Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Log Cabin Border

The next step in this quilt I call "Lifetime" is a series Log Cabin blocks.  These are very simple and a great stash buster.  Mine are made with 1/2 inch strips and finish as 4 inch blocks.  I printed the blocks on Sulky Solvy Water Soluble Paper and foundation pieced them.  You don't have to, but when the strips are so narrow it is the best way to get the block precise.  Below is my pattern.  I used very dark blue for half of it and very light blue for the other half.  The center of each block (#1) is a 1 inch, fussy-cut flower from a delicate floral fabric.  They are red, purple, blue and yellow, but don't overwhelm the blue because they are so small.  I numbered and colored the pattern so I wouldn't get mixed up.

Log Cabin Block
It helps to organize your workspace.  Anything to keep from getting mixed up and having to rip!  I laid out 1 1/2 inch strips of different fabrics on a small table beside me, cutting the length as I went.  These strips do not need to be precise, but do have to be wide enough to cover the area of an individual piece of the pattern.  There are many Log Cabin tutorials and videos on the Internet with very precise directions that are worth looking at.

 You can arrange the dark and light blocks as you wish.  My choice is below (not showing the center flowers):

Four Log Cabin Blocks

You may have wondered why I broke the sequence with the post on borders.  Why bother with that little 1/4 border around the compass in the middle?  That was so the log cabin border would fit!  I needed the extra 1/2 inch that it gave me.  After the log cabin border was stitched, I added a 1/2 inch pink border around it for continuity.

An aside to this is that my daughter said, "Mom, you really have to break away from pink and blue."  My response was that I love pink and blue and if that is what I want, I can do it.  I have since departed to other colors, but sometimes we have to work through a perception before we are ready to move on.

Lifetime so far on Illustrator.
Lifetime so far with fabric.

TIP:  When you are paper piecing take the time to lay out your fabrics in order and pay attention to the colors and numbers on your pattern.  This will save you lots of grief and you can leave the cap on your seam ripper.

TIP:  Check out books and videos for directions.  You can always learn something even if you have already done something similar.  My books are getting tattered from constant "how to" refreshers and idea searches.

TIP:  It is great to learn design concepts, but ultimately this is your quilt so let your creative  juices carry you.


  1. The border looks quite effective. It creates a bit of a visual explosion out from the center, like a starburst. Now I'm wondering what you will do next!

  2. Wow! Your Illustrator design and your quilt are exactly the same except for the print fabrics part! Lovely work!

  3. Beautiful quilt and the log cabin border is perfect! Thanks for sharing! Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  4. That log cabin border sets the quilt off! Lovely colours in the quilt too, so don't let others sway you on your colour choices, and make blue & pink quilts if that is what you want to do. You will move away from that one day, some day.

    1. Thank you. I still love pink and blue, but I truly have moved on. As long as there is color and high contrast I love it as you will see when write about some of my more recent quilts.

  5. Refreshers of things you "think" you know are vital!!

  6. I love the log cabin border! Beautiful.

  7. Who knew you could use the log cabin for a border? Brilliant ea! EnJOYed your post.