Friday, December 12, 2008

Log Cabin

I was very pleased at what I got done yesterday - a combination of scheduling and putting my head down. I finished the hand-quilting on the cross quilt and it will be bound and sleeved tomorrow. Then I quilted this baby quilt in the afternoon - something that surely wasn't on my radar before last Sunday.

Actually, the baby quilt is a sample from a class I taught back in Wisconsin. I stitched in the ditch by machine along the sashings, then added ties in them and the blocks. I knew this minimal quilting would never do if the quilt was ever washed - I'd used a cotton batting requiring quilting no farther apart than 2-3 inches. But I was making a point to my class and that's the way it ended up.

I rarely get the chance anymore to go to a baby shower so the quilt has languished in a storage bin. And then Sunday I was invited to an impromptu shower for the daughter of a church member who had just arrived from Florida, baby in tow and not much of a winter wardrobe for her. I had a lot of self-imposed deadlines this week, so I wasn't sure I could find the time to finish the quilting. But I did, and I was pleased that I pushed myself a bit to get it done.

Yes, Virgina, you can add quilting after the binding is on. The ties acted like safety pins, and I marked a simple diagonal grid with a ruler and herra marker. This is a good quick method to mark straight lines, the herra marker leaving a crease visible on most fabrics and nothing to remove afterwards. Are the lines perfectly spaced? No. Are they perfectly straight? No. Does it matter on a baby quilt? Not really. If perfection is your aim, this might not be the way you want to go, but if you are looking for quick and easy, and have some corners to use as guides, this works slick. These lines ended up being spaced approximately 2" apart - perfect. If I'd had more time, I might have doubled the number of lines, but 2" was adequate and doable in the hours I had.

As for the quilt itself, I call these "casual" log cabin blocks. The casual part comes from the fact that making these blocks can be approached "casually" because there's so little precision involved. Fussy cutting the center square from novelty fabric takes a bit of precision, but after that, just sew a variety of widths and angles of strips round the center square. Keep adding strips until the block is large enough to square up to 9-1/2" (or whatever pleases you - you might start with a larger or smaller center square for instance). Make sure the center square is NOT centered in the block when you do this squaring up. This adds to the "casual" flavor.

I think these blocks look good separated by a a wide sashing with corner stones and a 1/2" wide binding. For these 9 inch blocks, a finished 3 inch sashing is a good balance. Diagonal grid quilting is a good choice although an all over freemotion design would work well too. Here's the first one of these I made, using a small piece of crow fabric for my centers.


Katney said...

I love them. Maybe I will do some of those for grandkids instead of the Warm Wishes I have done for the last few GK-quilt-updates (big kid quilt replacing baby one.)

margaret said...

Good method! and the crows are great...

The Idaho Beauty said...

Yes, the crazy crows are my favorite. The class sample, as most class samples tend to be, included fabric from the store where the class was taught. She didn't have much to choose from in novelty fabrics with small motifs, so I thought I'd give a go at one in more pastel colors, to show that anything would work.

Failed to mention that the white fabric has the alphabet printed on it - otherwise, I probably would not have used white on a baby quilt!