With a Cozy Log Cabin Quilt that is! ‘Tis the season! It’s been a busy busy busy month: Quilt Market, Festival, customer quilts, secret sewing, and the November Island Batik Ambassador challenge Cozy Cabins! Settle in with that second cup of warm beverage and get all cozy as this rambler shares the thought process and step by step of this month’s challenge interpretation!
Who doesn’t love a log cabin quilt! Raise your hand if one of your very first quilts was Eleanor Burns Quilt In A Day Log Cabin! Actually, I can raise both hands! I made a small 9 patch log cabin out of Valentine heart fabrics (must have been that time of the year), turned around and made one for my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law before deciding I could organize a class at my church – yep, new quilter here and I was already teaching others! And sew it began….
Making a Cozy Log Cabin Quilt
What I love about a log cabin is the endless design layouts, any colors can work, especially scrappy. I’m sorta a traditional gal and tradition has it that the center square should be red to represent the hearth of the home…while that may or may not be true, it certainly gives you that warm cozy feeling doesn’t it?
Part of my Island Batik Ambassador fabrics included this rainbow assortment of 2 1/2″ strip package and coordinating yardage. What could be easier than using the precut strips to make a log cabin quilt, after all, half the cutting was already done for me! Yep, sounds like a perfect match for a busy season! Let’s get started!
I ran across a pattern I purchased back before the turn of the century (grin) somewhere in the 90’s about the time I was teaching that first quilting class, log cabins…hum…here’s a good opportunity to fulfill my monthly challenge – the requirements were a minimum 36″ x 36″ log cabin variation – the little heart log cabins would be perfect. Sorta a full-circle from the Valentine fabric from those early years. Yep. I had a plan!
To save time in cutting and piecing I changed up the pattern a bit, I mean, why sew together two identical squares when a rectangle would fit that same space right? It wasn’t until later that I realized the reasoning for the squares vs rectangles – especially with traditional log cabin construction. No problem, I know how to do partial seams (grin).
And why make a half square triangle to add to the outline fabric to form the curve of the heart when I own a Corner Pop ruler by Deb Tucker! Yep, working smarter not harder!
Pretty soon I had two hearts out of the four made. Time to call it a night. As a reminder, I am wearing lots of hats this time of year, which include quilting customer quilts, so out of necessity, my ambassador project was “after hour” sewing – just like most of you who have a “real job” and sew for yourself whenever you can steal away the time. Yep, ’tis the season!
I did like the idea of the red square in the center, I am a sucker for tradition after all. Soon I had the four hearts constructed and was very pleased with myself as it was still early in the month. I couldn’t help but play around on my “design wall” – insulation foam board that one day will be covered with white felt, but for now works just as well in its original construction ready form. Don’t you just love repurposing!
Then I took a look at my precut strip package, I hadn’t even made a dent! It’s kinda like only using the original 1903 eight colors in the Crayola Crayons box (which were red, yellow, blue, green, orange, brown, violet and black by the way) when you actually had the ultimate crayon collection of 152 colors at your disposal! So, design change and back to sewing I went!
Six log cabins hearts were better than four that’s for sure! I considered continuing but was running out of month! Hum…why not set the blocks on point to make a bigger quilt! Why not indeed. I happen to purchase Island Batik Sprinkles by the bolt as it is the perfect background for any project, so I knew I could grow this into a nice lap-size quilt.
If you have been following my sneak peeks on social media you may remember my holding up a large ruler in the area where a setting triangle would be…I was showing that my ruler wasn’t large enough to cut the triangles and after several inquiries from faithful followers I learned that this tool was no longer available and that many quilters have a difficult time in determining how to figure the cut for those setting triangles. As promised here’s a little math lesson – actually the “no math rambler formula”.
The Quilt Rambler’s No Math Formula for Side Setting and Corner Setting Triangles
It’s really a no-brainer to see that my blank square would be the same size as the blocks set on point. But what about the side setting triangles? Wouldn’t they just be a square cut in half on the diagonal but with added seam allowance? You could do the math of the 7/8″ addition but why not cut the square an inch to 1 1/2″ larger than your blocks then cut in half on the diagonal. It does make it a smidgen larger but that can easily be trimmed off after the quilt top is assembled. Easy right? Okay, so those little corner setting triangles, what about them? Those are actually quarter square triangles (makes the bias in the correct placement). You could do the math of adding 1 1/4″ to the longest finished side of the triangle to arrive at the cut length of the square but why not simply cut your square 1 1/2″ to 2″ larger than your blocks, cut twice diagonally to oversize it a bit then trim down when the top is assembled. Maybe this is lazy math but I prefer to think of it as efficient as I am never worried about being too small (which wastes a lot of fabric) then ripping out to start over.
Once the setting triangles and corner triangles were added the little heart quilt needed a border to call it done. But wait! There’s more! Lots more strips, more than half my package to be exact. Just like our daylight hours are shrinking, my month was getting away from me. It would have been cute to do the border similar to the original pattern that inspired this creation, but a good fall back is always a piano key border!
We interrupt all this season’s quilt obligations for a very important project! What sort of Oma would I be if I didn’t take a few hours off to make my sweet Reagan holiday bibs! Don’t you just love how my Island Batik scraps combined with my GoCutter dies made these simple flannel bibs all festive!
But Wait – There’s More!
Taking that little personal time off sparked another design idea! I have a heart GoCutter die too! After all, I did have some fabric left after the piano key border, not to mention lots of white space that could be filled up. I think I should name this quilt the never-ending quilt!
Finally, it was time to pull out the Hobbs batting that came with my ambassador kit. I generally use 80/20 but was eager to use the 100% cotton, it didn’t disappoint!
I decided to keep the quilting simple and just did some all over hearts and loops, but then got a little wild and just had to add some feathers…can’t help myself!
I may have mentioned this, but through the Island Batik Ambassador program I have been introduced to Aurifil thread and found that I had the perfect color for my machine binding.
I finished the binding before the sunset, so took the opportunity to photograph my “little quilt that grew” outside – wouldn’t this make a fun picnic blanket? I also plan on using it inside while watching more of those Hallmark Christmas movies in the “man-cave”. I think I will rename this cozy cabin quilt to Everlasting Love, as that’s what I have for my family, the heart of my hearth, that unending unconditional love.
Thank you Island Batik for providing the materials for this challenge and to their partner Hobbs batting – also a thank you to Aurifil for the various threads in our ambassador boxes that started my thread obsession er, collection! Being an ambassador has been a wonderful journey! As a reminder, Island Batik is now accepting applications for the 2019 Ambassador program, the link can be found here. Also, don’t forget to visit the other ambassadors who have been creating their own interpretations of Cozy Cabins.
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, wishing you a happy holiday season, may all your quilts be cozy and comforting!