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Thread: Help please - First Log Cabin Block

  1. #1
    Super Member rvsfan's Avatar
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    Help please - First Log Cabin Block

    I've been quilting for about 12 years and just made my FIRST log cabin block. I know, what was I waiting for. Well, apparently to learn how. My block is over 1" too small. Do you square up after each log is added, or when 1 block is done? Thanks for your help.
    rvsfan
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  2. #2
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    i ususally have an accurate 1/4" seam. try checking that first. I sq up when it's done. if you are accurate with the 1/4" seam, it should be o.k. but ck that first. keep in mind, if you're off even 1/16" of an inch, you can see how quickly it will add up. keep with it, it's a fun block, and can be used in many ways. show us how you do.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member tallchick's Avatar
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    One of my favorites !! What method are you using?? I find that my blocks are spot on when I precut each length and square up each round (not really much to do) but it helps keep things neat and tidy. When using other methods I found my blocks less accurate. Please be sure to show us when your done!
    Lisa

  4. #4
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    With these blocks, EVERY seam is important, because there are so many of them. If your seams are all exactly 1/4", try a scant quarter, 1 or 2 threads less. Also, if you cut them, or even if you didn't, check to make sure every strip is exactly the same size.

  5. #5
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    I think lynnie is right-possibly check your seam allowance first. Also you could check on the accuracy of your cutting of the logs. I myself square up after each round of logs but that is just me and that is why it takes me forever to finish a quilt. Good luck and if us QB members can help you out any more please let us know. Good Luck

  6. #6
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    wow, if you need to save this block you could always remove the last ones on and add back wider strips. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Super Member rvsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativetexan View Post
    wow, if you need to save this block you could always remove the last ones on and add back wider strips. Good luck.
    This is a great idea. Yes , I need the block .
    rvsfan
    A Ricky Van Shelton fan

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Accurate cutting is important. Accurate pressing is

    important also. I learned long time ago to check after each log.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  9. #9
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    Perhaps this question is out of place, but are you missing a strip? If each was cut at 1.25" then missing 1" sounds like something else might be missing... just thinking outloud here...

  10. #10
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    I strip piece so I have made them several ways but have found that cutting the logs first is more precise. like it has been posted before it is very important to have the same allowance throughout the process.

  11. #11
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    The one log cabin I made, I strip pieced. But I did check/square with each strip I added.

  12. #12
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    I like Log Cabin block but have noticed that they can get wonky and need to be trimmed. If absolute accuracy is needed, use paper piece method. Would be cumbersome for a whole quilt, but little ones esp. come out great with paper piecing.

  13. #13
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    The older I get the more I paper piece! I know I would have to do that with a log cabin - the fold and sew method so that you can use the templates over and over.
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
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  14. #14
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    I have been quilting since 1992 and have yet to get any block to be the same size as the instructions. I figure if I am making all of them they will be all the same size. If I need the quilt to be bigger, I just add another row.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  15. #15
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    I always make the last round with an extra 1/2in. That way, if I'm not perfect, I can trim to the exact size.
    Penny

  16. #16
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    I've made one log cabin quilt and it will be my only one! I now remember why I won't do another one, the stress of having to have it just perfect drove me crazy!! I much prefer patterns that give me a little more freedom to make mistakes!

  17. #17
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Rvsfan,
    When I make Log Cabin blocks, I cut my pieces 1/4" larger than I need and square up after I have sewn each piece on. Doing it that way ensures accuracy. My finished "log" is 1", so I cut my pieces 1 3/4" wide by the length I need + 1/4". I assembly line piece my blocks, it goes much faster. I like making Log Cabin quilts, have made dozens of them over the years.
    Sharon in Texas

  18. #18
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    You have so many seams that it is very easy to have your block be off by an inch. Check and recheck the 1/4" seams, one thread off will make a difference when you have 10+ seams across.

  19. #19
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    I'm with Kiysie, I paper piece my log cabins. Since each seam builds on another seam, they can get wonky fast.

  20. #20
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    just to add, press seams outward. that sometimes helps .

  21. #21
    Senior Member littlebitoheaven's Avatar
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    I am not a very accurate sewer so when I did my first log cabin block, I cut my last four strips 1/8" wider and then I square up the block when all strips are sewn. I found that the small corrections did not show up.

  22. #22
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    I'm glad we don't have "quilt police" because I'd be disqualified from making quilts. The only pieced-block quilts I've ever made have been log cabins. I cut all my fabrics in strips the length of the yardage I'm using, and I then chain-piece according to the block I've chosen to use -- I definitely do not use a particular pattern. I choose a block, and the rest of it is done the way I decided. I've made three, two of which were king-size, and one which was made for a queen-sized bed (for my very own) but large enough to reach to just above the floor. I'll be making another for my oldest sister pretty soon. I have to admit that the last 10-12 blocks tend to become very tedious -- I just want to do something a little different. Otherwise, I'd never get a quilt done. But, then, I'm not racing to see how many I can get done, I just want to complete certain quilts! I do square up every block as I go through the process. I am also very careful about stretching fabric. I've found that cutting the strips lengthwise of the grain helps a lot. Once I have the yardage for each color cut, I roll the strips on toilet tissue rolls which I save, taping the end to the roll to start (or I suppose you could pin it) and pin each succeeding strip of the same color to preceding strip. It is a faster way for me and it works for me. Everyone has to find the method that works. I can do this using my method because I've been sewing all my life, making garments for myself, curtains, pinch-pleat drapes, etc. I only began making quilts in 2010, so I'm absolutely an amateur when it comes to making quilts.

  23. #23
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    Jeanette, I don't understand the toilet paper technique. It sounds helpful......

  24. #24
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    Jane, I roll my cut log strips on a toilet paper roll -- simply a storage aid. For instance, I have yardage for two log cabin quilts, one for each of my sisters, so I ordered 4 yards of all the fabrics -- they're both going to be very similar. So, I cut my yardage into logs, and rolled the strips up on the toilet tissue inner roll. Sorry, I should have made that clearer. I have found it helpful for storage of the fabric, it helps prevent stretching of the fabric (since the fabric is cut lengthwise of the grain), and it makes the quilt come together quicker. I would not advocate this method for everyone -- all I can say is that it works for me. Cutting is, I think, the most tedious part of making a quilt. It's necessary to measure and cut each log accurately. I measure, mark, re-measure and then cut very carefully.

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