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Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

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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Blogger bundle

A few weeks back I mentioned that I was working on a project with my blogger bundle from Pink Castle Fabric. Sadly it looks like Brenda has sold out of this particular bundle, but she’s got plenty others in her shop!

framed patchwork quilt top

I was drawn to the fabrics for my bundle because of the color. I find color drives a lot of the fabric choices I make! I also like to pay attention to value, and I like when there’s a good blend or light and dark fabrics. With that in mind, I wanted a project that would make these fabrics shine together, so I came up with the framed patchwork quilt.

In order to make this easy, I thought I’d provide instruction on how to quickly cut up 12 fat quarters for this project. The piecing is pretty straightforward, so I won’t go over that here– but if you have any questions just leave a comment and I can help.

cutting instructions

I would stack up 4 fat quarters at a time and would cut them as follows:
1. Trim off selvedge edge
2. Trim along 22 inch edge (for a straight cut)
3. Cut 3 strips that are 22″ by 4.5″, and one strip that is 22″ by 3.5″ (the 3.5″ strips are for the outer border)
4. Cut the 4.5 inch strips into 4.5″ squares (make 4 cuts so that you end up with 12 squares)

In addition, you’ll need 3.5 inch wide strips of a solid for your inner border. For this quilt I used an essex linen/cotton blend. Sew together your squares to make a 12 x 12 patchwork block. Next, add the 3.5 inch wide border strips. Finally, piece together the longer border strips, and add those to the outside of the quilt. You’ll end up with a lovely throw sized quilt top– roughly 60 inches square. And very little left over scraps from your fat quarters– I used mine in the back of the quilt, which I’ll share as soon as I have time to take a good picture!

patchwork detail

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When sewing blocks for a quilt, one of the most important steps is “squaring up”– that is, making sure all blocks are of uniform size and shape and are perfectly square. Squaring up a block is pretty straightforward, but recently when I was squaring up a bunch of blocks for a quilt, I started using this trick to make things run a little more smoothly and quickly.

taping off the cutting lines

First, I take 2 pieces of masking tape and I align them on my cutting mat based on the size of the blocks I am trimming. In this case, I was trimming blocks to be 8.5 inches square, so I made sure the inner edge of the pieces of tape were 8.5 inches apart.

Laying down the block

Next, I laid my square between the pieces of tape. I just eyeball it to make sure the middle is centered, but you could mark this off with tape, too.

one edge trimmed

I position my ruler along the inner edge of the tape, and I trim the block. Note– I also make sure the ruler is lined up with the grid lines on the mat above and below the tape to ensure that the cut is perfectly straight. But, having the tape as a guide makes it much faster to line the blocks up and trim evenly from both sides.

All square

After trimming 2 sides, turn the block to trim the remaining sides. Make sure that the trimmed sides line up perpendicular to the taped lines. I usually pick a horizontal line on the mat and make sure my edge is flush with it before trimming.

And there you have it! Perfectly square blocks, all trimmed quickly with the “cheat” lines taped onto the mat.

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