Friday, December 9, 2016

Half Log Cabin Block Tutorial

How about a tutorial today? Get your 2 1/2" strips of lights and darks and let's make some half log cabin blocks!

Traditionally, log cabin blocks start with a red square in the center, but here I changed it up and made it green. You can use any color you'd like, just make sure you have lights and darks for the entire block.

From green 2 1/2" strips, cut to make 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares. Do the same with the light strips. Sew them together like this:

From both light and dark (I used dark red) 2 1/2" strips, cut 4 1/2" and 6 1/2" rectangles. From only the dark 2 1/2" strips, cut 8 1/2" rectangles.

Mix up your pieces within each size stack by moving the top piece to the bottom occasionally. That way, there won't be identical blocks appearing.

To the 2 1/2" unit made before, add a dark 4 1/2" piece. Keep the first unit oriented in the same direction throughout the block.

Press the seam, and add a 4 1/2" piece to the unit, keeping darks on one side, lights on the other.

Press, and add the 6 1/2" piece to the unit, next to the previous dark piece.

Press again, then add the 6 1/2" light unit onto the light side.

Press once more, and add the final dark 8 1/2" piece.

This unfinished block measures 8 1/2" x 8 1/2". Once there's a stack of blocks, start playing with arrangement, as there are many ways to place these blocks.

Have fun!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Home for Christmas

Another quilt to snuggle under this season, as I'll be Home for Christmas.

In trying to come up with a name for this quilt, I tried to consider it's makeup, so bear with me on the logic. The setting is an offset barn raising of half log cabin blocks. Now a barn could be considered a home, to animals at least, and of course, the Christmas birthday we're celebrating supposedly occurred in a barn. Though a barn is usually not constructed like a log cabin, the barn/home in this quilt is composed of half log cabin blocks, further establishing that this is 'home'.

And what 'home' would not be complete without a tree? Whether it's the wood that makes the home, provides shade for the home, or decorates the home, as does this Christmas tree, a home is not complete without a tree.

Thus, the log cabin barn raising and the tree combine to make Home for Christmas. 

Quilted in gold with the panto Holiday Garland, it was the perfect topping for this double sided quilt - the panto looks beautiful on both sides.

Front closeups:

And back closeups:

For more posts about this quilt, see Which Do You Like?, A Christmas Conundrum, and Problem Solved!. And check out my Half Log Cabin Block tutorial to make your own creation.

There's still more Christmas fabric to use up - stay tuned to see what I come up with!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Midweek Makers #49

How are things in the quilting world this week? Things getting back to normal, or has speed sewing set in to finish all of those Christmas presents? Whichever it is, I hope you have time to show off what your working on at Midweek Makers.

Since I've been in a Christmas-y mood, I'm highlighting the Christmas related projects from last week. There were these trees by Dollan Design,


a beautiful pillow from Patty at Elm Street Quilts,


and these coasters made as gifts by Miaismine at Faith, Trust, and Breast Cancer.


Grab a 'Featured' button ladies - you all deserve it!

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My Christmas quilt is coming along, with a bit more quilting to do. The swirly holly panto is so pretty on this!

But enough about me, let's see what you're working on!
  • Please link directly to your specific post, not your main blog page.
  • Link any recent post that has to do with sewing and fabric.
  • Visit the other party guests and leave a comment. It's a great way to make new friends!
  • Grab the Midweek Makers button code to put on your post or sidebar to let everyone know about the party!

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Enjoy the party!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Problem Solved!

Phew! After much thought, and work, I've got a back for the offset barn raising quilt. Conundrum solved!

Though it doesn't use yardage I had hoped to, it does up more of the Christmas fabric from this pile left from yesterday.

And boy, did I squeeze out two more blocks, fishing through the trash basket to come up with two green squares. Four pieces to make one 2 1/2" square. That's desperation!

Check out all the extra seams.

Elaine suggested taking off the long strips on the blocks, and using them to make the two others, which was a good idea. Fortunately, I got lucky that narrow strips were wide enough, that when sewn, made 2 1/2" strips. So no blocks were unsewn.

As for the layout, I had offset snowballs as one of my ideas yesterday, but the lack of two more blocks prevented it from going further. Yvonne suggested a layout in a pyramid formation, and with two more blocks, the tree evolved. And what Christmas tree doesn't need a star?

Thanks to everyone for all of the suggestions, as they certainly kick started another round of creativity and a fun quilt back!

Tomorrow, it's on to the quilting. Originally, I was going to do a design in each of the rings of the barn raising.

But because this is a two-fer quilt (two quilts in one), that quilting won't compliment the tree. Instead, I think I'll do an all over panto, which will look great on both sides. I'll show an update tomorrow at Midweek Makers.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Christmas Conundrum

I wish this were one of those instances of not knowing what to give someone for Christmas. When all else fails, give food. But no, here we're talking quilt backs. Ugh.

On my latest Christmas quilt, I thought I was being all smart by stitching together small scraps to make big enough pieces for more blocks to go on the back. 

And by the small scraps and a bit of yardage that's left, I'd say I was successful in using up what I started with.

But here's the problem. 

22 blocks. Not enough to make a square, rectangle or complete a design. And those scraps are not going to squeeze out two more blocks. Ugh.

I'm totally stumped. I've stared at this problem since Saturday afternoon, and still haven't come up with a solution. Blocks have been rearranged, spaced apart, and put in funky settings. To no avail. And it doesn't help that my personal challenge is to use all those blocks and make the back look somewhat planned. I didn't go to all that work stitching Christmas scraps for nothing!

So if anyone has any ideas to help with this Christmas conundrum, feel free to leave a comment. In the meantime, I'm off to make some cookies to give away!