Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Project 5 - Carrie's Patriotic Log Cabin Quilt

The next project is a log cabin - Carrie has used Red, White & Blue for hers.  I am using much the same colours,  but as I have just pieced a red, white and blue quilt top, I chose yellow for the centre squares rather than red.

The 'light' is only one fabric and is actually a border print - I am curious to see how it works in a log cabin design.  I have 3 shades of blue for the 'dark', all florals in various designs and sizes.  Except for the yellow, which came from The Quilted Crow, the fabrics were all purchased from Spotlight.

The i-Pod is loaded up with Rolling Stone's 500 Top Albums (that's over 7000 songs folks) and is currently playing Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life - which is eerie cause that's the album which was playing in the supermarket today.  I've not heard this album for nearly 20 years I'd guess - how weird.

I had to read through the instructions a couple of times before I 'got it', but once I'd completed a couple of rounds, this design is a snap!

As in the previous projects, the strips are sewn together, cut, chain stitched, pressed and trimmed.

Harriet has you cut your strips 1/8" wider than required, then trim them after each round, keeping the block nice and square (theoretically - mine still managed to go 'off' somehow).  I think it's in the pressing again - the pieced strips never remain straight & square after I've pressed them.  It's getting really frustrating!

This is how the block is looking after 8 rounds - 4 more to go (2 lights/ 2 darks).

I'm would like to finish this top tomorrow, but it's a busy day, so probably not.


  1. I have just discovered your blog!My late mother died with 8 to 9 quilts unfinished. Before she died, I promised her I'd finish them. Next year I'm starting - I'm joining the local quilting group and have spent today going through the box working out what I need to do first (I have the quilt tops, I need to do the actual quilting). I've also been reading some of the books she used. Did you purchase your book on Amazon or locally? - Cat1 (Sydney)

  2. Hello Cat1

    I can highly recommend Harriet Hargrave's Heirloom Machine Quilting. It's an excellent guide to quilting your tops which takes you through every step of the way. I purchased my copy from Amazon - much cheaper than here.

    I wish you well on finishing your mother's quilt tops - what a nice thing you are doing - and challenging too. Harriet suggests that 10 mins practice per day over 6 months will make you a very good machine quilter.

  3. Hi Block Head, I dont know if it will help or not, but some of your problem with the ironing is maybe haw you are doing it, if you just press... dont slide your iron over the fabric, just gently push down from the top.

  4. Hi Margarita, thanks for the tip. Harriet gives very precise instructions in her book for pressing. I am following her method, but still experiencing problems.

    She tells you to lift the strip on top and glide the iron up and over the seam, using the edge of the iron. She also says to use steam and starch to help avoid stretching and distortion.

    I think my iron is a little too powerful for quilting. I've turned the steam & heat right down and it's helped, but I'm still getting bends in my strips.

    I think I need more practice and more advice from helpful bloggers like you. Cheers!