Light-and-Dark
Visually Dramatic

There are several different ways to piece basic Log Cabin blocks. By far the most common and versatile version of the block is the Light-and-Dark, or spiral, construction.

Starting with a small center square, the block is constructed by adding a strip, then piecing each succeeding strip so it is perpendicular to the preceding strip, working around the center square in a circular fashion until the square reaches the desired size.

Typically, Light-and-Dark designs are divided into 2 triangular sections; one half in dark fabrics and the half in light fabrics. Dramatic and startlingly different visual effects can be achieved by manipulating the final placement of the individual blocks.

Barn Raising log cabin quilt
©Courtesy of dutch blue

In the Barn Raising pattern, diamonds of dark and light fabric seem to radiate from a central diamond shape. Amish and Mennonite Barn Raising quilts from the the late 1800s and early 1900s exhibit a sophisticated, though subtle, color progression in their designs.

By arranging the colors to form diagonals, the Straight Furrows pattern, another Amish favorite, is formed. Through careful planning and placement of colors, there is a constant shift from dark to light as the viewer's eye is drawn up along the path of the furrows.

Straight Furrows log cabin quilt
©Courtesy of hayabusagirl

Sunshine and Shadow is an Amish variation that produces an interplay of light and dark.

Streak of Lightning log cabin quilt
©Courtesy of dianezirin

Other variations are Windmills and Streak of Lightning.




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