Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Friday, October 29, 2010

Vol 2 - Project 5.5 - Cabin In The Cotton - Remake

Cabin in the Cotton (Take 2) came about because I didn't quite understand the instructions the first time around.  Some help from Carrie showed me where I went wrong, so I wanted to have another go and do it correctly.

All went well until I got the the long sashings, the same place I got bamboozled the first time.  For Julie's quilt I didn't trim off the tops of the side setting triangles before adding the long sashings which caused me all sorts of angst.  Remember this dilemma?

Okay, we got that one sorted and this time, I trimmed off the side setting triangles after adding them to the rows.  Time to cut the long sashings.  Putting it all together on the design wall, I found myself confused again.  Gaps - I have gaps!

Those gaps were an unexpected surprise!

According to the formula in the book, the long sashings are cut to the length of the rows, not taking into account the tops of the trimmed side triangles - which means gaps at the end of the rows. 

The instructions call for the long sashings to be cut to the end of the row only

I fired off another panicky email to a very patient Carrie, who replied that yes, that's exactly the way it's supposed to look.  The sides are to be trimmed back to the mini log blocks and the binding put on right next to them.  This makes blocks appear to 'float' on the background.  However, if you want to add a border or just want a different look, it's perfectly okay to cut the sashings longer.  You can read Carrie's full explanation here -

With longer sashings - no gaps!

Phew - glad we got that sorted!  I had planned a border for this quilt, so I went for the longer sashings, which enabled me to trim out to 1 inch beyond the mini logs.

Trimming back the sides.
 Squaring off the corners

Working with white fabric makes lining up the sashings easy-peasy - you can see them!

I've added 2 borders - a 1 inch inner frame in red, to match the red block centres and a wide white border.  I've planned a cable/feather quilt design for the outer border, which needs at least 7" so  I've cut the border to 10" and it looks huge and out of proportion at this stage.

I'm very pleased I made this quilt again - happy that I now understand how it is supposed to come together and happy that I managed to put it together this time without mistakes!  Now I know of 3 different ways to put this quilt top together - the (roundabout) way I did it with Julie's quilt, or cutting the sashing shorter and trimming right back, or cutting the sashings longer and adding a border.  All this is very important for a beginner to understand and a valuable lesson for me. 

So a very worthwhile project and I actually get to keep this one (although my next-door neighbour loves it, so it may yet find a new home) - shhhh.


  1. Don't forget that it is not only this quilt you can put togewther in these three different ways ..... a zillion others can be set the same way.

    Judy B

  2. I'm learning so much by following your blog. Thanks for blogging your journey, mistakes and all!

  3. Hi Robyn - nice of you to pop in! The mistakes, although embarrassing, are the most important aspect of my quilting lessons. It's from them I learn the most and the lessons stick!

  4. Thank you for posting all of it and the link to Carrie's suggestions. This is all very useful information to those of us following.