Log Cabin Conundrum

I’m taking the Easy Log Cabin Class with Nancy this month. If you’re local, I highly recommend this class. Again I’ll say, Nancy is a great teacher and the method she’s teaching really is easy. The next quarterly newsletter will be out in April, watch it for dates and times.  If you can’t come to class, you can stil use the terrific tool we’re using.  It’s the Log Cabin Trim Tool.  There are two sizes.  One makes 8″ blocks (A16764) and the other makes 6″ or 12″ blocks (A19020). 

I’ve finished my blocks, so now I’m ready to decide how to arrange them. This is where the conundrum comes in. There are literally hundreds of different ways to arrange log cabin blocks to make different designs.

Log Cabin Block

The block doesn’t look scary, does it? But the sheer number of choices has me a little stumped. I’m going to share the start of some designs with you and see what you think. In the interests of time, I’ve not set up the entire quilt, but just a few rows on a table in the office.

First, we have the traditional Barn Raising set.

Barn Raising

Second is one I really like, Streak of Lightning. Of course, if I use this pattern I’ll have to decide which direction my lightening is striking, since we’ve made enough blocks for a rectangle quilt and not a square. I guess I could make more …

Streak of Lightning And, as you can see, I’ve got one of my blocks turned the wrong way at the bottom of that picture. I highly recommend taking photos of your quilts after arranging your blocks. It is quite often so much easier to see the design that emerges. It also is essential in a situation like this when you have several choices as to block arrangement.

Third, we have Sunshine and Shadows.

Sunshine and Shadows

I’m liking that one, too. If I use that one I’m thinking I would like for red to end up all around the outside edge of the quilt. Or maybe let the lighter color end up around the edge and bind it in red?

Fourth is Straight Furrows. Again, a simple pattern, and honestly it took the least amount of time for me to arrange. Some of these patterns can get really confusing.

Straight Furrows

Fifth and finally, we have an unnamed pattern.

UnnamedIt’s very similar to the Barn Raising but starts off just a little differently in the center.

If you’ve made a log cabin quilt before, which block setting did you use? I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to make more log cabin quilts so I can use different settings. We have some great books with log cabin instruction and design ideas, such as Judy Martin’s Log Cabin Quilt Book (30692), Log Cabin Quilts (A19751), and one with a little more contemporary feel, Log Cabins Today (A14585).

I’m really hoping you’ll let me know which setting you like the best out of the five above. If you prefer another I’ve not mentioned, by all means, let me know, too.

Until next time (hopefully with a finished quilt top),

Jennifer

(To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)

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How to Make a Quilt From Start to Finish – Class Three

Just in case you missed it, be sure to check out updates from class one and class two.

You’ll find the entire current class listing in our quarterly newsletter.

This week I have lots of pictures to share with you. My fellow classmates are making some amazing quilts. I can’t wait to see them next class time when they’ll all be quilted.

Without further ado, here they are so far.

Beautiful Batik Quilt

Red Floral and Checks Quilt

Pretty Purple Quilt

Quilt Floral

Pink & White Quilt

The last one is mine and it’s turning out way better than I had hoped. I wasn’t too excited about my fabric choices after the first couple of weeks but once the borders were sewn on I decided it was really very pretty.  It’s impossible to show in a picture but the white fabric is a white on white leaf design. The backing will be a different but similar design.

This week was fun because it was the closest any of us has been to a real live quilting “bee.” We all learned together and helped each other get ready for quilting.

The bummer for me at this point is realizing that my little Minnie sewing machine may really not be up to this challenge of quilting. I think I will be able to accomplish this crib size quilt on it but if I wanted to do anything larger the rolled up portions of the quilt might not fit through the machine.

Only one more class time left! We’re off next week for Mother’s Day so I have plenty of time to get my homework done. And of course to dream up new projects. Soon, I’ll be a beginner no more!

Be sure to “like” us on Facebook! You’ll see great projects from customers and Erica’s employees, new items just into the store and be eligible for great giveaways! Now you can also follow us on Pinterest.

(To find an item or event on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)

You can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

How to Make a Quilt From Start to Finish – Class Two

In case you missed it, you can read Class Update #1.

You’ll find the entire current class listing in our quarterly newsletter.

We had a lot of homework this week! The goal was to return to class with all of our sewing and cutting homework from last week finished. The good news is that I was able to accomplish that much. The not so good news is that I have a lot of homework again for next week!

9 patch

As you can see in the picture above, I did get all of my blocks sewn together during class. However, there are a couple of seams that I need to remove and do again. They need to be straight, darn it! I had also been hoping to get my borders on during class as well but a girl can only do so much, right?

One of the best parts about being in a class with other people is learning along with them. Even though I didn’t get my borders on, two other ladies did during class. That was fantastic because Nancy was able to demonstrate for us twice how to get them measured accurately, quickly, and easily.

It’s also really fun to see everyone else’s fabric choices come alive as the quilt top comes together. Honestly, I’m kind of bored by my fabric choices at this point. That’s why this is called a learning experience, right? But, some of the other ladies have chosen very bold florals, and even a beautiful batik pairing that is lovely. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to share some photos of their quilts as well.

Oh and my sewing machine? Remember that teeny little thing?

Jen's sewing machine Minnie

We have appropriately named her Minnie.

Until next time, may all your stitches be straight!

Be sure to “like” us on Facebook! You’ll see great projects from customers and Erica’s employees, new items just into the store and be eligible for great giveaways! Now you can also follow us on Pinterest.

(To find an item or event on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)

You can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.

How to Make a Quilt From Start to Finish – Class One

This post is the first in our new Classes at Erica’s Series. Enjoy! You’ll find the entire current class listing in our quarterly newsletter.

Quilters who are self taught such as I can still benefit from professional instruction. Even though I’ve made several quilt tops and one actual complete quilt on my own, I decided to take a class to see what I was missing.

Now don’t laugh.

Sewing Machine

Yep. That’s my sewing machine. Isn’t she cute? I think she needs a name. Got any ideas for me?

You may not think you could actually make an entire quilt on a machine like that but a person could and I have. I don’t have as many choices as with more impressive machines, but hey, it gets the job done.

I’m thinking that once I improve my skills by taking a couple of classes I’ll be able to justify a machine upgrade.

Whether you’re a complete newbie or have a little bit of experience, Nancy Koski is a really fantastic teacher. She made class so easy and she’s just really sweet and helpful. But if you hear her say, “Now hold on there, Toots,” then you know to stop what you’re doing because she’s got some instruction for you to pay attention to.

This first week was all about learning to cut strips and put them together to create a nine patch block.

9 patch quilt block

I think I did pretty well, what do you think? For my first ever 9 patch I’m pretty pleased. And would you look at those corners? No overlap. Of course, that’s made possible by following Nancy’s “smoosh method.” But you’ll have to take her class to learn that one.

For next class we get to finish up the nine patches and some more cutting at home. Then next Sunday we’re going to be putting together the actual quilt top. That’s pretty impressive to me that you can come in to a class which assumes no quilting experience and have a quilt top put together in just two class periods.

pinned fabric strips

Fun, huh? And I only poked myself a couple of times. No blood, thank goodness.

Be sure to check back next week when you’ll get to see my completed quilt top. The class runs three more weeks and I’ll post an update after each week!

fabric pieces

Have you taken any classes at Erica’s? We’ve certainly offered a few over the years. We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.

Be sure to “like” us on Facebook! You’ll see great projects from customers and Erica’s employees, new items just into the store and be eligible for great giveaways! Now you can also follow us on Pinterest.

(To find an item or event on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item.)

You can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.