Welcome to Saturday Sunday Quilting Bring & Share! Hope you have had some time for patchwork and quilting this weekend – it’s a bit late to be asking you to bring along your projects to this virtual sewing day/weekend but, for those of you who blog, I look forward to seeing and reading all about your sewing in your next post 🙂 So maybe not much time to bring but plenty of time to share. Please do use the links below as a portal into the quilty goodness being shared by members of the Worldwide Quilting Community.
Whew! I did finish the second of the Square-in-a-Square quilts made from a Moda Mirabelle charm pack
Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 Bring along your project(s) and share in some of the news, views and inspiration doing the rounds of the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do join in the sharing by clicking on the links and using the comments box at the end of this page. There’s an email subscription box too if you’d like to keep track of my blog posts week by week.
It’s been a funny old week for me. My husband has been away for six nights on a business trip – to the Caribbean would you believe! He arrived home safely on Friday morning – it was -1ºC when his plane landed at Gatwick, the day before he’d flown out of Antigua after enjoying a swim in temperatures nearing 30ºC!
Seven days and six nights home alone…! I coped but I wouldn’t like to have to do it too often. For a start I struggle to eat properly when I’m on my own – so tempting to have a few slices of toast rather than preparing vegetables and
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!
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.
Next 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 🙂
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 🙂 There are a few beige strips too and these 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.
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 🙂
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.
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!
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 🙂 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 🙂
It 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.
The ‘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:
Draw the diagonal stitching lines on the little corner squares with a very fine marker pen rather than an ordinary pencil.
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.
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.
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.
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.