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Thread: HELP! My 'Log Cabin' is falling down : (

  1. #1
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    HELP! My 'Log Cabin' is falling down : (

    First time making log cabin blocks. I 'thought', I was quite accurate on cutting & sewing...however....I wasn't. Now I have cabins measuring from 7 1/2"-8". Is there an EASY way to solve this???

  2. #2
    Super Member merry's Avatar
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    We hada similar problem, we now square each block every time we add a strip & that took care of it.

  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I never square a log cabin block (i.e. cut fabric from the sides), but I do measure frequently when I start to be sure my seam allowance is consistent. If my measurements are good, then I can measure less frequently.

    Is your question what to do now that your blocks are already sewn? Half an inch is really too much to ease in successfully to put 2 blocks of that size together, but if they're very close in size you can do a little easing, not too much or the top won't lie flat and will be difficult to quilt. If most of your blocks are one size or the other, and only a few are the other size, you can take apart the ones that are wrong and fix them by increasing or decreasing the seam allowance. One of the beauties of the log cabin block is that it doesn't usually matter if your blocks are all off from the expected size, as long as they're consistent. I would measure all the blocks, pick a size to aim at (one that would mean the least re-sewing), and then make all the blocks that size, either by shaving a sliver off to make them smaller or taking apart the block to make it bigger or smaller. You may find that you can accomplish this by removing and re-sewing only a few outer logs. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merry View Post
    We had a similar problem, we now square each block every time we add a strip & that took care of it.
    That is what I did. Not my favorite pattern. Have you checked the accuracy of your 1/4" seam??

    The only suggest I can give you to salvage the blocks is to remove just the outside strips on blocks under 8" and replace the fabric with a wider strip that will give you the 8" size. I prefer to oversize my blocks, then press and starch then trim them down to perfect size. It is so easy to be off a hair.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  5. #5
    Super Member Crqltr's Avatar
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    I have better luck if I starch the strips first.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I would add another round (or half round) of strips cut extra wide, then trim all blocks to the same size.

  7. #7
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    I found that as I press my seams I was stretching the logs. If you carefully press only at the seam this helps a lot

  8. #8
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    When making a log cabin, I always cut all my strips to size before I start. Then I "make" them fit as I sew around. My blocks are usually exactly the right size and square. I used to sew the strip on and then cut off the excess, but sometimes the squares weren't so "square".
    I like the idea of replacing the last row with a wider strip and cutting down. I think that's what I would do. Good luck! Ann

  9. #9
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    I cut each strip 1/4" larger than called for. Each time I complete a round I square it up. I cut the final round 1/2" larger than required so that all the blocks end up the same size. I'm not concerned about doing precision piecing when doing this block.
    Penny

  10. #10
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    And I made mine using Eleanor burns method of not cutting strips to size. Never squared anything up and it went together beautifully. Only made one so maybe it was beginners luck.
    Alyce

  11. #11
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I paper-pieced mine. They turned out perfect. I love the accuracy I get with paper-piecing.

  12. #12
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    Don't know why as I am not that good at doing quilts but I didn't have that problem when I did mine. I did buy some
    log cabin blocks done in purple because they looked beautiful and purple was my favorite color. These blocks are way out of whack and I still haven't decided how to fix them. Many times, what looks like a real bargain is NOT. Still have them and I am very interested in the suggestions on how to fix them.

  13. #13
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    Same here

  14. #14
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    THank You everyone for your advice! I will do a bit of each & see what happens. Rip, trim & fudge!! Hope to post a completed pic SOON!!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Sheri.a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchnripper View Post
    And I made mine using Eleanor burns method of not cutting strips to size. Never squared anything up and it went together beautifully. Only made one so maybe it was beginners luck.
    i had the same beginners luck 30 years ago with my first quilt done the same way.
    ( `v )
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    a stitch in time saves nine.....

  16. #16
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    Your best friend -- Creative Grids Log Cabin Rulers:
    http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Grids...creative+grids

  17. #17
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I would guess that when you don't precut to specific lengths and make them fit, you will get the same results as when you don't measure and precut for borders. The feed dogs on the sewing machine can pull the bottom fabric thru at a different rate than the top, resulting in wonky blocks. I know not everyone has this problem, but it might be part of it. I know I made much better log cabin blocks when I precut to exact length. The next log cabin blocks I make will be the paper piecing method.

  18. #18
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    Note on Buckeye Rose's comment that the bottom feed dogs can pull the bottom fabric through at a different rate. This may help you ease in fullness to make the top and bottom the same size.

  19. #19
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pennyhal View Post
    I cut each strip 1/4" larger than called for. Each time I complete a round I square it up. I cut the final round 1/2" larger than required so that all the blocks end up the same size. I'm not concerned about doing precision piecing when doing this block.
    I do the same thing when I make log cabin blocks.

  20. #20
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    I love the log cabin block, and finally realized it was easier and more accurate for me to paper piece them. Now I never have to worry, they come out straight

  21. #21
    Senior Member HouseDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinkie View Post
    Don't know why as I am not that good at doing quilts but I didn't have that problem when I did mine. I did buy some
    log cabin blocks done in purple because they looked beautiful and purple was my favorite color. These blocks are way out of whack and I still haven't decided how to fix them. Many times, what looks like a real bargain is NOT. Still have them and I am very interested in the suggestions on how to fix them.
    I am not a fan of "wonky" as it smacks of laziness to me BUT how "bout making more purple blocks waaay wonky and using your bargain blocks that way?

    Or turn them into a dog bed quilt? Dogs don't care if things aren't perfect!
    If life gives you lemons, make Limoncello!

  22. #22
    Senior Member loisf's Avatar
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    I do as Krafty14 does - cut all the strips to the exact size needed and then make them fit as you sew. I can see the potential for very wonky blocks if you use long strips and cut them after they're sewn together. That would be a bad idea for me.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Noiseynana's Avatar
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    This is exactly why I haven't done a log cabin. YET!!!! My mind goes in too many directions when I quilt. THere is always distractions. Messes me up every time.
    Stitching is Meditation in Motion

  24. #24
    Super Member duckydo's Avatar
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    Stitchripper, I use Eleanor Burns method also and never have any trouble and have made lots of log cabin quilts

  25. #25
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    When I teach log cabin classes, I encourage squaring up after EACH round (that is, the addition of 4 logs) using the Bias 8 Square ruler from Martingale-That Patchwork Place until the block becomes large enough to use a 12" square. The lines of the Bias 8 are particularly suited to trimming minute amounts from each side of a block to make all blocks the same size at each round.

    I do this because the piecing of the traditional log cabin block is in concentric circles.......those who have done any needlepoint embroidery, for instance, realize that when you piece or sew like this, it tends to cause the finished piece (in this case, the block) to slant a bit and pull out of square.

    This process makes creating the blocks a bit more time consuming, BUT, having ALL the blocks exactly the same size square, makes setting the blocks together go SO much faster and easier!

    Jan in VA
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