Okay, back to quilts. It’s been a while since I posted a how to…
If you haven’t noticed by now, I love to work with little peices. Where this came from? I have no idea. So, that being said, join me on a journey to create a log cabin quilt out of 1″ strips.
My technique is one of the easiest to work. If you do not feel comfortable with the 1″ strips, you can add an inch to your measurements. This will result in a bigger quilt, closer to a full/queen than a twin.
To begin with, you will need a lot of batik fabric. I like to build my stash of fat quarters and then separate them into dark/medium and light/medium. You will use about equal amounts of both values. This is a great build as you go project. What I mean by this is you don’t have to have all your fabric to start this project. Just a good stack of lights and darks will get you started.
Speaking of, lets get to the cutting part. First you will take some of your medium/dark fabric to make your center square/hearth. I chose fabrics that were a bit closer to medium value for mine. Once you press your fabric, I totally recommend stacking several layers (I do 6 at a time) to get a nice mix without much effort. Your center square will be a 1 1/2″ square. You will cut 480 of these. I like to do a few extra so that I can play with the placements.
Once you’ve cut your center squares, move on to your strips. Stack these the same way so that you get a nice mix of patterns. Cut your dark and your light colors into 1″ strips the longest length of your fabric.
You will be working with about 1/4 of your center squares at a time. This will give you a nice scrappy look for your quilt.
You’ll have stacks like this…
To start your log cabin, begin with the light strips. Place right sides together and sew your squares to your strips. No need to pin these little guys. They will stay put with a little help from you.
Place your squares as close together as you can. This will give you less trimming when you cut them apart. Continue sewing your first 1/4 of squares. Once you finish these, its time to press.
There are two options to press these little guys. You can either press them while they are still in strip form, or cut them apart first. Which ever you are more comfortable with is fine. I like to cut mine apart and trim before I press. Make sure you press your seam away from your center square. This is very important. This is what gives your block a nice sturdy frame. Once you press and trim (or trim and press) it’s time to move on to the next strip.
This will also be a light strip. Make sure it is not the same light strip that you used for the first round, alternate to get a nice scrappy look. You will always start with the last piece that you just sewed onto your block. Meaning the last fabric you attached will be the first to go through your sewing machine. You will be adding fabric counter clockwise from the right side of the fabric.
If you have fabric left on your strip that is not long enough to attach another block of this size, grab one from your next 1/4 stack of squares. Use everything you can!
Once you’ve finished adding your second strip, pick up your next 1/4 stack of squares and apply your first strip to those.
You will end up with strips like these…
This is what your pressing will look like if you leave them attached and trim after pressing…
Once they are trimmed, this is what you will have…
Press both your stacks. Now its time to move on to strip 3. This one will be dark. Remember we are going counter clockwise. Placing the last fabric you attached at the top, right sides together, sew strip 3 to your 2 blocks.
Once you finish those, put your 2nd strip on the next set. Remember these are still light. Use any left over lengths to start your next stack of squares. When you’re done with this round, you will have a set of blocks with 3 strips attached, a set with 2, and a set with one.
Continue in this fashion with the next round. When I did mine, I split my squares into about 1/3. One tip, use a large pair of shears to trim your squares away from your strips. This will allow you to get a nice even cut by lining your shears up with the edge of the previous fabric.
Continue adding strips like this until you have done 4 complete rows of light and dark. Cut more strips as you need to. Buy introducing new colors as you go, it will naturally add to your scrappy look.
Okay, this will take you awhile, so I’ll leave you here for now. Once you’ve finished adding all your strips, come back and check out placements!