Welcome to Month 5 of the Underground Railroad Block of the Month. Month 5 is the Log Cabin block.
Once the slaves reached the crossroads they dug a log cabin on the ground. The log cabin was the fifth block in the code that the slaves would look for on their journey. In the book, Hidden in Plain View,
Ozella McDaniel Williams thought there might have been an actual log cabin outside of Cleveland, but researchers have not found such a cabin. Might the code have been directing the slaves to build a log cabin to weather out the winter? What was the code alluding to?
The log cabin block dates back to colonial times. The log cabin design became popular when the union army was raising money for the civil war by raffling quilts. President Abraham Lincoln grew up in a log cabin. The pattern may have been a symbol of loyalty to him as head of the Union. The traditional block was made with a light side and a dark side, with a red center square which represents the hearth of the home.
The block is very popular and can be made into a myriad of different layouts. A simple google search of log cabin quilt patterns will reveal many different designs all utilizing this block.
Log cabin is one of my favorite blocks because of how quickly it comes together. When I first began quilting, I was fascinated with this block, and its simplicity. As a result, I made quite a few log cabin quilts. Strips can be cut narrow or big. You can make your blocks scrappy with prints or solids. I decided to use Kona bone for my light side, and batiks for the dark side. The great thing about quilting is there are no rules, and you can combine whatever colors you like!