Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Folded Log Cabin Instructions Continues. . .

Putting the blocks together to see the final outcome is exciting, especially since I'm putting them together with two different fabric variations.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.  The blocks need to be trimmed up before they can be put together.  Measuring all of the blocks, my common measurement is 6 3/8".  
Line a square ruler over two sides at the 6 3/8" mark.  Trim muslin on open two sides.  Turn block around and trim other two sides.
Squared up square looks like this.
To join squares together, butt the edges up and zigzag stitch them together using the widest stitch.  No need to pin.  Once all squares are joined, sashing in pieced over them.
Place 2 1/2" x 6 3/8" sashing strip at zigzag line, right sides together.  Baste in place to confirm block seam line is covered.  Once satisfied, sew in place.
Here are the two variations as they stand with sashing in place.
With first seam sewn, press sashing over and edge under to cover the seam on the other side.  Seam can be hand sewn with a blind hem stitch or, as I did, via machine applique stitch with smoke invisible thread.
Add the borders making sure to cover the block seams.  Border strips are 3" wide.
This is the first version.
And here is the other variation.  Do you have a favorite?  Love to hear your opinion.  Quilting is next.

Until next time,

Monday, January 30, 2012

Folded Log Cabin Instructions. . .

The folded log cabin blocks are now complete and ready for sashing and borders.
Here are the instructions to make a courthouse steps block with this technique.

The fabric requirements are:  muslin for block foundation; fabric for square centers; and, six fabrics for rows.  I cut an 8" square for each block from the muslin.  From each of the striped fabrics cut a 2" x WOF strip.  An additional strip is needed for the outer fifth and sixth fabrics.  Press each strip in half.  Cut a 2 1/2" square from the center fabric.  
Cut 4 - 2 1/2" strips from the first row fabric.
Place the center square into the center of the muslin foundation.  Lay one 2 1/2" strip on the center square with raw edges matching outer square edge, folded side in.  Sew 1/2" inside the folded edge.
I used the left edge of my presser foot as my seam guide.
Lay a second 2 1/2" strip on the opposite side, matching up the edge as previously described.  Sew.
Add the third and fourth 2 1/2" strips on the remaining opposite sides.  Square should still measure 2 1/2."
The remaining rows are sewn as follows:  lay the assigned strip 3/8" from the edge of the previous row's folded edge.  I recommend using a 1"x6" ruler for measuring.  Each strip needs to be measured as you go around the square.
When sewing, begin with a 1/4" tail.  When seam is complete, cut the strip 1/4" beyond the square edge.  Do not sew down the extra 1/4" of fabric.
This is what each strip will look like as sewn on.
Continue sewing strips around, remembering to measure each strip and sew 1/2" from the folded edge.
Each seam should be catching about 1/8" of the previous row's edge.
This is the 3rd row completed,

and the 4th,
the 5th,
and the 6th.   I'll trim up and join the blocks next time.

Until next time,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

On a Whim Project. . .

While in Tacoma last August, I saw a folded log cabin quilt I really loved.  When I got home I collected the fabrics and put them aside to begin at some future date.  Yesterday that all changed when I came across a book on the technique.
So I gathered my fabrics,
Stripes for my blocks,
and two color sets for my blocks centers and borders.  This will be a 3-block wallhanging.  I will make two wallhangings with the same fabrics for the blocks and these two different color sets for the block centers and borders.
Here's the results for the first blocks.
I'm enjoying the technique and will definitely have to teach a class.

Until next time,

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Finishes - Shapes II Corded Binding Finish

Shapes II is quilted and it's time to put the binding on.  But what to do?  As I was considering this question, I happened to notice a braided cord I had bought to put on the quilt but discarded it after realizing it was too large.  But how about as a binding pulling all of the metallic gold thread together?  Recently having read about a corded binding technique for art quilts I decided to give it a try.
Following Carol Ann Waugh's Rattail Binding technique video, I began by zigzag stitching around the outside edge of the quilt, changing thread colors to match the fabric.
Using the gold metallic thread, I then zigzag stitched the gold cording to the edge.
Unfortunately, I did not take any close ups.  But the result looks good, don't you think?
When you look at Carol Ann Waugh's technique, I suggest you pay particular attention to the cord junction.  I did have some difficulty making them come together smoothly.  I know it's hard to see but if you look closely you can see the junction on the right side.  Using a large cording had something to do with it.  Also, I didn't go around the quilt with another row of zigzag stitching because the thread would have muddied up the look of the cording.

This is a nice finish for an art quilt.  Carol Ann Waugh's instructions were complete and I found the binding easy to do (exception in joining but not technique problem, mine).  I will use this again keeping in mind that it works best with a low loft batting so the initial zigzag stitching completely closes the layers.  The binding style needs to be used on wall quilts only as I would not recommend it on a quilt to be washed.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shapes II - The Surprise of Quilting. . .

Time to begin quilting Shapes II.  I'm happy with the results so far but will the quilting make or break the quilt?  That's always the question I wrestle with.  The quilt colors gave me the impression of the cosmos or outer space so that's the direction my stitching moved towards.
I began simply by SID between the quilt center and border, and then the inside and outside edges of the square and arc matching thread color to the teal.   I next quilted the background.  Because I want to keep it behind the other quilt elements, I quilted the background the densest with a meander.
As I knew that I wanted to use gold metallic thread on the red border, I moved to that next using a free motion zig-zag stitch.
Continuing to use the gold metallic thread, I SID around the triangles and outlined the appliqued circles.  I added a few lines within the triangles to bring sparkle to them.
Final object to quilt is the square.  Not sure what I wanted, I decided to try a set of stitches I've been wanting to try.  The stitch set consists of a few straight free motion stitches, some free motion zig-zag stitches, finishing with a few more straight free motion stitches.  As I began stitching, I decided to drag the thread between the stitch sets.  I intended to clip the dragged thread once the quilting was complete.  However, as I completed one section, I realized I liked the look as it was so left threads.  Quilting done, happiness with results continues.  Binding details next.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Completing Piecing for Shapes II. . .

Shapes II is trimmed up and ready for borders.
The original design has asymmetrical borders:  2 narrow at 1"; 2 wide at 2 1/2".  First narrow border of 1" was sewn to right side.  Second narrow border was sewn to top.
Bottom wide border is next.  Border piecing is completed with adding wide left side.
Remember this applique piece prepared way back when?
It is now fussed to the wide border sides.  And I think I have winner!   As you may recall I began this quilt journey in my effort to design a class pattern.  Believe it or not, the interior of this quilt can be completed in one class session.  I am happy with the results and the project contains the elements needed.  The students will have to complete the borders outside of class but I think they can handle that.  I will make it again in different colors and share it with you.

Quilting and binding are next.  I'm never sure what I'm going to do until I begin.

So until next time,