Building a Log Cabin Workshop

The Log Cabin block is one of my favourites to piece. I find the huge range of layouts that can be made just by re-orientating a few of these blocks quite fascinating. So when a quilt group friend expressed an interest in learning how to make a Log Cabin quilt my little brain cogs starting whirring!

Whirligig Log Cabin by Allison Reid
Log Cabin blocks arranged in a ‘Whirligig’ pattern – I made this quilt way back in 2015
Another of my Log Cabin quilts. The blocks are arranged in a ‘Fields and Furrows’ layout

First of all I gave some thought to the skills and techniques I could teach using the Log Cabin block. I decided to teach a basic square-in-the-middle block using speedy strip piecing techniques for part of the workshop and then switch to the slower, but more precise, individual rotary cut piece technique to make curved Log Cabin blocks.

Log Cabin Class Quilt (1) by Allison ReidNext step was to draw up the blocks and play around with layouts on EQ7…

The blocks are 10″ finished and the quilt top with borders measures 68″ square. Once I started getting down to the nitty-gritty math of the quilt I was pleased to find this pattern will be ‘Jelly Roll friendly’. I was even more pleased when I found a Moda French General Jelly Roll listed on Lucy’s ‘Secret Garden Quilting’ website that looked to have the limited colour palette I had in mind for my sample quilt πŸ™‚

And whoopie-do when the Jelly Roll arrived – and I did that brave thing and unrolled it – I found just the right number of blue strips and red strips required for the quilt top πŸ™‚ There are a few beige strips too and theseΒ  can be used as background. The beige strips helped me to colour-match low-volume fabrics from my stash to make up the 2m of background fabric I’ve calculated is needed to complete the design . We shall see! Obviously making up a sample quilt is a good and necessary part of testing a pattern but it’s fun too; seeing an idea move from paper or a screen to being realised in fabrics.

Stars and Moons jelly roll by Allison Reid
Moda ‘Vive La France’ Jelly Roll
Stars and Moons jelly roll strips by Allison Reid
Vive La France Jelly Roll strips decorating my design wall πŸ™‚

This morning I spent a couple of hours making a start writing the pattern on my lap top. It takes me quite a while to do this. As I’m writing I think through the logical steps in choosing fabrics, cutting the fabrics, making the blocks and putting the quilt top together. I enjoy teaching workshops using my own patterns as I get to see them being used and I learn more about the different ways patchwork quilters read and interpret patterns.

I’m planning to schedule the ‘Build a Log Cabin Workshop’ for early in the New Year. Keep an eye on the Workshop of this blog for a date and venue πŸ™‚

While the Log Cabin workshop pattern has some way to go before publication you can find my other patterns by clicking on to my Etsy Shop, www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AllisonsPatchworks . Most are available as instant download PDFs, a few are hard copy paper patterns for sale in the UK only.

Linking with Judy for Design Wall Monday. Judy has a teeny-tiny Apple Core quilt in the making. Also linking with Beth for Monday Making, she shares the beautiful square-in-a-square applique quilt she has been busy working on the past week.

Allison

Snowball Flower Block tutorial and a Peanuts Finish

You might like to sit down and take a few deep breaths as I am announcing another finished project :-O I know! That’s three in three weeks! But don’t worry, normal slow progress will be resumed very shortly!

Snoopy Baby Quilt finished front by Allison Reid

The finish I’m sharing is this very cute cot quilt commissioned by a friend for her Granddaughter’s first birthday. My friend found the cotton pillow cover with the Snoopy picture on the front and the saying, ‘Sleeping is an art’ printed on the back. The rest was up to me πŸ™‚ I just happened to have some scraps of the text print ‘Friendship’ backing fabric lying around. It looked so good with the Peanuts cartoon style and as friendship is a key theme running through Schulz’s little world the fabric seemed the perfect choice for the background of the patchwork blocks. Fortunately the bolt was still available at Purple Stitches so I bought another metre to use for the backing of the cot quilt too πŸ™‚

Snoopy Baby Quilt finished back by Allison Reid

Snoopy Baby Quilt flower fabrics by Allison ReidIt took me a little while to plan the quilt. Obviously the Snoopy picture needed to be the centre panel. I thought bright cartoon-like flowers would make a good border for a girls quilt. I hope the blocks look like flowers? With the help of my daughter we chose fabrics with bold colours that worked well with the bright red of Snoopy’s dog house roof. These are mainly 1930’s repro fabrics with ditsy patterns.

I spent some time with squared paper, pencil and eraser figuring out block design and size. It was a bit tricky trying to stretch the design into a rectangle (I guess it’s no surprise that patchwork blocks readily create square quilt tops but often need a bit of persuading to arrange themselves into a bed sized rectangle?). The most suitable finished block size was six inches. I cut the Snoopy panel down to 22″ by 18″ and spaced the two styles of flower blocks (Snowball and Eight-Point Star) around it using 2″ borders and either 1″ or 2″ sashing strips.

Snoopy Baby Quilt test snowball block by Allison ReidThe ‘Snowball Flower’ blocks are each made of four Snowball units. I made a test block as I have a history of issues with distorting Snowball corners. The test block is by no means perfect but it did help me to develop strategies to improve accuracy:

  1. Draw the diagonal stitching lines on the little corner squares with a very fine marker pen rather than an ordinary pencil.
  2. Switch from a general needle plate on my machine to a single-hole needle plate. I found the machine needle was pushing the fabrics down into the machine at the start of the stitching line causing them to get a bit ‘chewed’ and the stitching line to shift away from the central diagonal I was aiming for. This didn’t happen when the single-hole needle plate was used. Single hole needle plate by Allison Reid
  3. I could have starched the fabrics to further reduce distortion but I was reluctant to do this as I wasn’t planning to wash the quilt before handing it on to my friend.

Having figured out these strategies to improve accuracy I thought I’d share them with you and also write a Snowball Flower Block pattern that you are welcome to download and use.

Here is the link to the Snowball Flower block instructions: Snowball Flower Block instructions pdf – Sept 2019

To complete the quilt I pieced the back and used Quilters Dream Green wadding (I really like the smooth texture of this polyester wadding made from recycled plastic bottles). I machine quilted in the ditch around the Snowball Flower blocks, echoed quilted the Star Flowers and then used black thread to follow the outline of Snoopy and his roof. I finished with a bit of free-motion meandering in the white background surrounding Snoopy. Finally I machine stitched a double binding around the quilt.

Snoopy Baby Quilt Snowball Flower, binding and Backing by Allison Reid

I really enjoyed designing and making this bold and bright quilt. I hope it proves a long-term winner with it’s young recipient and her family.

Linking with Michelle for the Beauties Pageant and with Sarah for Can I get a Whoop Whoop? Michelle is swooning and Sarah is making a waddle of penguins πŸ™‚

Allison

NOT Saturday but Tuesday Quilting Bring and Share (69)

After a very enjoyable weekend with family I’ve been in two minds about publishing this post as a ‘Quilting Bring & Share’ or just starting over with a blank screen. But here we are…. It’s Tuesday, it’s very hot and I will be basing this post on the links I collected last week πŸ™‚ So, welcome to Saturday Tuesday Quilting Bring & Share! Do bring along your projects and share in quilty conversations using the links in the second half of this post.

Read moreNOT Saturday but Tuesday Quilting Bring and Share (69)

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (68)

Whew! It’s the weekend! Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share: an opportunity to bring along your project(s) and share in the conversations, tips and advice doing the rounds of the Worldwide Quilting Community. Please leave links to your projects and/or the conversations that have caught your quilty interest along with your thoughts in the comments box at the bottom of this page. πŸ™‚

First a big thank you to the ladies who came along to my Patchwork Workshop yesterday. It was a good day and everyone left happy with their completed foundation paper pieced and crazy patchwork blocks. I have posted photos of these lovely blocks on Instagram, @allisonreid.neweverymorning, and Facebook, www.facebook.com/NewEveryMorningPQ . Unfortunately I can’t post any photos here as I took them on my phone and have no idea how to transfer them to my laptop! (The one thing I did forget to take to the workshop was the memory card for my camera!).

Last week it was my intention to get the Square-in-a-square quilt tops sandwiched ready for quilting. That didn’t happen as prep for the Workshop and fiddling about with half square rectangles filled my sewing time. (And this little corner of England is bone dry – no rain for weeks – so watering the garden and allotment are becoming time consuming priorities).

Thankfully an email from Myra reminded me that I needed to complete the next stage of the Jelly Roll Waves QAL. This week is all about cutting up our fabrics. I’ve chosen to make the small lap top quilt using the strip piecing method. I’ve divided my main fabrics into lights and darks in the hope that my blocks will create an ombre effect across the quilt….

Jelly Roll Waves QAL cutting by Allison Reid

On Tuesday evening I attended the AGM of Roundabout Quilters. (It’s been a good year for the group with guest speakers, workshops and sewing days. Looking ahead, our biennial exhibition takes place through the weekend of 21-22nd September. Over the August break there will be lots of work being done to promote the event and ensure it runsΒ  smoothly). At the AGM I spied a lovely work bag on the arm of one of the members. She gave me the pattern name and I am now the owner of a copy of the ‘Crafter’s Carry-All’ pattern by Quilters Trading Post.

Crafters Carry-All pattern cover by Allison Reid

The pattern arrived super quick through the post. Goodness knows when I’m going to make the bag…. But I especially like it as it doesn’t have any zips πŸ˜€ I guess inserting zips is something else to add to my long list of skills to learn? πŸ˜‰

As for sewing this weekend….? Well! I’ve become one of those bloggers with ‘secret sewing’! Get me! I’ll even give you a ‘sneak shot’ πŸ˜€ of the gorgeous Oakshott Fabrics I’ll be using:

Oakshott Fabrics by Allison Reid

That’s all the bringing I’m doing this Saturday, now onto the sharing: I hope you find plenty to interest and inspire you through the following links:

Making a memory quilt from well worn fabrics holds challenges especially when those fabrics come from clothes worn by a much missed loved one. Bernie takes us through the making of a memory quilt with useful tips about choosing a design and stabilising and utilising the fabrics given for the project.

I know I’ve mentioned labeling quilts once or twice before… But Izzy has such a quick way to add a label to a quilt that there really is no excuse for missing out this step in the finishing a quilt πŸ˜‰ Check out her tutorial here.

Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts has some handy quilting tips when using minky as the backing fabric for a quilt.

It’s a while since I’ve done any hand quilting. Wendy is making a beautiful job of stitching out the designs on a Sashiko panel. In her blog post she also shares photos of a quilt she made featuring Sashiko stitching in alternate squares – it really is very striking.

If you are thinking of using the services of a long-arm quilter to do the quilting stage of one of your projects Stephanie has some handy tips re. how to prepare your quilt top and backing as well as the options you will need to discuss with the long-armer (is that even a word?).

Seems to be a bit of theme running through this weeks links: Jen has some useful tips for piecing quilt backings and shows how she bastes a quilt sandwich.

Watching You Tube is definitely one of those occupations where ‘one thing leads to another’… I clicked on to the Creative Grids tutorial to find some tips for using my Perfect Rectangle Ruler… when the tutorial finished it ran onto an Angela Walters video… so I learned how to quilt Paisley Feathers too… πŸ˜€

Linking with Myra for the Jelly Roll Waves QAL.

Happy Stitching!

Allison