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Thread: Chain sewing

  1. #11
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I've been making and teaching the log cabin quilt for decades and have developed a system that I use and teach in classes that has students saying, "for the first time I LIKE log cabin!"

    1. I NEVER cut individual logs. I strip piece. My logs are cut as narrow as 1 and 1/8 for personal use, 1&1/4 to 1& 1/2 in classes. I make my hearth block (the center) either the same size and the strips or a slight amount larger. I have also cut the center much larger - 3" - and used that space for particular quilting designs.

    2. I square up the block after every round. One round = four logs added. I use, and require in my classes, the Bias Square 8 square ruler from That Patchwork Place. It is the ONLY ruler on the market marked with a solid 1/8" lines at right angles in every inch. This allows you to trim the tiniest amount off each side of the block at each round. I make sure the diagonal line on this ruler runs through opposite corners of the center square when I begin to trim. This trick allows you to maintain the straightness, the square setting, of the finished block. **Because the log cabin is traditionally pieced in concentric circles, it is quite easy to cause the block to skew....just like you have when you are working needlepoint - the piece becomes trapezoidal shaped from the constant direction of the stitches.** When you are able to keep two adjoining sides of a square at right angles, then you will keep the block square.

    3. I press every log away from the hearth (center square). This allows me to turn the block over and measure on the back, no matter where I am in its construction, no matter how long ago I stopped working on the blocks, and start right off making more blocks exactly the same size. I don't even have to write down what size I cut the center because I can just measure it easily on the wrong side of the block.

    4. I always work at squaring up from the wrong side of the block. This allows me to keep the center and logs at the same place on the square up ruler, making all the blocks the same size.

    5. When/if the last round creates a block larger than 8" (and it often does), I use one of the models of Olipfa brand 12&1/2" square up rulers that has the same 1/8" markings in two directions that the Bias Square 8 has in the 8" ruler.

    I travel to teach workshops, you know!

    Jan in VA
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    Jan in VA
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    peacefully colors my world.

  2. #12
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    I've been making and teaching the log cabin quilt for decades and have developed a system that I use and teach in classes that has students saying, "for the first time I LIKE log cabin!"

    1. I NEVER cut individual logs. I strip piece. My logs are cut as narrow as 1 and 1/8 for personal use, 1&1/4 to 1& 1/2 in classes. I make my hearth block (the center) either the same size and the strips or a slight amount larger. I have also cut the center much larger - 3" - and used that space for particular quilting designs.

    2. I square up the block after every round. One round = four logs added. I use, and require in my classes, the Bias Square 8 square ruler from That Patchwork Place. It is the ONLY ruler on the market marked with a solid 1/8" lines at right angles in every inch. This allows you to trim the tiniest amount off each side of the block at each round. I make sure the diagonal line on this ruler runs through opposite corners of the center square when I begin to trim. This trick allows you to maintain the straightness, the square setting, of the finished block. **Because the log cabin is traditionally pieced in concentric circles, it is quite easy to cause the block to skew....just like you have when you are working needlepoint - the piece becomes trapezoidal shaped from the constant direction of the stitches.** When you are able to keep two adjoining sides of a square at right angles, then you will keep the block square.

    3. I press every log away from the hearth (center square). This allows me to turn the block over and measure on the back, no matter where I am in its construction, no matter how long ago I stopped working on the blocks, and start right off making more blocks exactly the same size. I don't even have to write down what size I cut the center because I can just measure it easily on the wrong side of the block.

    4. I always work at squaring up from the wrong side of the block. This allows me to keep the center and logs at the same place on the square up ruler, making all the blocks the same size.

    5. When/if the last round creates a block larger than 8" (and it often does), I use one of the models of Olipfa brand 12&1/2" square up rulers that has the same 1/8" markings in two directions that the Bias Square 8 has in the 8" ruler.

    I travel to teach workshops, you know!

    Jan in VA
    I would LOVE to take any class from you Jan! I am in awe of your knowledge and ability; I bow to you!!!!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheQuiltedPig

  3. #13
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Wow, am I ever glad I checked out this thread! I'm currently designing a quilt and am playing with putting log cabin blocks into it. Log cabin is a block that's been on my "try" list for a long time, but until reading these posts I had no idea of the possible complications. Jan, thank you so much for your clear instructions. It looks like a bias square ruler will now join my collection, too.
    Unexpected learning - how fun!! Thank you.
    Barbara

    Samuel Johnson - Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed, not by strength but by perseverance.

  4. #14
    CRO
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    I have made 3 log cabins using Eleanor Burns strip method. I had no problems with any of them. I had a lot of problems with the one I did cutting each piece and then sewing them together.

  5. #15
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    First, what SuperJan said. Second, check your seam allowance to make sure it's a true quarter inch. Third, use the same ruler throughout the cutting process - do not swap rulers in the middle of a project.

  6. #16
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    Chapel Hill
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    I use the strip method rather than cutting the individual pieces. I do square the blocks after each set of four rows.

    Cheers, K

  7. #17
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    I've been making and teaching the log cabin quilt for decades and have developed a system that I use and teach in classes that has students saying, "for the first time I LIKE log cabin!"

    1. I NEVER cut individual logs. I strip piece. My logs are cut as narrow as 1 and 1/8 for personal use, 1&1/4 to 1& 1/2 in classes. I make my hearth block (the center) either the same size and the strips or a slight amount larger. I have also cut the center much larger - 3" - and used that space for particular quilting designs.

    2. I square up the block after every round. One round = four logs added. I use, and require in my classes, the Bias Square 8 square ruler from That Patchwork Place. It is the ONLY ruler on the market marked with a solid 1/8" lines at right angles in every inch. This allows you to trim the tiniest amount off each side of the block at each round. I make sure the diagonal line on this ruler runs through opposite corners of the center square when I begin to trim. This trick allows you to maintain the straightness, the square setting, of the finished block. **Because the log cabin is traditionally pieced in concentric circles, it is quite easy to cause the block to skew....just like you have when you are working needlepoint - the piece becomes trapezoidal shaped from the constant direction of the stitches.** When you are able to keep two adjoining sides of a square at right angles, then you will keep the block square.

    3. I press every log away from the hearth (center square). This allows me to turn the block over and measure on the back, no matter where I am in its construction, no matter how long ago I stopped working on the blocks, and start right off making more blocks exactly the same size. I don't even have to write down what size I cut the center because I can just measure it easily on the wrong side of the block.

    4. I always work at squaring up from the wrong side of the block. This allows me to keep the center and logs at the same place on the square up ruler, making all the blocks the same size.

    5. When/if the last round creates a block larger than 8" (and it often does), I use one of the models of Olipfa brand 12&1/2" square up rulers that has the same 1/8" markings in two directions that the Bias Square 8 has in the 8" ruler.

    I travel to teach workshops, you know!

    Jan in VA
    Thank you so much for this information! I think I will stop cutting individual logs and go with strips and square up the squares after each round. Thank you for clear directions!

  8. #18
    Member
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    Ludlow, Shropshire, UK
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    I tend to use the chain sewing method. I find that it works okay for me and it's definitely quicker.

  9. #19
    Super Member
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    I did a log cabin using the strip method, once, and didn't like it. Then tried a PP and was real happy with the way it came out. Every thing nice and square, so that's how I do all my log cabin quilts now, and I do a lot of them.

  10. #20
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    That is why I never cut a whole quilt at one time. A few blocks at a time works best for me. Build the top block by block, row by row. peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

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