Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Log Cabin Block Quilt Along & a wonky log cabin block

So, I'm forging full steam ahead into the wonderful world of quilting by participating in a couple of virtual bees.
The fabric arrived last week for the first bee and she has requested a wonky log cabin block. I was overwhelmed by all the options and a little nervous to cut into someone's treasured fabric. I kind of sketched out my design and did a practice block first using some scraps I have lying around. But, if you're interested in doing a more traditional log cabin block here's some simple instructions to get you started.
A log cabin block lends itself well to using those scraps in your stash. Don't feel like you have to follow tradition, have fun.
In quilting you generally use 1/4" seam. If you don't own a 1/4" foot don't worry. Usually if your needle on your machine is centered the edge of your presser foot will be 1/4" or you can take a piece of painters/masking tape and mark your 1/4" on your machine. If for some reason you don't want to use a 1/4" seam the key is to be consistent throughout, that way your blocks will match up (just ask me how I know).

For a 12" block what you will need:
You need 7 different fabrics (traditionally this a combo of 3 light and 3 dark fabrics w/the center square being red)

You will need to cut a center square that is 3.5" (that will give you a 3 square in the center with 1/4" seams on all sides)
The rest of your strips will be 2" wide. You can trim them off as you add them to the block or you can precut them as follows.
Light strips: 3 1/2 inches, 5 inches, 6 1/2 inches, 8 inches, 9 1/2 inches, 11 inches (approx 1.33 yds of fabric)

Dark strips: 5 inches, 6 1/2 inches, 8 inches, 9 1/2 inches, 11 inches, 12 1/2 inches (approx 1.5 yds of fabric)

Gather all your supplies and fabric. Go ahead and prewash your fabric and press it. Then beginning cutting it out as listed above.
Great! We'll start stitching tomorrow.

I just wanted to share with you what fun you can have with a log cabin block, especially once you understand the concept. Now, for the wonky block it was actually pretty easy. You pick a center block and then you begin joining them, rotating your block 90 degrees and adding on until it gets to be your desired size. The block above is pretty big, 15.5 X 15.5 because that was the size requested. Tomorrow I will show you how to start both a traditional and the wonky block, so come on back!
Oh, and I do realize that the block isn't square. I'll take care of that before I send it to it's rightful owner.