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Posts Tagged ‘log cabin’

Framed Cabins Quilt Top

This month I’ve been working on assembling another quilt top for Do Good Stitches, the charity bee I’m a part of. I wrote up these instructions for my bee-mates, and I thought I’d share.

These blocks are a variation on a log cabin, and the blocks are constructed so that each “round” of the block extends to create a frame of sorts for the inner rounds of the block.

framed cabin block

The blocks are made in an improvisational manner and are squared up when complete.

The blocks are made up of a combination of low volume/neutral fabrics and saturated, colorful fabrics. I recommend using colors that pop! It makes the “frames” really stand out against the neutral background.

 

How to make the blocks:

To start, I grabbed my bag of strings, and sorted into 2 piles: my saturated, bright colors, and my low volume/neutrals. I think these look best when using strips that are about 2 inches wide or less.

Next, match up one saturated strip with one neutral strip that are approximately the same length, and stitch them together along the long edge. I did this for a bunch of strips at once by chain piecing them. One they’re stitched together, press the seams. These will be all of the “logs” that make up the cabin.

To begin constructing the block, take one saturated/bright square and on opposite sides, stitch a neutral scrap. It should look like this:

Step 1

Next, trim one long side to be straight. Grab one of the paired saturated fabric + neutral fabric strips, and sew the saturated side to the center piece. (Here’s a pic to help explain):

Step 2

Press the seams, and continue adding the pieced “logs” with the saturated strip matching up to the existing block, like so:

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

As you can see, I just kept adding the pieced strips around the block until it was a size that I was happy with.

It’s a fairly simple block– just a log cabin made from the pieced strips, and arranging them as I described gives the “framed” look. I hope this brief tutorial was useful!

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HSTLC tutorial photo

This is a brief tutorial I wrote up for my fellow members of the Love Circle of Do. Good Stitches to use to make this month’s blocks. I was playing around with this idea in a quilt I made recently, but modified it just a bit for a clearer result. These are the colors I used as inspiration for my blocks:

fabric colors for March

These instructions are for making two 12.5-inch blocks.

HSTLC 1

To make these blocks, you need four 7.5-inch squares, and four 7.5-inch log cabin blocks. To make just one 12.5-inch block, you would only need two each of the 7.5-inch squares and 7.5-inch log cabin blocks– but making 2 at once allows for mixing up the prints a bit.

I used 2 inch wide strips to make the log cabin blocks, which worked well for the size block I was going for. However, you can also vary the width of the “logs” in your log cabin for a more varied look! To start, I cut a number of 2 inch wide strips for making the log cabin blocks.

HSTLC2

To make the log cabin blocks, start with a 2.5 inch square for the center (I just quartered a charm square for this step, but you can also use different fabrics for the centers). Then I added a 2.5 inch by 2 inch strip to both sides of the center square and pressed the seams. Next, I added the other 2 sides, and so on.

HSTLC3

HSTLC4

I added 2 rounds to each log cabin block, and ended up with blocks that look like this:

HSTLC5

Once these were done, I trimmed them to 7.5 inch squares.

Next, I took my 7.5 inch blocks (the non-log cabin blocks) and drew a diagonal line down the BACK of the fabric from one point to the opposite. This is the first step in a commonly used technique for making 2 half-square triangles at once.

HSTLC6

Place your log cabin block together with one of the non-log cabin blocks (right sides together). Your drawn line should be facing up.

HSTLC7

Pin these together so they don’t shift while sewing.

Next, sew a quarter-inch seam on EACH side of the line. That means you’ll sew 2 lines down the diagonal of the squares, each a quarter-inch from the center line.

Once you’ve sewn those two lines, return to your cutting mat and cut along the original line you drew.

HSTLC8

HSTLC9

This leaves you with two half-square triangle/log cabin blocks! Press the seams open to reduce bulk, and repeat for the remaining blocks. Using a clear ruler and rotary cutter, trim each block to be 6.5 inches square.

HSTLC10

Once you have all your HST/LC blocks made, arrange them in a pattern that is pleasing to your eye. I have been loving all of the crazy HST quilts out there, so I arranged mine somewhat randomly, and that’s what I’ll ask the members of my bee to do, too.

HSTLC11

Sew the 2 pairs of blocks together using a SCANT quarter-inch seam. I find this matters quite a bit when trying to keep the blocks at 12.5 inches when you are done making them– a generous quarter-inch seam will make your blocks end up being a little short of the 12.5 inch mark. Press the seams open, then pin the sets and sew again to make a block that encompasses all of your HST/LC blocks.

There are so many possibilities for this block– you could match up 2 log cabins to make half-square triangles for a scrappier look. You also could use fewer log cabins interspersed in your blocks for a calmer look that still delivers some visual interest. If you look closely, in one of my blocks I used 3 half log cabins, and used a “regular” half square triangle to break things up. There are also a number of other ways that these blocks could be constructed, I simply found this to be the easiest way for me.

HSTLC12

I can’t wait to see what my friends in my sewing circle make, and if you make anything using this tutorial I’d love to see it!

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Justin's half square triangle quilt

Wow, time has been flying by this Winter! We had a great break, and were able to take a long road trip to visit family. Before Christmas, I was sewing like mad to get all my hand made gifts done in time. I barely got it all done– had to finish some binding on the road! But it was totally worth it to be able to give the gifts I made to my family.

Detail of Justin's quilt

There was one in particular that I was so happy to make this year– a quilt for my wonderful husband.

A long view of Justin's quilt

Although we have a number of quilts around the house, Justin would jokingly say that I had never made a quilt for him. I knew I needed to remedy this, so while he was at work I pieced the quilt top and back, basted and quilted the quilt, and hand finished the binding– all in the course of one week! I was careful not to let him see the quilt pieces so he wouldn’t know this was coming.

quilt back

I decided to make a quilt using solid fabrics in a half-square triangle design. To add a little visual interest, I also sewed some log cabin blocks that became half square triangles to sprinkle into the quilt top. I used my left over log cabins in the back of the quilt, and I love that it is reversible. I had seen some really gorgeous HST quilts in the last year, and I really wanted to make one myself.

Justin's half square triangle quilt

I love to see Justin using the quilt, and I’m happy it’s sticking around our house. One of the perks of sewing for your family!

Justin's new quilt

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Winter quilt top

I’ve been working on this quilt for a couple of weeks now, and I managed to finish up the top this weekend! I was inspired by the colors in this post on Amanda Jean’s blog (plus, the photo on the cover of her new book looks amazing– I’m looking forward to reading that one!

new quilt in the works

Finished the quilt top

It’s a big one– roughly 85 inches square, big enough to fit on our queen sized bed.

It's a big one-- queen size, for our bed

I’m backing it in grey flannel, and it will be our winter quilt!

Hanging out with my quilt top in the park

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Stack for a New Quilt

This week I’ve been making some blocks for a new quilt. It’s very red, pink, white, and grey. I’m loving those colors right now! There’s something so wintery but warm about them.

quilt blocks in progress

quilt blocks in progress

quilt blocks in progress

quilt blocks in progress

quilt blocks in progress
I’m hoping to finish the quilt top by this weekend– I’d love to have it ready to use by Valentines day!

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Flea Market Fancy quilt

My flea market fancy quilt is done, and I couldn’t be happier with it!! Like so many others, I loved this line of fabric (before I even knew who designed it or what it was named!) so much, and when I had a chance to scoop some up last year I didn’t hesitate.

FMF detail

ready for a picnic

I wanted to highlight each print, and I think that part of the beauty of this line is in the colors used for the prints, so I went to my local quilt shop (which, luckily for me, stocks all 220 colors of Kona cotton solids) and picked out 4 colors that coordinated with each print. Once I had the squares done, I had a dilemma about sashing color, and I got such good input from my blog readers! Ultimately, I decided to sash in white, but I still wanted a touch of gray, so I added a border to frame the quilt.

on the porch

FMF quilt on the bridge

For the back, I used a chevron print I had in my stash, along with some grays and leftover strips of solids. For the binding, I used the Kona cotton color raisin.

FMF quilt back

This is the first queen sized quilt I’ve made, and it took quite a while to quilt! I did it all on my trusty little Husquvarna, and I broke the quilting up into a few different sessions so I didn’t get burned out. Also, it involved a lot of binding– I think it took me longer to hand finish the binding than it did to quilt! I really enjoyed the process, though, and now I get to sleep under this baby every night! When I bought the fabric I said that this was my plan for it– I wanted it to be something I enjoyed every day, and I’m so glad I took the time to make this quilt for myself.

FMF quilt hanging out

FMF quilt hanging out

on the ground

Also, thanks so much to my sisters who helped me take photos of the quilt– it was so big it took both of them to hold it up. It’s a good thing they’re both tall!

My sisters

FMF quilt on the porch

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FMF blocks

I’m in love!

I decided last week that it was time to cut into my very small stash of flea market fancy, and I can’t sop gazing at the first set of blocks I made. Although I had a little trepidation about cutting into these prints, I figure that fabric is meant to be used, right? Plus, I think it would make me super happy to have all of these bright colors on my bed in a lightweight summer quilt.

FMF blocks closeup

I still have a number of blocks to make, but I can already tell that this quilt is going to be one of my all time faves!

FMF blocks closeup

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