Something is wrong here…

Ahhhhh, much better!

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Let’s Talk About Log Cabins

I’ve been working diligently on Log Cabin blocks. I have an idea of what I want the finished product to look like…but I have a feeling I won’t have enough blocks.

If you recall from my post a few weeks ago, this is my first time making Log Cabin blocks (granted, I’m still a pretty new quilter so everything for a while is going to be new for me). You may also recall that I got…overzealous…when cutting and had to order another roll.

It is possible I may have to order one more roll in order to have enough blocks.

Rather than jump in and plop down another chunk of change on fabric, I decided to work with what I have and see what I’ll need for sure.

For the last few days, I’ve been chain piecing which makes the piecing go by pretty damn fast until I grind to a halt to press and trim.

So. Much. Trimming.

Since I’m still insecure about my ability to measure and cut, I gave myself wiggle room. However, wiggle room means a LOT of trimming.

I’m choosing to look at it as an opportunity to practice using my rotary cutter and making even cuts.

I would like to ask your advice though! I have an iron that works great because it is a heavy beast. Since there is so much pressing with these blocks, I’m really starting to feel it in my wrists.

Anyone have any recommendations for lightweight irons? Or irons in general? I think I want to upgrade in the next few months and would love to hear some opinions!

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Quilt Planning

My attempts to figure out how I’m going to lay out this quilt

When it comes to quilts, I’m trying to be more thoughtful…have a plan if you will.

As I mentioned in the last post, I kind of jumped into the log cabin blocks all willy nilly.

(Out of curiosity, does anyone know if quilt block names should be capitalized? Log Cabin or log cabin? LOG cabin…log CABIN? Let me know)

With most things, I agonize for weeks before I start (please see the fat quarter stack I still haven’t been brave enough to cut into) and then I get tired of my own bullshit and leap without a real plan.

I feel like I’ve lost the plot of this post…oh, right!

So I’ve been enjoying the LoG cAbIn blocks so much that I have an urge to continue messing around with them. I’m fascinated by all the different effects you can achieve with the placement of the blocks.

I’ve decided I want to make a Halloween inspired quilt using loG cabiN blocks and solid colors. But instead of winging it, I started planning.

I started by auditioning designs and colors with graph paper and colored pencils. Then my hands started to hurt and I had no pencil sharpener. So I did what I always do when in doubt.

Made a spreadsheet.

This is where I landed. I’m no designer but I like the colors and the diamonds are tripping me out in a good way.

As a side note, I love using spreadsheets for “designing” stuff. You can copy and paste and change colors on the fly. I’m sure there is actual design software out there but I am clearly no professional so I’ll stick to good ol’ Google Sheets for now.

How do you guys plan out your quilts? Meticulous notes and sketches? Cut first, ask questions later? Let me know!

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Log Cabin Blocks

I have learned a new technique! The Log Cabin Block. I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a…fondness…for pre-cut strips. I find the rolls to be charming. (Now that I’m thinking about it, 4 of the 5 quilts I’ve worked on are made from pre-cut 2 1/2 strips) I’m always a fan of less cutting because my cutting isn’t anything to write home about.

(Hmmm I should probably do MORE fabric cutting so I can get better at it…)

One of the things I like to do is watch quilting tutorials on YouTube. In the last few weeks I marathoned my way through The Midnight Quilt Show by Angela Walters. It’s a fucking delight, y’all. She’s real funny and I really like her “finished is better than perfect” mentality as that is definitely something I struggle with.

All that being said, almost every quilting channel I watch talks about the Log Cabin block and variations of the block. I’ve always liked the way it looks but it’s a lot of cutting and a lot of piecing so I’ve been pretty hesitant to give it a shot. To be honest, my cuts end up pretty wonky most of the time. I seriously have issues with straight lines – can’t even draw ’em with a ruler.

But I got a bug up my butt about giving them a try. Especially when I was looking at cool layouts you can do with them. Plus, the piecing looked very satisfying. Like a puzzle. So I grabbed the Meraki Jelly Roll from Moda as it was the pre-cuts I had with the most contrast and started separating the darks and the lights.

I’ve learned a lot already from working on these blocks. For example: don’t assume you know how many cuts you can get from a single pre-cut strip. Because then you end up with a lot of cuts you can’t use. Also! Taking a minute to figure out how you want the blocks to look before starting to sew is important. I originally thought I was going to make it super scrappy and then decided I didn’t like that so had to go and rip out.

Plus I didn’t cut a lot of the strips correctly so I have a ton of leftovers and not enough fabric to make a whole quilt so I had to order another roll. But that’s ok, learning is good! And when I get the next roll I’m going to slow down and figure out exactly what I need to cut.

All that being said, I am really liking how the blocks are turning out. My cutting is definitely getting better and my piecing is more consistent. This is why I love crafting, it’s so easy to see improvement from project to project, even from block to block.

What type of quilt block should I try next? Maybe I should do an actual pattern?

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Portland Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival

Last week there was a Quilt festival up here in Portland. I had no idea it was happening until a coworker messaged me to see if I wanted to go.

Um? Heck YES I wanted to go.

I took the Max down to the Expo Center and got in. I didn’t think to print out the coupon so I ended up paying the full $10 to get in – which, honestly, probably wasn’t worth it.

I know! I know! That seems harsh.

But it was a pretty small show and it felt like $10 was a lot. It would have covered the full 3 days but I only went for that one afternoon. And considering I only give myself $40 spending money every two weeks, I was bummed about using a quarter of it to just get in.

Or maybe I’m just disappointed because there was some cool stuff there that I couldn’t buy because I didn’t have the money. WHO KNOWS?

I’m not usually a Mickey/Minnie person but this quilt was super cute!

Anyway, I wandered around for a few hours and my coworker ended up not being able to make it. I did bring my fancy camera and took some photos which was fun! (I’d like to apologize to the event organizers as I didn’t see the program until I was leaving and didn’t realize I wasn’t supposed to take pictures…oops).

“But Mallory” you may be saying “surely you were able to have a good time!?”

I did have a good time, it was nice to get out of the house and see some quilts live and in person. I ate an over-priced hot dog. Got to fiddle around with my camera. I also lusted over some long-arms and saw some really nice fabric. I just wish it had been bigger…and that I had more discretionary funds!

I did buy a bit of fabric and a pair of scissors but I didn’t get pictures of them because that would make sense. Though you can sort of see the fabric in the picture above! Hang on – let me just..


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You know what makes a project go SUPER fast?

When you finish up a big chunk of it a year ago and then decide to finish it!

I’ve been working pretty diligently for the past week or so and I’m really enjoying it. I love the fabric (Rainy Day by My Sister and Me for Moda). In order to enjoy the jelly roll I sewed it up as a jelly roll race top. I used some white fabric I had for a border.

I’m learning a lot from this quilt. I tend to struggle a lot with wanting things to be perfect. So much so that I often don’t even get started because I worry the end result won’t be what I want…so I’m trying to get over that.

Yes, fabric is expensive. Yes, mistakes suck. But I learned something the other day when I pulled out my first quilt.

I distinctly remember being annoyed with all the mistakes and thing it was terrible. So much so, I shoved it in a drawer and never used it.

Imagine my surprise when I pulled it out and couldn’t even find the things that I didn’t like originally. Like, I think it looks pretty good.

So. Yeah. I’m going to try and remember that as I go – the border on my Rainy Day Quilt may annoy me now but I bet in a few weeks I won’t even notice. And even if I do still notice, no one else will.

Finished is definitely better than perfect.

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Finished Object: Mario Quilt

I DID IT! I finished the secret quilt!

Not gonna lie, this was a challenge. Cutting all the squares, trying to line up the seams (poorly) AND keeping it a secret from the intended receipent… who lives with me in a 600 sq ft one bedroom apartment.

Not. Easy.

Thank God I decided to bail on doing the whole ginormous thing. This part took a year and a half as is. (Granted, I took a looooong break here and there).

But it’s done! And my husband loves it. I love it! I only have the one picture but I’m hoping to update with more once I get some photos off my camera. I really want to show you guys the backing fabric.

Pattern is by Cora’s Quilts (though I believe it is a pay pattern now). Fabric is from Connecting Threads. Quilting done by me on my Juki – simple stitch in the ditch.

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