by Mary Beth Krapil

Handi Quilter’s Ambassador, Luke Haynes, had a special exhibit of a collection of his quilts at the recent AQS Fall Paducah Quilt Week. It was a fantastic collection of 50 log cabin quilts, each 90 inches square. Luke says in his blog, “This is a show of textiles taking conceptual themes from the Donald Judd installation in Marfa at the Chinati foundation ‘100 untitled works in mill aluminum, 1982-1986’. The basic idea is that I want to make the 50 quilts, iterations of the log cabin. All different variations with the same language, all red centers with white and black fabric. All the fabric will be used textiles. so the patterns and language of the details will be dictate by the range of “black” or “white” or “red” that I have access to in the form of used garment/textiles. But all will read as graphic compositions in black and white. ”

The log cabin quilt is a timeless favorite, and no wonder! The block is simply pieced with strips of fabric surrounding a small central square and lends itself to so many variations. It is often one of the first quilt blocks that new quilters learn.

Log cabin blocks are quick and easy to sew. They are a terrific way to play with color and value. You can place different colors or values in different parts of the block to get strikingly different effects.

It’s a great way to play with scraps, too.

The arrangement of the blocks can create a multitude of unique patterns.

Luke’s display was fantastically diverse even though he used only black, white, and red.

The sheer size of each piece – 90″ x 90″ – created impressive impact.

Some arrangements create large, open spaces that lend themselves to spectacular quilting designs. SCORE!

Doesn’t this make you want to dig into your scrap bin and start cutting logs? There are tons of tutorials on piecing log cabin blocks online.

I wasn’t able to photograph all 50 quilts but I got a nice sampling to share with you. Enjoy!

Which is your favorite?