Thursday, January 13, 2011

Log cabin in the springtime for April 2011

For our second block swap this year, I choose an oldie but goodie.  This is often the first quilt block people learn, probably because it is simple enough for a beginner but has a lot of potential when it comes to laying out the quilt top itself.  I am talking of course about the log cabin block.

To make the swap block you will need five (5) fabrics, in 2.5" strips (the reason for this dimension is so you can use up any jelly roll scraps you might have lying around), the result will be the biggest block we have ever made, but it is still beginner friendly.  One side of the log cabin should be three different fabrics, at least one of which should have a "nature" theme, a leaf pattern or vine, something like that.  The other side should read-as-solid & should be either clearly a light color or clearly a dark.  In my examples the light is yellow & the dark is a dark brown.  The center square should always be red.

I would suggest you make this block Eleanor Burns style, starting with the center & bordering two sides with the second fabric choice & the next two sides with the solid.  You will keep wrapping the 2.5" strips in this way until you have a total three turns around the center square & should be 14.5" square.

1- Begin with a 2.5" square of RED fabric.  This is the traditional color of the center of a log cabin block & your first fabric.  You will not need anymore of this fabric, so an 8x8 inch square would be more than enough for all six blocks. 

2-Add a 2.5" square in the second fabric to one side & then a 2.5" x 4.5" strip of the same fabric to an adjacent side, making a larger complete square.

3-With the third fabric (which you will use for 1/2 the log of the log cabin block), add a 2.5" strip to the next side & then the next.  I find the easiest way is to decide to turn the blocks either clockwise or counter clockwise as I piece & then stick with it.

4-Using the second fabric again, you will complete the next two sides.

5-With the fourth fabric, complete the first two sides of the outer edge.

6-Using the second, solid fabric complete the round & complete the block.

Your log cabin block, just to be clear, begins with a center square that is red.  You will need three different fabrics that will comprise one half of the block, one turn each, at least one of which should have leaf or vine or woodsy type pattern, & then the other half of the block will be a fifth fabric that should read-as-solid & should be either obviously lighter than all the others OR obviously darker than all the others.  All the units begin as a 2.5" strip; the first seam connects a 2.5" red square to another 2.5" square.After that you are adding 2.5" strips to each new side, cutting them & pressing them & then adding the next strip.

These blocks are due the last Saturday in April, April 30 2011.  They will be swapped Sunday, May 1 & sent back in the envelope you provide Monday, May 2, 2011.

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