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Thread: Chain sewing

  1. #1
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    Question Chain sewing

    I am going to be starting a log cabin quilt tonight. If I cut out all the "logs" that will be 2040 pieces. When I made my log cabin small table runner, I became very frustrated because for some reason, my block ended up being 1/8 inch larger than the log that we being sewn on and I ended up having to stretch the fabric to make it fit. I have no idea why this happened as I was very careful cutting the pieces and sewing them at 1/4 inch. I found these directions where you only cut the center squares to start with, sew them to the next log that is still one big strip, then cut apart the pieces after you chain sew them. I'm liking this idea a lot as it will save gobs of time cutting. The only thing I worry about is if the squares will end up being different shapes based on my previous experience where the square was about 1/8 inch bigger than the next log. What do you all think? Is this a good idea, or should I cut all 2040 logs? I've got a log of money invested in fabric for this quilt and I don't want to mess up - this is my first "big" quilt so I'm still learning. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Are you saying the center square is 1/8" larger? That's such a small amount, I think you'd be fine to just center the square against the first log. If they are all 1/8" off, make sure that when you hold your ruler over the sections of fabric to cut, that the line is directly on or even just butted up against the edge of fabric.

    I would make a test block...just enough to make one. Figure out your hiccups now before you cut out all those blocks. Chain piecing is exactly how I'd make this too...and I've been quilting for ten years.
    Valerie Smith - Pumpkin Patch Quilter
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    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  3. #3
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    From experience I can tell you that you will end up with a quilt that will not lay flat nor will the blocks be the same size. You just can't control how that long strip will pull when you sew it like that. Sometimes you hold it a little different and it stretches without you realizing. Go ahead and cut each piece and be very accurate about your 1/4 inch seam. It is the only way to ensure the best fit.

  4. #4
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    You are doing the same amount of cutting, just not all at the same time if you sew,cut,sew,cut. I think you will be much happier and in the end less frustrated if you go ahead and cut all the strips ahead of time. Line up the top and bottom edge when getting ready to sew and ease in if necessary. Take your time, have fun and show us your quilt when it is finished.
    jackie

  5. #5
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Or you can use foundation piecing and it will keep it perfectly square, I just googled & there's some free patterns out there. http://quilting.about.com/od/foundat...abin_block.htm

  6. #6
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thimblebug6000 View Post
    Or you can use foundation piecing and it will keep it perfectly square, I just googled & there's some free patterns out there. http://quilting.about.com/od/foundat...abin_block.htm
    I have never been able to make a log cabin block or courthouse steps that didn't come out wonkey unless I foundation piece them. I'm so jealous of quilters who can make one without foundation piecing!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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  7. #7
    Junior Member SewFarBehind's Avatar
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    I have done the strip method and had no problem. Eleanor Burns has a "Quilt in a Day: Log Cabin" that's very helpful.
    Why do I keep trying to find the "like" button?

    Viking Husqvarna 950 S; Bernina 1150 MDA

  8. #8
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    people use different methods for making their log-cabin blocks- i generally cut my strips the width i need- then may cut them into a (manageable) length---not leave them 42" long- but not try to cut them to size either- i sew on a log- cut it even - add the next log, cut it even- go around my cabin- i use a foundation to keep everything stable (generally i draw my blocks on lightweight muslin for a foundation to work on-that way i don't have to remove anything) keeps everything from getting wonky- it works for me- i've not had any luck cutting my logs to size in advance- they always wind up being too short, or too long somewhere along the way-
    check out the Judy Martin Log cabin book- she has a special ruler that i have heard great things about- and things (in theory) come out very accurate. but (in my opinion) if you have already found that your logs wind up being short---leave them a little long & trim them to size as you add them---just me...
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  9. #9
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have used both methods of making log cabins... the sew to a strip and cut once sewn , or cut in advance all the log sizes. The method I have the best success with is cutting the logs in advance... that way I know if am staying on track as each added log should be the length of the block I am adding to. I also don't make log cabins without starch it really helps to stay precise. Starch prior to cutting.

  10. #10
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    Ive done the long strip method. Ironing hides a multitude od sins. Mine came out great. Had to fudge a few, but no one knew, and it came out great 120" x 120" with 1-/2" strips

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