quilt patterns, Scrappy Sunday

Scrappy Sunday

It’s the final Scrappy Sunday post of 2020 – and (we have decided) our final Scrappy Sunday post. Something new will be appearing in the New Year – but possibly not on Sundays!

And as its that time of year, and today was supposed to be about strips, here’s a Log Cabin festive quilt.

No, its not scrappy but yours could be.

So – we hope you have a happy Christmas (as best as we all can in the circumstances). Stay safe and let us hope for a better 2021.

Inspiration, possibilities, Scrappy Sunday, scraps

Scrappy Sundays – Log Cabin

Log Cabin is such a classic (and simple) design; although often seen with a limited number of fabrics it is one that cries out to be made from scraps – as it would have been back in ‘the Olden Days’. These are two of Barbara’s vintage quilts – the black and light one is just a coverlet (no wadding) while the other one is a folded Log Cabin.

#1 Log Cabin coverlet - CopyDSCF2972

The basic premise of the block is that you start with a central shape – usually a square and then stitch strips around. The strips are usually the same width so you should end up with a neat collection of squares when you finish. The number of strips you add is up to you – stop when you get bored! The more strips you add the bigger the block; the wider the strips, the bigger the block; the bigger the central square, the bigger the block. Talking of which – your central square could be an orphan block or a random orphan unit such as a half-square triangle. Likewise, in theory, you make half the block from light fabrics and half from dark – like the black and light quilt above. But you don’t have to. These blocks are again some vintage ones from Barbara’s collection.

If you use different width strips – narrow light ones (say) and wider dark ones then you can get the illusion of circles or curves in your quilt. You do need to make a less than subtle difference in the widths for this to show up properly. Chris’s autumnal quilt only has a slight difference in the widths of the strips.

Autumn woodland LC

Having half the block light and half dark – whether the strips are the same width or not – can allow you to play with all sorts of settings before you decide which one to stitch together.

You don’t have to have all the same size strips either – you can make a ‘wonky’ log cabin block by randomly stitching different sizes of strip around the centre and then trim everything square and the same size at the end (thus creating even more scraps, but tiny ones), or add a border around each block to make them square.

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You can find the pattern to make the quilt this collection of blocks eventually turned into in British Patchwork and Quilting magazine July 2019 issue – and the finished blocks did not look like the photo above, that was just one try-out!

Or you can, as Ann Jermey has done with these ones, stitch random strips around squares and/or rectangles to make a variety of blocks to put together into a quilt, with a neat sashing to hold it all together.

2019-07-08 12.30.10.jpg

Although all these quilts are ‘scrappy’ they have one thing in common – they stuck to a particular colour palette (autumnal) or a particular fabric type (hand-dyes and flannels).

And one thing you can never have too many of – books for inspiration!

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classes, Teaching

Log Cabin with a twist

A very busy Saturday class featuring one of our favourite blocks -Log Cabin. Of course, Log Cabin is less a block and more of a whole quilting department of its own. Probably infinite in possibilities. Chris’s demo included the basics of both Log Cabin and Courthouse Steps and then moved on to adding in squares and half-triangle squares. Time for coffee, tea and biscuits before choosing, cutting and stitching. Starting with arrangements of Chris’s sample blocks you can get an idea of the various productions of the day – see if you can spot the “never done this before” ones!


















classes, Inspiration

Class report week 2

A very quick class report – it’s minus 4 degrees outside and Barbara doesn’t want to sit around too long for fear she might become a lump of ice.  OK,  minus 4 is not that cold but it really feels like a good reason not to stay in one spot too long, indoors or out.  We remembered to take a quick shot of our smiling students before they found out what homework we were setting for this week

Last week, while Chris was dealing with the flu demon, Barbara had shown everyone some hexagons-made-from-triangles that she had slapped together  made over Christmas and we explored just a few of the possibilities of this construction.  C&B “kit-ettes” for similar hexagons were produced this week so that  everyone had a chance to refresh their handpiecing skills and we hope to see several of these made up into sizeable pincushions in due course.  But it’s easy to get carried away, so here’s a delightful example that almost made itself after last week’s session

Two students claim to be complete beginners.  We tend to be very wary of this self-assessment because we’ve found, over the years, that “complete beginners” turn out to be way ahead of the two of us in all skills and productivity rating.  And, yes, its going to happen again this term – with no previous patchwork experience, here’s what Angela has made in the past week –

Its true that they’re not traditional Log Cabin blocks in terms of value and fabric placement, but we all thought they looked absolutely wonderful and you could see a number of little light bulbs switching on – random Log Cabin here we come!

Homework this week is six or twelve inch house blocks, or any of the other worksheets we handed out.  We’re delighted to find that we are (inadvertently) keeping up with current trends – over in blogland folks are making houses galore.  Take a look at Repro Quilt Lover and Building Houses from Scraps and try to resist joining in!

classes, Sampler Quilt class

Sampler Quilt blocks

We’re both moving along with the blocks for the Sampler Quilt class.  Having decided to re-visit 12inch blocks ( a size neither of us has worked with a lot since the mid-80s) we’re finding that the blocks are not as huge or “clunky” as we remembered them.  This probably has something to do with the fact that, these days, we have much wider fabric choices available rather than the old adages of “one print, one plain and one background ” or “one light, one medium and one dark” .  We also have MUCH bigger stashes to work from!  So, within a 12inch block , we are now comfortable with using more than 3 fabrics  and the overall result is visually more interesting – or so we like to think!  Here are two more of Barbara’s blocks so you can see what we mean – the Log Cabin block has 13 different fabrics, the first LeMoyne Star variation has 4 and the second variation, all triangles, has 7.

Now it’s time to go and choose fabrics for the next blocks, which will probably include a couple more of those ever-versatile Log Cabins – Chris has found a really interesting  variation which may show up here when she’s had chance to put it together.