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Thread: Best Way to Make Log Cabin

  1. #26
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    For me, the strip piecing method of Eleanor Burns works best. I tried the Judy Martin way and found pre-cutting all those strips was way too boring for me. Also would not paper-piece this pattern because it adds so much work to the process.

    I have not had any difficulty at all getting accurate blocks with the strip method, so it's hard for me to understand what is going wrong for others. I do not prewash fabric (but do test for colorfastness), so the strips I use still have the manufacturer's sizing. These yield more accurate results than prewashed fabric that is not starched before cutting. (I have wondered if this is part of the problem for others.) I also use moleskin to create a physical guide for my seam allowances. This means I can sew fast and still maintain accurate seam allowances. (Just using my eyes and a visual mark does not work nearly as well for me in terms of accuracy, not to mention speed.) Maybe this is the reason my blocks always come out fine?

    Also, log cabin blocks are not that fussy in terms of accuracy. There are no points being cut off, for example. If a block of mine were to come out too wonky, I would just use spray starch to "block" it into submission (a la the Sharon Schamber way on Youtube). However, I can say that I have never had to actually do this, and all of my log cabin quilts turned out fine.
    I did my one log cabin just this way and it came out great. One of my favorites.

  2. #27
    Senior Member RV Quilter's Avatar
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    Another vote for Eleanor Burns method from me. It has clear instructions that are easy to follow, sew 1/4" and you never have wonky squares. It goes together fast as you chain piece making multiple blocks at the same time. Hers was the first quilt I made. She has a great book "Quilt in a Day".
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by lfletcher View Post
    I have done it both ways but the quilt comes out better if your precut each strip to size. However, the other way is faster.
    LOL....I am the exact opposite. I think it is faster if your cut the individual pieces but I think it comes out better if you do the EB way and square it with each round. There is no way I would paper piece this. It is my favorite block to see and a cinch to put together in hundreds of ways. I love the Log Cabin

  4. #29
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I agree Eleanor Burns....I made one as my second quilt and it turned out perfect! I find piecing log cabins block by block very boring....but just me! What ever you decide has to fit you and get the results you can accomplish. Good luck ...I'm making one too soon to use up some fabric don't forget to share!
    *Rachel*

  5. #30
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    Being somewhat obsessive, it precut the strips. Then every round, I measure the block and square it up if required. Then square up the finished block if needed. Tried to strip piece one, but it just didnt't work well for me.
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  6. #31
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    I prefer to cut each piece exact before any sewing. For me it is faster and more accurate than having to square up after pressing and sewing.
    The way I see it, if you add a bunch of blocks to one strip, then press, then true/trim, if you are trimming anything, it always seemed to be the width of a previous strip and not just the length of the strip just added. Maybe the edge of the block stretched or something. Sewing the pieces cut to length proves the accuracy of your seam allowance. I would teach beginners to do it this way so they master the 1/4" seam allowance.

  7. #32
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    I precut my strips but I then finish one block at a time. I tried doing it assembly-style but kept getting confused.

  8. #33
    Super Member Happy Tails's Avatar
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    Log Cabin is one of my very favorite patterns. I have made 3 Queen Size Log Cabins so far and have done Eleanor Burns every time. I always have trouble keeping it square, the one good thing about the Log Cabin is that it's a very forgiving pattern, so you don't really see "wonky". I have a gorgeous collection of the Northcott Stone fabrics and this time, I am going to try the paperpiecing method. This one is actually going to be for me and I'm going to make it perfect if it kills me, lol My question is this................is there a PP version for a 12" block? The one I have is 6 3/4. Thanks Wendy

  9. #34
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    I chain piece and trim up after each block has the newest strip attached. Never had a wobbly cabin.

  10. #35
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    I recently tried the Eleanor Burns way and thought it was much easier than precut ting the strips.

  11. #36
    Super Member humbird's Avatar
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    I precut, but use the QAYG method, one block at a time. I use the "no sashing" method of QAYG.

  12. #37
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    Craftybear posted this link to a tutorial that shows the method Eleanor Burns made famous:
    http://stitchesinplay.typepad.com/st...-tutorial.html

    Eleanor Burns has some great books on how to make log cabin quilts with this method, in various sizes. This method is fast and rewarding, and always works for me!
    I love people who come up with such great ideas. This method may change my mind about making log cabin quilts. Thanks!
    Fay

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  13. #38
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    I love the Eleanor Burns way also, I have plenty of her books to keep me busy for a few lifetimes
    Mary

  14. #39
    Super Member EagarBeez's Avatar
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    I happen to be working on my 1st log cabin. My DH cut strips for me. I feel doing it any other way would not be good in case something was off just a smidge, It would cause problems. It may have been a longer way, but, it was strips for me.
    Last edited by EagarBeez; 03-11-2012 at 08:08 AM.
    I never believe in the word can't,unless you've tried

  15. #40
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    I just finished a floral log cabin, and just cut all my strips 2 inches wide, sewed them on, and then cut the length. To keep from getting confused, I sewed the same strip on all 64 blocks in a sequence before adding the next "log." It's coming back from the quilters in about 2 weeks. I didn't look wavy to me, so hope it doesn't when it's quilted either. You guys have me worried now!! : )
    Karen in Kentucky

  16. #41
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    Here is the thing, material stretches while you cut it, sewing it and no matter how careful you are pressing it will also stretch even then. So learned that lesson, so check everything again as you go.

  17. #42
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valerie Ann View Post
    I want to make a log cabin and noticed that there are 2 ways to do it. The first is to attach each block separately and the second is to piece it by precutting strips. What do you recommend and why?
    How do you attach each block separately? Sounds like how I do the precut strips. I'm missing something, I guess.

    And paper piecing sounds like way too much work for a simple method.
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  18. #43
    Senior Member janeknapp's Avatar
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    I've done it both ways using long strips (Eleanor Burn's method) and cutting individual "logs" using Marti Michell's log cabin rulers. I much prefer cutting the individual "logs" as the blocks were not skewed the way they were using the long strips. If a person trimmed accurately with a ruler between each log added when piecing with long strips, then perhaps they would turn out okay. Just my humble opinion... : )

  19. #44
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    i like to precut the strips, using marti mitchell's log cabin ruler, then square the blocks as i go. recently did a double bed size this way and all the corners met well. The pattern i used had stars in form in the corners as a secondary design so the points were important.

  20. #45
    Super Member cwessel47's Avatar
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    If I am doing little tiny log cabins - strips 1/4" finished - I will paper piece. For the rest of them - I precut all of my fabric. The trick is sewing straight and having that blessed scant 1/4" seam allowance. Having everything precut also gives you the opportunity to "randomize" your strips well in scrappy stuff. I recently made 36 log cabin blocks with 36+ lights and 36+ darks using scraps. I feel like a robot at times, but when they are all laid out in combinations that have been pre-approved by me!, the assembly process is a piece of cake. The blocks are square.

  21. #46
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    I made several using Eleanor Burns' book on them. Instructions are clear and I didn't have any problems.

  22. #47
    Super Member Nolee's Avatar
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    What is the advantage of having this ruler over just cutting the strips with a regular ruler? I do make a lot of log cabins but I'm trying not to buy things that aren't really necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by janeknapp View Post
    I've done it both ways using long strips (Eleanor Burn's method) and cutting individual "logs" using Marti Michell's log cabin rulers. I much prefer cutting the individual "logs" as the blocks were not skewed the way they were using the long strips. If a person trimmed accurately with a ruler between each log added when piecing with long strips, then perhaps they would turn out okay. Just my humble opinion... : )
    "Worry is about doing something you can do nothing about."

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    Eleanor burns way!
    Definitely - get her Quilt in a Day Log Cabin Book. Works great!!!

  24. #49
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    There is also a Log Cabin method by Billie Lauder. It is completely different and VERY EASY. Just type in Billie Lauder and you will find it on her site. I love this style for making college quilts using school colors.

    For a regular Log Cabin I use Eleanor Burns method.
    Quilter 68 who is now 69/and now 70

  25. #50
    Super Member MartiMorga's Avatar
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    Again, great information for us "begining quilters". I learned paper piecing and have done 25 log cabin blocks that way, then the Cotton Method. Still have to finish assembling. Will try the Eleanor Burns method next. Looks like something I can handle. I was told to pre-wash my fabrics, but now I have seen it might be better not to. Read that it isn't smart to use normal spray starch on quilts because of the "food" content. So I guess I will quit prewashing. Thanks again all of you experienced people!!!!

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