June 1, 2011

Log Cabin Blocks

I am part of the Thin Ice Theater costume crew.  Thin Ice is the theater program of our homeschool group.  There are 4 other moms plus myself.  Between us, we have a wide variety of sewing, costuming, and fashion experience, which adds up to having a plain old good time learning from each other and creating together.

Our next production is Four Acts / One Night, a set of four one-act plays.  We are in the homestretch - performances will be June 9 and 10.  Those of you who live nearby - show times and directions to the theater are at:  http://thinicetheater.com

One of the plays is "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell.  It requires some log cabin blocks, an important part of the plot actually.  Well, of course, I am the person who volunteered to make them.  

The play was written in 1916 and we are setting and costuming it about then.  Coincidentally, I had just found these wonderful blocks dating to that same era at an estate sale.  

So, I chose fabrics from my stash that recreate the same color scheme (without much red, since the play is very dark) .....

..... and made four blocks.  The strips finish 1 1/2" wide, fairly large, so that the blocks are easily "readable" from the audience.

Here they are, pretending to be a little quilt.....

And then, the quiltmaker in the story runs into some problems in her life. To be more precise, she runs into the crisis that is the focal point of the whole play.  And her sewing, well, her sewing skills are taken over by her strong emotions.  This is the block "she" made then.  It's other women, who also quilt of course, who find this block, and understand what it means.

Here it is with the others, demonstrating how badly made it is.  This is hard, making a block that looks wrong, but not cartoonishyly so.  This was my third try.  My first tries showed that puckered seams don't make much difference from a distance, and crooked logs almost don't show up either.  So this attempt was to screw up the light/dark placement, as well as sewing some odd seams and having outside corners not meet properly.  On its own, and to non-quilters, it still doesn't look that bad. 

Looking at it as I put this post together, I decided to get rid of the white in the center.  And I figured if I introduced any puckers while doing so, all the better.  I also made the outer corners a little more awkward.

All in all, I'm considering this quilt block to be the star of the play!  

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