Greetings dear readers! 2023 is beginning with a new project! How could it not?!😊. I was pretty sure that my quilting plans for the new year would include something new because I love that energy and excitement that comes with it and I also knew that after finishing The Inner Reaches of Outer Space I wanted to start another Foundation Paper Piecing project. It all came together for me after seeing the Tomie Nagano exhibit at the NEQM 2 weeks ago. Her incredible use of Japanese fabrics combined with her relatively straightforward, geometrically focused, piecing spoke to me and inspired me in a really strong way. I was instantly inspired to get out my collection of authentic Japanese fabrics – which I hadn’t touched in 2 1/2 years – and start planning.
I knew I wanted to do some type of log cabin variation and spent about 3 days thinking about the many possibilities, using one of my favorites references:
I seriously considered a pineapple variation, but each block would have required a lot of advance planning to make the blocks fit together and I wanted the freedom to choose my fabrics, block by block, as I go along. I ultimately decided it fits my mood and needs right now to go “simple” rather “ complex” so I settled on the most basic log cabin design and plan to let the fabrics take center stage:
These logs are 1/2 inch wide and the block finishes 6 inches. Here are my first 4 blocks:
Here’s how they look in 2 views of the “Sunshine and Shadows” variation:
I’m really enjoying using these fabrics and loving how this is looking so far. It’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to making a “neutral” or “low volume” quilt. I love color too much to go neutral, but these fabrics have a lot of lovely subtle color. I’m making the blocks in batches of 4. The next group in progress:
I don’t know what this quilt will ultimately look like – lots of room to play with different settings and variations as I go along – but it’s going to be a joy to work on !
Here are more quilts from that inspirational Nagano exhibit:
I adore the quilting motifs in those plain blocks!!
Such a great use of stripes!
Next post I hope to do a broader overview of what I’m hoping for 2023, but today wanted to share the excitement of the new project!
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi
Oh how I love the log cabin patterns! This is a beautiful beginning Gladi! I look forward to seeing its growth. The handwork in the Nagano quilts is just stunning to me! Think of all the tiny stitches! Thank you for sharing these photos.
Thank you Carol! I so admire Nagano’s hand work! Of course, I am machine piecing the blocks, but would ultimately love to hand quilt the piece if I have time.
Your Japanese fabrics are just gorgeous and you will have so much fun creating each block and then playing with layouts! Great start for your new year!
Thanks Sophie! I’m so happy to finally be using more of these Japanese fabrics that I collected over the last 15 or so years. The colors are subtle but still lovely. I’m having fun finding light and dark combinations for each of the blocks.
I think what appeals the most to me is the low contrast of the fabrics and the use of larger prints in small pieces. The exact opposite when we usually think of a log cabin style block.
You’re off to a great start! Those fabrics you’ve collected are just beautiful, love the colors. Such a fun project. Jan in MA
I am bowled over by both Nagoma’s work and your log cabin project. When I read that the logs are only half an inch wide I realised how intricate the blocks are. It is going to be a stupendous quilt. Enjoy making it
Absolutely love these fabrics! Your log cabins are looking great. So rich.
What a wonderful exhibit– simple blocks + near-utilitarian fabrics = stunning quilts. I made log cabin blocks with 1″ strips and found that once I got going that width was no problem.
Beautiful Log Cabin blocks. PP will make them perfect. Love the related colors in the blocks.