Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wonky Log Cabins

I was reading blogs tonight and Vicki at Sew Inspired wrote about some log cabin blocks she is making.

She asked about how others make improv log cabins.

As she does, I also have felt that maybe I was putting too much effort into fabric placement, which fabrics to use, etc.

I made a baby quilt with wonky log cabins with fussy cut centers, and got so tired of making them that I stopped at 5 and made the alternate blocks as wonky 9-patches instead. I made each block individually, which meant even though I started with a pile of strips/scraps, I got up from the sewing machine after each seam, pressed it and cut the next side straight, and then often had to cut a strip or scrap to use as the next piece. That was time consuming and tiring.

Recently I found a bunch of odd scraps from old 4-H workshops I taught, and wanted to use them as the centers of wonky log cabins. This time I allowed myself to be much more random.

First I fussy cut the center pieces. Then I chose all the strips and scraps that were the colors I wanted to use. Then I started sewing them chain style, by sewing a piece on the right of each center.

I had 15 center pieces, so I didn't have to stop to press and trim until I had 15 sides on. I kept adding more pieces in the same way, pressing and trimming after every 15 seams. I purposely chose the shorter scraps and strips for the first rounds, leaving the longer ones for the end. And I did try to select fabrics to contrast with the previous piece on that block, such as using a green print after brown or red, etc., so one block wouldn't be too monotone. Even though it felt really random as I worked, it was fast and fun!

The blocks are coming out great. I am adding a last round of beige with white dots. After that I may put sashing between the blocks - not sure yet. They are set aside while I finish up a couple of other projects.

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