilt, and open to so many different interpretations. I used a few different shades of Cirrus solids that happened to go perfectly with a gray floral in my stash, and they're a total match made in heaven. Nym seems to like it too!
I used mostly solids for my version, but I love how much cozier it looks in the prints Brooke used for hers (and actually designed the pattern around)! It's another great scrapbuster with a little bit of pow, and fast quilt to assemble. Buy it from her site below!
This new pattern from the lovely Shannon over at Shannon Fraser Designs is one that I couldn't quite squeeze a test in for among some other super-secret projects, and I'm totally kicking myself for it. I love the asymmetry, and that interplay between prints and their coordinating solids is downright brilliant. I still have a million strip scraps to burn, so I think this quilt might be my reward for beating my deadlines later this spring!
Go support some stellar designers and get yourself a couple new quilts to work out that cabin fever before those long summer nights at lakeside bonfires :)