Each month, we highlight the books we’re reading in the office. With cooler temps settling in and the holidays approaching, we’re returning to tradition. Log Cabin quilts not only have a long history, but also look great no matter what your fabric choices are. From scrappy and warm colors to bright and modern designs, these books offer a variety of patterns using Log Cabin blocks.
Extraordinary Log Cabin Quilts
By Judy Martin for Crosley-Griffith Publishing Co.
This book is a Log Cabin gold mine. Not only do you get 15 Log Cabin patterns that a quilter of any skill level will enjoy, but you also get directions for multiple sizes AND multiple color ways. It’s eye-opening to see the hundreds of way a Log Cabin block can be used to create very different designs. A discussion of color and value will teach you lessons on choosing fabrics and how to arrange colors to get the look you want!
Log Cabin Quilts: The Basics and Beyond
By Janet Houts and Jean Ann Wright for Landauer Publishing, LLC
Janet and Jean give very detailed instructions and pictures on how to make some of the most classic Log Cabin settings, including Courthouse Steps and a Half Log Cabin. You can use one of the 19 quilt patterns in this book to try these block settings out or use their measurement guide to cut and piece your own design. Plus, they give some ideas for turning this classic block contemporary, including adding appliqué and trying some unique design options.
Log Cabin Fever: Innovative Design for Traditional Quilts
This book is great if you’ve perfected the Log Cabin and want to mix it with your other favorite blocks for a fresh design. The 11 quilts in this book showcase Log Cabin blocks with star blocks, heart shapes, basket blocks, and more for a new take on traditional. Plus, the instructions are simple to follow and include an easy technique for piecing!
Once a month, we highlight our favorite free quilt and sewing patterns around the web!
Halloween Trick or Treat Bag Pattern from The Cottage Mama
Personalize cute (and super easy) treat bags for your kids. They’re perfect for holding candy, but also double as spooky decor through the season. We love the little embellishments!
Solids and geometric designs are an easy way to add a modern (and totally livable) accent to your home. It may look complicated, but the tutorial is so easy and might get you a little out of your comfort zone.
Face Cloth Tutorial by Freckled Whimsy
We’ll never argue with an excuse to pamper ourselves! Not only are these face cloths so adorable, but they’re also the softest ever. Make multiples for easy gifts (or save them for yourself!).
I can’t believe it’s already October! With only three months left to finish the quilts on my to-do list, I find myself in awe of how much sewing time I was able to fit into my busy schedule and also equally in awe of how much I still need to do. I’m nearing the end of a few projects and have also really expanded my creativity, which was part of my goal this year. (Find out more about my goals in my resolutions blog – read it here.) With the holidays coming, I know I’ll be juggling these projects with handmade gifts and Christmas decor. See my tips at the end of this blog for prioritizing projects!
On my to-do list this year:
- Tula Pink‘s City Sampler (See all my blocks here.)
- American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along (Read more about it here.)
- Pat Sloan‘s Globetrotting Block of the Month with Free Quilt Patterns (Get details here.)
- Finish my Passion 48 (See our staff’s Project 48 rules here.)
- Quilts and More Welcome Home wall hanging series (in Quilts and More Fall)
Nine of the blocks for the Globetrotting Block of the Month are done. The quilt is almost done! I’m eagerly awaiting for Pat Sloan to release the setting block and finishing instructions so I can spend more time on this one!
So close to finishing my Passion 48 quilt! I just have to sew the binding to the back of the quilt. But with a 12-hour car ride this weekend, I’ll definitely be able to finish it. Then a final press before this quilt finds a spot on my wall!
My Welcome Home door hanging from Quilts and More was hung up on the first day of fall with cute burlap ribbon. I’m a huge fan of fall colors and motifs, so Im obviously in love with this project! I have other plans for the pumpkin and leaf motifs (including fulfilling a request from my mom for one, too!).
I have some tips for prioritizing projects. (See my tips for making your list here.)
1. Make a list. Although this seems like an obvious tip, writing down what you need to sew and any supplies you’ll have to buy can really help speed up the process. You’ll cut down on your number of shopping trips. Then organize your projects by how long they’ll take and when you need them done by. Then you can prioritize by deadline or squeeze in a project that will only take a few hours when you have a free afternoon.
2. Work before play. Although this isn’t something we love to hear, the quilts that you’re doing for yourself might need to take a backseat to any gifts or decor you need to make. And even though you may think you can always do your “work” projects tomorrow, my experience says that pushing back those type of projects can make you panic last-minute. Better to get them done as early as possible and if you have extra time, you can always do your “play” projects.
3. Recruit a friend. Did you decide to make holiday gifts for all the grandkids this year? Or did you get asked to make a few quilts for a charity auction? If you have fast deadlines or are overwhelmed with your to-do list, ask a sewing buddy to help out! Make an evening out of it with some snacks and a movie. Even if they don’t help you finish everything, they’ll at least make a dent and you’ll get some stress-relilef from the hangout.
Happy quilting in 2014! Share your own quilting to-do list in the comments and make sure to check back to see my progress.
Bring a touch of DIY to your kitchen with handmade pot holders. These reversable accessory is perfect for adding a punch of color and style to every meal!This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
- 8″ square Print A
- 9×11″ rectangle Print B
- 7-1/2 square insulated batting (such as Insul-Bright)
- 8″ square cotton batting
- Basting spray
- Chopstick or pencil
- Matching or contrasting thread
- Water-soluble marking pen
Finished pot holder: 7-1/2″ square
From Print B, cut:
- 8″ square
- 2×5″ strip
Assemble Pot Holder:
1. Fold Print B 2×5″ strip in half lengthwise with right side out; press.
2. Unfold strip. Fold long edges in to meet at center fold; press again.
3. Fold in half lengthwise aligning folded edges; press again. Stitch folded edges using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
4. Fold strip in half to make loop. Using long, removable hand or machine stitches, sew ends of loop to top left-hand corner of Print A square (the pot holder top).
5. Cover work surface with newspaper. Place insulating batting square on work surface. Following manufacturer’s instructions, apply basting spray to “dull” side of insulated batting.
6. Center cotton batting square on insulated batting square. Apply basting spray.
7. Layer Print A pot holder front, right side up, atop spray-basted batting.
8. Layer Print B 8″ square wrong side up, on top. Pin layers together.
9. Beginning in the middle of one edge (not the corner), sew together pieces using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave a 5″ opening along one edge for turning (marked here with water-soluble marker).
10. Clip corners close to stitching to reduce bulk.
11. Turn right side out through 5″ opening. Use chopstick or the eraser end of a pencil to push out corners; press.
12. Using a needle and thread, sew the opening closed.
13. Using a water-soluble marking pen and ruler, draw a stitching line 1″ from outer edges of pot holder.
14. Stitch along marked line to complete pot holder. Spritz marked lines with cold water to “dissolve” lines.
Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!
With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up (we’ll call them the eating holidays), we’re highlighting cute kitchen- and food-theme fabrics! Make a oven mitt, pot holder, or apron from one of these collections for a fun gift or decoration for your table during the holidays!
Kitchen fabric for your shopping list (in order going clockwise):
- Milk Cow Kitchen by Mary Jane for Moda Fabrics
- Hot Little Dish by Christine Adolph for Quilting Treasures
- Kiss the Cook by Mary-Lake Thompson for Robert Kaufman
- Retro Bake by Andover Fabrics
- Ribs and Bibs by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics
- Cherries by Michael Miller Fabrics