Modern Log Cabin Quilt

When I first decided that I wanted to return to quilting, I wanted to create a piece which had been floating around in the back of my mind for awhile.  Modern Log Cabin Quilt

Several years ago I had been to an exhibit at The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut which included a “potholder” quilt from around the Civil War.  A potholder quilt is created by quilting and binding individual blocks before whip stitching them together to form a quilt.  This technique was popular during the US Civil War for group quilts made to send to soldiers.  Each person working on the project could piece, quilt, and bind individual blocks.  When the group would meet, they could whip stitch the blocks together and quickly produce a finished quilt.

This quilting technique would work well in a modern context because:

  • The individually bound blocks naturally create a quilt which has a design on both the front and back of the quilt- Its like getting two quilts for the work of one!
  • Since much of the design comes from the binding of the blocks, you can really show off some of those gorgeous fabrics that are available to us now.
  • It is completely plausible to quilt even the largest quilts on a domestic sewing machine using this technique since you are only quilting a small portion at a time.
Modern Log Cabin Front View

Front View of “Modern Log Cabin”

I wanted my first project using this method to be fairly straightforward, but I didn’t want to go with a super traditional layout of square blocks either.  I landed on the idea of creating a modern Log Cabin block on a large scale.  Each “log” is its own bound block.

First, I drafted the layout for the quilt.  I planned accent strips (the orange stripes in the finished quilt) to add visual interest and create a natural place to seam fabric together for “logs” longer than the width of the fabric.  (I always try to design in necessary seams when I can!)/Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Portfolio/Misc. Projects/Quilt

Originally, I planned to unite the front and back of the quilt by making the accent pieces the same color as the reverse side of the quilt.  While selecting fabrics, I decided that both sides of the quilt wanted a jolt of color.  I went with an orange from Carolyn Friedlander’s collection since it worked well with both the grey and the blue sides of the quilt./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Portfolio/Misc. Projects/Quilt

For the quilting design I used straight line quilting paired with radiating arcs.Modern Log Cabin Quilting Detail

The binding is cut on the straight grain and each side is bound individually (rather than with mitered corners) as a nod to how quilts were sometimes bound in potholder quilts.  Side note- I still prefer doing bias with mitered corners.  I seriously considered how to join the blocks.  The traditional method would be hand whip stitching (I did this on the quilt Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win), but I wanted to experiment with using a sewing machine, so I selected a triple zig zag stitch.  Modern Log Cabin Detail

This quilt came together pretty easily, and I am really happy with the result.  I finished this quilt back in September, but I hadn’t gotten around to sharing it yet.  Today seemed to be a good day to share because I recently found out that this quilt will be exhibited in the Modern Quilt Category at the American Quilter’s Society Show in Paducah, Kentucky this April!  I have been to this show a few times (and as a high school student had a couple of garments in the fashion show there), but this is the first time I have had a quilt in a major show.  This was an awesome surprise since I almost didn’t enter this quilt!  (I had also entered Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win, which was not accepted even though I thought that it would have a much better chance.  It is so hard to tell what each show is looking for in a given year.  For now, I guess I will keep entering shows with a couple different style quilts and just see what happens- It can’t hurt, right?)

Back View of "Modern Log Cabin"

Back View of “Modern Log Cabin”

Quilt Stats

Title:  Modern Log Cabin

Size:  53″x63″

Techniques:  Bound Blocks (Potholder Technique), Machine Pieced and Quilted

Quilting:  Straight Line and Radiating Arcs

Fabric:  Assorted Cotton Prints

Batting:  Warm and Natural Cotton Batting

Thread:  White Cotton Machine Quilting Thread

Binding:  Cotton print, cut on grain in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new:

  • Bound block technique
  • On grain binding
  • Binding each side individually (no miters)

I’ll be linking this quilt post up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Please take a few moments to stop in and see all of the lovely projects being shared!

Ball Drop Starburst WIP

I have been busily paper piecing away on this quilt over the past couple weeks, and I am really excited to share the finished top.  This quilt was one of my big goals (#16) for the First Quarter Finish Along, so I am really happy to be this far along.  I was hoping to run outside to take a photo of the quilt top out in the snow, but the frigid wind kept trying to blow it away, so I had to settle for indoor photographs today.

Quilt Top Full


The close up photos do a slightly better job of showing off the fabrics and colors.

Quilt Top Detail

This quilt was inspired by the first mini quilt in my Mini Quilt Mania Series.  I loved the pattern so much that I scaled up the blocks so I could do this generously sized lap quilt.  At this point in the process the quilt top measures approximately 53″x64″  This is the original quilt which measured 12.5″ x 14.25″ when quilted and bound.  I was a little concerned that I may not like my design as well with the scale adjusted, but I think that the size translation is working pretty well.

Mini #1

Mini #1

The fabric I ordered for the backing finally arrived yesterday so this afternoon I’ll baste this up and start quilting.  I’m hoping to share the finish in a week or two!

I’ll be linking this post up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, and Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts.  Please check out all of the fantastic works in progress shared there!

Sweet and Simple Hashtag Quilt

My goals for 2015 include developing patterns and teaching quilting classes.  It seems that there is a big call for simple (but not boring) quilts of a manageable size.  I have really been enjoying coming up with a couple sweet and simple quilts that use squares, half square triangles, and strip piecing.  What one symbol is more contemporary than the hashtag?  Hashtag Front

There are four different fabrics in this sweet little quilt.  The main fabric is Kona cotton and there are three different low volume prints that make up the hashtag symbols.Hashtag Front Detail

I chose to quilt this project with a quarter circle arc.  This shape resembles the wifi symbol, and therefore connects with the dominant symbol of the hashtag.

Hashtag Back

In retrospect, I wish I had used a print on the back of the quilt to mix things up a bit.  Of course this quilt goes together so easily and looks so cute, I may have to make a few more!

Back Detail

Quilt Stats

Title:  Sweet and Simple Hashtag

Size:  40″x40″

Techniques:  Machine pieced, Machine Quilted

Quilting:  Echoing Quarter Circle Arc pattern done with a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Kona Cotton and Low Volume Prints

Batting:  Warm and White Cotton Batting

Thread:  Pieced using Gutermann Mara 100, Quilted with Connecting Threads Essential Cotton Quilting thread in Sangria

Binding:  Kona Cotton matching the quilt background, cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back.

I am linking this post up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, and Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.  Please stop by to see all of the lovely work being shared!

Valentine Tic-Tac-Toe: Mini Quilt #5

What could be more fun than a mini quilt?  Eleven mini quilts!  This week I decided to make the fun and games of Mini Quilt Mania into a real game!  This mini is a quilted version of tic-tac-toe with a Valentine’s Day twist.

Tic-Tac-Toe Quilt Set

The game board section section of the set is comprised of a grid of red echoed with this fun pink print.  The background of white Kona Cotton really shows off the echoing heart spiral quilting.

Quilt Front

The backing of the quilt is also white Kona, which shows off the pink quilting thread.

Back Quilting and Binding

One quilt isn’t enough for this week, so I made ten more mini quilts to act as game pieces.

Tic-Tac-Toe Set Bag

The five X’s for this game are square blocks made from half-square-triangles that are paired with one another then stitched and cut again along the opposite diagonal.

Square Game Pieces

I replaced the standard O’s of the game with five heart shaped pieces.  The inner hearts are fused using Wonder Under before being machine blanket stitched around the edges.

Heart Game Pieces

All of the game pieces were “bagged out” (stitched together with right sides of the fabric facing one another and then turned right side out through a small opening in the stitching) with a piece of cotton batting.  I had never tried this technique with batting before, and I was a bit concerned about the bulk around the edges of the pieces.  Fortunately, a row of edge stitching around each piece allowed them to lay flat.  The added bonus was that the edge stitching closed up the openings used to turn the pieces right side out.  No hand slip stitching on this project!

Game Pieces in Bag

To keep the game pieces together, I whipped up a cute little drawstring bag in matching fabric.  It is fully lined in the light pink cotton.

Bag Closed

Quilt Stats

Title:  Valentine Tic-Tac-Toe

Size:  Quilted Game Board- 16.5″x16.5″   Hearts and Squares- 3″x3″   Storage Bag- 5″x7″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing, Fusibles, Machine Applique, Bagged-out shapes

Quilting:  Machine quilted.  Game board- Heart shaped spiral.  Heart Pieces- heart shaped ech0.  Square Pieces- diagonal orange-peel shapes

Fabrics:  100% Cotton fabrics including Kona Cotton in White, Marble Dot from Moda, a Suzy Ultman print for Robert Kaufman, and a Nancy Halvorsen design for Benartex

Batting:  Scraps of Warm and White and Warm and Natural

Thread:  Pieced using Gutermann Mara 100 in White and Magenta. Machine embroidery done with Mettler Cotton Machine quilting thread in Magenta.  Quilted with Connecting Threads Essential Thread in Magenta.

Binding:  Marble Dots from Moda, cut on the bias in 2″ strips.  Machine stitched to the front of the quilt, hand stitched to the back

What Was New:

Creating an interactive game in quilt form

Bagging out small quilt pieces with batting included

Quilt 5 / 50

Quilt 5 / 50

Goal #4 is Finished!

Goal #4 is Finished!

I am linking this quilt up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She.  Please stop by to see everyone’s lovely work!

Triple Heart: Mini Quilt #4

I had originally planned to post this sweet little mini quilt a bit closer to Valentine’s Day, but ultimately decided that there may be someone who could draw inspiration for their own heart-based endeavors in the coming weeks!

Triple Heart Front View

I recently did a quilt with a lot of hexagons that were made by cutting a circle and folding the edges in to create the hexagon shape.  In creating these pieces, I became curious about how these shapes would look if I omitted the final fold.  The result is a vaguely ice-cream-cone-shaped piece.  Two of these together make an adorable heart!

  1. To make these shapes you will want to start with a circle.  I used a container from a round of Brie cheese, but this technique will work with any size circle.
  2. With the wrong side of the fabric out, fold the circle into quarters to find the center point of the shape.
  3. With a needle and knotted basting thread, catch 1-2 threads at the tip of the fold and pull the thread through to the knot.
  4. Unfold the circle with the wrong side of the fabric facing up and your thread coming up from the center of the circle.
  5. Take a small stitch at a point on the outer edge of the circle.  You will want to insert the needle as close to the edge of the fabric as possible without the stitch pulling out of the cut edge.  The needle goes in on the wrong side of the fabric and emerges on the right side.
  6. Now pull the thread through, bringing the edge of the circle to meet the center.  Press the fold you have created with your fingers.
  7. At the end of the fold you just created, take another stitch and pull that point on the edge of the circle to the center.  Finger press this fold, and take another stitch at the end of it.  Pull this point into the center.
  8. Continue around the circle in this manor until you have an ice-cream-cone-shape.
  9. Knot off your basting thread or backstitch at the center point and take the shape to the ironing board to give it a good press.

Triple Heart Construction InstructionTo form the center design, place the shapes right side together and whip stitch them together.

Whip Stitching

You will end up with a shape that looks like this.

Triple Heart Shape The back is almost as pretty!

Heart Medallion Back View I was originally planning to hand appliqué the shape to the background, but after thinking it over, I decided the hearts needed some additional emphasis in the form of more decorative stitches.  I liked using decorative machine stitches on Fibonacci on the Seashore, and I was eager to experiment with using machine stitching for appliqué.  For this project, I used a blanket stitch in a different color to stitch around the edge of each heart.

Blanket Stitch Detail

The hearts in this project are created without using curves, and I selected a gridded background for the piece.  Given all the linear aspects of this mini, I thought it would be interesting to make the overall shape a circle.  The radius for this 4.5 inches.

Triple Heart Back View

The hearts are quilted a quarter inch inside the appliqué.  The background is a radiating hexagon shape, with diamonds filling in the gaps.  The binding matches the background and backing, and I love the linear effect.  It was worth the effort I made to match up the design.

Binding and Blanket Stitch Detail

Quilt Stats

Title:  Triple Heart

Size:  9″x9″  (circumference is about 28- 1/4″)

Techniques:  Hand piecing, folded “hexagons” (without the final fold), Machine appliqué

Quilting:  Machine Quilted.  Hearts: Offset quilting 1/4″ inside the edge  Background: Spiraling hexagon

Fabrics:  Background from Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe line.  Hearts are 100% cotton prints and batiks.

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced by hand using Magenta Gutermann Mara 100 (and Thread Heaven); Machine appliquéd with red, magenta, and violet Cotton Mettler Quilting Thread; Quilted with navy cotton machine quilting thread; red, magenta, and violet Cotton Mettler Quilting Thread.

Binding:  Bias strips cut at 2 inches, machine straight stitched to the back, machine blanket stitched to the front.

What Was New:

  • A round quilt!
  • 5- sided “hexagons”
  • Machine appliqué with a blanket stitch
  • Finishing the binding on the front with a machine blanket stitch
Quilt 4 / 50

Quilt 4 / 50

Goal #3 is Finished!

Goal #3 is Finished!

I am linking this post up with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday at From Bolt to Beauty, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts, and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I hope you take a moment to see all of the wonderful work being created!

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