Thursday, October 31, 2013

November Scrappy Log Cabin

Hooray, I have made a decision on this month's quilt block for you wonderful folks to create.  Both Doris and Linsay wrote about how narrowing down a block is enormously difficult and, as Chris will attest, I have made two previous attempts at block selection.  However, there are some glorious log cabin quilts out there in blogland and I have taken inspiration from Bea Spoke Quilts and Cut to Pieces and decided to ask you to make a scrappy log cabin please.

Here's my proto-type:

I am hoping I can channel my image of stormy oceans and wintery windswept beaches to help you with your fabric selection.  I have been collecting greyish blues, from steel blue to denim colours.  As you can see in the photo above, I even used a straight grey too. 

Here's my collection that I have cut 2.5 inch strips from to use:

A hint of other colours (flotsam? coral reef?) in the blue fabrics together with bit of teal and olive/kelp green fabrics stopped my choices getting dull.

I found the following Kaffe Fassett fabric in a small shop in a neighbouring town and think I might use it as either backing or to frame the quilt top. Or even a great summer frock!  Anyhow, it might help you to match colours.
Incidentally, I have shattered my theory that Kaffe Fassett fabrics have no white....both the above flowers and the purple/green/blue irregular rectangles in the previous photo have white spaces.

Speaking of whites, can you please use a mixture of creams and off-whites for the 'other side' of the log cabin block.  I'd love them to be patterned, although I've been struggling to find things other than polka dots in my local fabric shops.  I really wish my shop would stock some funkier neutrals.  I've use plain calico too.  Actually white might work if there is a low value pattern on it. 

What to make
One scrappy traditional log cabin block using greyish-denim blues and off-whites/creams please.
The central square and all strips to be cut 2.5 inches wide.
Finished block = 14.5 inches wide.
However, if you can't located sufficient fabrics (and I really, truly mean this, because I have found smoky, greyish blues quite hard to find), then feel free to stop at a 10.5 inch block, send it over and I'll add the extra strips.

There are loads of tutorials out there and I couldn't find one to really explain exactly what I'm after, so here is my quick version.
Cut from smoky blues
1 strip 2.5 x 4.5 inches
1 strip 2.5 x 6.5 inches
1 strip 2.5 x 8.5 inches
1 strip 2.5 x 10.5 inches
1 strip 2.5 x 12.5 inches
1 strip 2.5 x 14.5 inches
Cut from off-whites/creams
1 square 2.5 x 2.5 inches
1 strip 2.5 x 4.5 inches
1 strip 2.5 x 6.5 inches
1 strip 2.5 x 8.5 inches
1 strip 2.5 x 10.5 inches
1 strip 2.5 x 12.5 inches
Cut from blue/teal with hint of red, orange, ochre or any other warm colour
1 central square: 2.5 x 2.5 inches

Interestingly, some authors advocate cutting the strips to the exact length and others cut longer (and some wider) and trim after joining each segment.  I tried a mixture of both.  While it was nice to have less stress and trim off the excess fabric, it was always a relief when I used the right length and didn't have to trim.  Moda reckon we should cut fabric strips for log cabins on the lenghtwise grain.   I found that information after I'd already cut most of my strips in the other direction to save fabric!

You old experienced hands feel free to skip this bit.

1. Start with the central square and attach the off-white square, press and join the off-white 4.5 inch strip.  Press.  Then like most tutorials, keep working in a clockwise manner and attach the blue 4.5 inch strip.

2. Then attach blue 6.5 inch strip, followed by off-white 6.5 inch strip.

3. And so on, adding 8.5 inch white strip, then 8.5 inch blue strip.

4.  Then 10.5 inch blue strip and then the same sized white strip:

4.  Then 12.5 inch white strip followed by the 12.5 inch blue strip and finally the 14.5 inch blue strip.

There you go.  I hope that wasn't too tedious to read.  Can't resist adding another photo in though.

These are compelling to make.  I've currently got another two laid out and am auditioning fabric strips.  I think I am aiming for another pale version and a version to include a cobalt liberty print I've found, although that is proving a bit tricky.  You'll notice that I have tended to limit the really darker blue fabrics to the margins of the block.

I hope you enjoy making this block as much as I am.


  1. Hi Anthea, ohhh what a lovely choice of block. I was waiting to see if you would change your mind :) I love the calmness of the colour palette. You have found such a gorgeous selection of fabrics and I really like the contrast between the creams and greyish blues. Have always loved a wintery stormy beach myself.

  2. There's one more thing.....(salute to Steve Jobs).... I forgot to mention that if those of you in the same place would like to share/swap a couple of fabrics, then feel free as I quite like the repetition it would create.

  3. Love love love this design Anthea! I'm so delighted to get to dig into something in my favourite shades of blue for you... xoxox

  4. Beautiful colors, Anthea! I haven't used this color palette before so I am looking forward to experimenting with what I have in my stash. Linsay, maybe we can coordindinate a swap of a few pieces through the mail?
    Thanks Anthea!

  5. Lovely block in lovely, subtle shades. Years ago, in Australia, I bought a ruler called 'My favorite log cabin ruler'. It is from the Marti Michell line of rulers which, I think, is American. It has the exact measurements for this log cabin marked on it, hooray! It also has a little note printed on it which says the strips should be cut on the lengthwise grain so thats what I'll do. Since the weather here is cold and windy I am going to stay inside and get cutting.

  6. I decided it's the 13th, I better check in and see what I need to make this month. Just received the last of my blocks (thank you all!).

    I think you might be taking it too easy on us this month!

  7. Anthea, if I remember I'll throw in some extra non-dotty-patterned of-whites! Plenty in my scrap pile to share!