Created by: My Wandering Path Blog
Happy Friday and welcome to Week 2 of the fabric.com Log Cabin Sew-Along!
In case you missed the announcement a couple of weeks ago, here’s a quick recap: Over the next several weeks, we’ll be hosting a quilt-as-you-go log cabin blanket sew-along here on the Fabric.com blog. Today we’ll be cutting into our yummy flannel fabrics and starting to sew!
Here's a quick recap of my fabric choices:
For my green colorway, I chose this amazing Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel Herringbone in Basil, Yarn Dyed Navy/Green/Oat Plaid for my medium-value plaid, and Yarn Dyed Green Plaid for the dark-value plaid.
For the blue colorway, I chose Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel in Navy (no herringbone pattern on this one), Yarn Dyed Blue Navy and White plaid for my light-value plaid, and Yarn Dyed Navy/Green/Red plaid for my dark-value plaid.
Quilt-as-You-Go Log Cabin Sew-Along Cutting Instructions
Don’t be alarmed when you look at the chart below! I promise, this will be one of the easiest cutting sessions you’ll ever have. Before you dive into the specifics, here are a couple of tips:
1) If you’re using the same fabrics I am, you’ll only use the solid flannels for log cabin strips. You can go ahead and start by cutting your fabric into 2½” x width of fabric (WOF) strips and subcutting those strips according to the chart below.
2) We’ll use the plaid flannels for our block backing fabric as well as for log cabin strips. Start by cutting the three 15”x15” pieces for the block backings, then cut the rest of the fabric into 2½”xWOF strips before subcutting those strips according to the chart below. (That way, you’ll be sure to have enough for your backing pieces!)
3) For the sashing and binding, I found it easier to cut the binding strips (on the bias) first, and then cut the sashing strips (not on the bias).
It’s easy to cut the fabric for this sew-along because all of our log cabin strips will be cut at 2½” wide. By starting with those 2½”xWOF strips, it’s quick to subcut them into the various lengths for the log cabin pieces. (And it’s easy to remember the length of the log cabin strips because they increase in 2” increments from 2½” to 14½”.)
Let’s Start Quilting!
(First, let me say that obviously I am not the inventor of the quilt-as-you-go log cabin block! There are lots of great tutorials for the quilt-as-you-go method. This quick overview is adapted from Rachel at Stitched in Color and you can find her original tutorial here.)
Finally! We have all your fabric strips and backing blocks and batting blocks cut. Now we can get to the good part!
Here’s how the construction and quilting of our flannel log cabin blocks will work: We’ll start by quilting our center block, and then one by one, stitch and quilt each log, spiraling out from the center. So if we look again at the diagram from last week, I’ve numbered the logs in the order that they are added to the block:
The Quilt-as-You-Go Log Cabin Block
Decide on the backing fabric for your block. Take a 15” x 15” square of that fabric, place it wrong side up (the “smooth” side, if you’re using single-napped flannel), spray with a little basting spray, and place a batting square on top of it. Press firmly so that your backing fabric isn’t wrinkled and the batting is well adhered to the fabric.
Decide if you want the last, longest (14½”) log of your block to be a solid or plaid. Whichever fabric you decide, you will use for your first (center) block. (I plan to mix it up in my quilt!)
Take a 2½” x 2½” square in the fabric you just chose (Fabric 1 for the rest of the instructions), place it right side up (the “soft” napped side, if you’re using single-nap flannel) in the center of your batting square, and quilt away! I like to quilt my center block in a spiral pattern. (I find that the flannel sticks nicely to the batting so that I don’t have to pin the logs down before stitching, but that’s up to you! I do try to keep the fabric smooth and steady.)
Take a 2½” x 2½” square in the OTHER fabric you’re using for this block (Fabric 2) and place it on top of the square you just quilted, right (napped) sides together (RST).
Stitch the new log to the center block with a ¼” seam along the right edge.
Open up the newly attached log and finger press or carefully press with an iron on low heat. (Be careful not to burn the batting!
Quilt the newly attached log. (I think straight-line quilting approximately ¼” apart and running the length of each log is probably the best and easiest choice!)
Turn your block a quarter-turn counterclockwise. Take a 4½” strip of Fabric 2 and place it on top of your first two logs, RST and having raw edges even.
Stitch the new log to the first two logs with a ¼” seam along the right edge.
Open up the newly attached log and finger press or carefully press with an iron on low heat.
Turn your block a quarter-turn counterclockwise and repeat the stitch-press open-quilt process with a 4½” strip of Fabric 1.
And that’s it! Just keep turning your block a quarter-turn counterclockwise before adding the next log. You will finish with just one 14½” strip.
Trimming Your Finished Blocks
After you’ve quilted down your last (14½”) strip, it’s time to square up and trim your block!
The final size of your trimmed block will vary with your stitching accuracy. I love the quilt-as-you-go method because it’s very forgiving. If my seams aren’t a perfect ¼”, it’s not going to throw my entire project off. If my quilting or my strips get a little wonky, it’s OK.
That also means that my finished blocks are a little smaller than yours might be. The original tutorial I learned from results in 14½” x 14½” (trimmed) blocks, but mine ended up being 14” square after trimming. So measure your finished, untrimmed block and see what size you can trim down to. It will be between 14”- 14½”.
See you next week!
The fabric.com Sew-Along Schedule
- Introduction (October 14): Join us for a fall sew-along
- Week 1 (October 21): Choosing fabrics and yardage requirements
- Week 2 (October 28): Cutting your fabric and quilt-as-you-go method overview
- Week 3 (November 4): Sewing check-in—show us your progress!
- Week 4 (November 11): Joining your blocks and binding your quilt
Be sure to post your inspiration, fabric pulls, and progress on Instagram using the hashtag #fabriclogcabinsewalong.
I love the quilt-as-you-go method because it’s very forgiving. If my seams aren’t a perfect ¼”, it’s not going to throw my entire project off. If my quilting or my strips get a little wonky, it’s OK.