Friday, April 6, 2012

Are you up for the challenge??

To my surprise, this quilt caused a lot of talk on Facebook recently
I've always liked this Basketweave / Lattice variation on the Log Cabin, but didn't realize how much it would intrigue others until I posted a picture of it on Facebook recently. Boy, was I surprised! To be perfectly honest, I've never really put much thought into this quilt. I got it from eBay in 2005. It wasn't very expensive, but I thought it was neat. I displayed it at home for about 6 months., and after that, it went on a shelf and was almost forgotten.

Last week, a bunch of us who are part of the Quilts- Vintage and Antique group on Facebook had an impromptu virtual Log Cabin exhibition, and I think I may have instigated the whole thing. There was a comment about an auction someone had been bidding on, and a Japanese bidder was winning a lot of things that day. Another person pointed out how popular old quilts are in Japan, and referred to the exhibits of antique American quilts she'd seen in Tokyo. She knew some of us in the group had quilts in those exhibits, and that's when I said one of my quilts had been in the Log Cabin exhibit.

Here's the quilt that was displayed in Tokyo
So, I posted a picture of the silk Barn Raising Log Cabin that was displayed at the Tokyo Dome. Julie Silber posted a picture of one of her quilts, which was part of the same exhibit, and we were off to the races. During the week, dozens of fabulous Log Cabins were posted to the group. Noted authors, dealers, collectors, connoisseurs and quiltmakers all posted pictures of their best ones. The avalanche of amazing Log Cabin variations that would follow was insanely great. At one point, I suggested we should rent our the Armory in New York and mount an "Infinite Variety: Log Cabins" exhibition.

People like Julie Silber, Darwin Bearley, Laura Fisher and Roderick Kiracofe were posting pictures of the best log cabins they had. A stunning display, indeed, and if it really was a museum exhibit it would be one of the best ever. But eventually things started to slow down. I posted the picture of the Basketweave quilt without any comments, thinking I was just adding another last-minute quilt as the activity waned. But it got people going once again.

"OMG! All those partial seams. Only by hand." said longtime friend Judy Grow. I had no idea. Apparently, the construction is a little tricky because it's interlocking rather than a straightforward block design, but when I see things like this I'm not thinking like a quilter. I don't always imagine how difficult it would be to make the quilt. Judging by the comments, some quilters are even a little intimidated by the idea of doing a quilt like this with so many partial seams. Again, I had no idea.

The thread evolved into a quilt throwdown between Siobhan Furgurson of Martinez, Georgia - who has already completed a Russian Sunflower top from a rescue quilt in my collection; and John Kubiniec of New York, New York - who was a finalist in the 2010 McCall's Design Star Competition.

Siobhan Furgurson is already working on her quilt
John said he'd considered doing a quilt like the Basketweave, but had resisted because of the thought of all the partial seams. My quilt made him want to do it, and he asked if he should. Siobhan replied, saying it wasn't so bad. "It just takes a bit of patience, some pins, a good piece of marking chalk, and a large glass of wine." I egged them on, of course, and now they're each going to make a quilt. Siobhan is already working on hers, and posted this picture on her blog.

So, I feel a little silly about how much I underestimated this quilt. Who knew? I'm actually blown away that two such outstanding quiltmakers are going to be making this quilt, and I'm thinking maybe I should invite others to do it, too. The squares are 3" and the strips are mostly about 1" x 8 & 1/2" with some variation. Shorter strips in places, it fits together like a puzzle.

So, are you up for the challenge? If you're inspired to tackle one of these Basketweave / Lattice quilts, please comment, blog about it, and send pictures!!


  1. oh I find out he was a McCall's Design Star finalist...couldn't have shared that little tidbit with me before I threw my fabric in the ring?! (btw...the Russia Sunflower quilt-top is finished...still needs to be quilted!)

  2. Love the quilt. I'm definitely considering it.... I really out to get all these boxes in my new house unpacked first.

  3. And now I hear that Lynn Miller has completed one of these?

    Gah! Amazing!!

    Can't wait for some pics to start rolling in (hint, hint)...

  4. IF anyone knows of a pattern please post here... I do not have enough QUILTING experience to be able to wing the design on my own.


  5. It's great, but I don't have the UMPF to start one of those yet. So fun to see what others are making though! I'll pout it on my list to make one day... ;-)

  6. LOVE it! Would love to tackle one! If not a full quilt, maybe a pillow??

  7. I would love to make this quilt! Can you please send me the directions. I just now came across this and love it, love it. Been looking for a pattern for something like this for a long time. Thanks for the challenge.

  8. Hi Cathy, I don't have any directions, other than the dimensions I've posted for the strips. Siobhan Furgurson (Yankee Quilter from Scraps and Threadtales Blog) has posted a lot of pictures and comments on making hers over the last month, so I'd encourage you to check out what she had to say. Good Luck, and please send pictures!! WW