Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Continuing the "Renew Me" quilt, the "Log Cabin" blocks

I am continuing the "Quilt-A-Long" of the "Renew Me" pattern by Art Gallery fabrics that I am sewing as a sample for the store.
I am going to be a bad sample maker because I am now going to depart from the pattern and do my quilt differently.
Well, that's okay, because at this point, I've sewn most of it according to the instructions and I know that there is lots of fabric included in the kit so that anyone can complete it as written, even if they make several cutting mistakes.
I decided to make the remaining 10 blocks that I need for the quilt as the Block 6 log  cabin design. I don't like cutting strips in 1/8" increments, so I tweaked the measurements to still maintain an 8 inch finished block:

The centers: cut 3-1/2" squares.
Strips for the "log" rounds are cut as strips 1-3/4" x width of the fabric.

the other change I decided to make is to keep all 4 logs of each "round" in the same fabric.  This way, each log cabin block only uses 3 fabrics, and it looks like this:
I think that with all the rest of what's going on in the other blocks, the static nature of this coloring will provide a bit of a resting place for the eye, rather than using more fabrics in each block.

I like to sew log cabin blocks by cutting all the logs before sewing.  I just like to do it that way.

After all the blocks are finished, it is time to set them all out on the floor and fiddle around with the placement.  I don't agonize over this part too much, the variations are infinite, and it is not a matter of life and death.
So, I  tend to get right on with sewing the top together.
Because there are 8 colomns, it is easy to sew them together in pairs.

After all 4 column/pairs are sewn, I press them, so that I can keep track of which way to press the seams so that they nestle together when they get attached.  Also, it is easier to press them now in 4 smaller pieces than to try to press it as one big huge piece.  Okay, it is not that huge, but when you're trying to press it on a normal size ironing board it feels huge.
 I'm not sure if you can see on the photo below, but I use pins at the top of each set to keep track of what goes where.  The pin goes on the top of each column.  One pin for the 1st column, 2 pins on the 2nd column, and so on.  I find that stickers fall off.

Because I departed from the pattern, I did not use the nice light colored fabric that was included in the kit for the setting triangles.  This will make a really nice border,  I like the idea of the bright center set on a light edge.  I was able to cut eight 4-1/2" strips, (plus the 3-1/2" squares that were used for the centers of the log cabin blocks), so the border will finish at 4 inches.
I do have quite a bit of fabric leftover.  I am mulling over whether to add another outer border or whether to use it for another project, or whether to sew it together into the backing.
I sort of like the idea of using it up as the backing, but on the other hand, I do like flannel on the back of a quilt.  Also, I can't quite decide on whether to add another border.  I guess it is time to take a rest from it and let my subconscious mind wrestle with these important decisions...


  1. about marking the columns with pins vs. stickers: i have cats, some of whom love to pull out pins, some of whom love to pull off stickers....oh woe!

  2. glad you got the comment thing straightened out! That's a lot of cats.


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