Think Happy Thoughts Month 2 Blog
Written by Natalie Crabtree
Hi Quilters! Welcome back to Month 2 of the Think Happy Thoughts Quilt BOM quilt-a-long. Again, we are so excited that you have chosen to share this journey with us. Whether you are sewing with Moda Bella Solids or picking fabulous fabrics from your stash, we look forward to seeing your creations this month. Be sure to use #thinkhappythoughtsquilt and tag @gingibermakes and @gingiber to share your journey!
Inspiration for Month 2 really started with the color palette for me. I loved the idea of a modern take on a classic yellow and blue quilt. You know those gorgeous traditional, often antique, blue and yellow quilts that have such a sunny personality? I wanted to create a modern block using the contemporary blues and yellows. What better way to showcase these hues than a log cabin block!
I wanted to pair the Owl Panel with the blues and yellows to represent the sun and the sky. The Owl seems quite content beside that sunny block doesn’t he? I tend to create blocks and quilts that have a deeper meaning. The yellows and blues represent a home for the Owl. Sometimes I don’t always get to share my thoughts and inspirations behind the blocks, colors and quilts and it’s my own quilty secret. But I’m excited to be able to share these inspirations with you!
Log cabin blocks are so versatile, they can add depth and dimension to any quilt. They can showcase large prints using long thick strips or they can beautifully use solids or low volume fabrics as we’ve done here. Either way, I’m a huge fan of the log cabin!
Log cabins seem fairly simple, it’s just sewing long strips together right? They can however present difficulties. Here are a few tips:
- Be very consistent with your seam and stick to an exact ¼” seam. Not too scant, not too wide. If the seam isn’t exact, you may have a bit of a strip hanging over the edge of your block after you’ve sewn it on. Or your strip could come up short and won’t reach the edge of your block. Either way, stretching is involved which can skew your log cabin. Nothing wrong with a wonky log cabin though! 😊
- Cut your fabrics exactly as printed for a more accurate block. I didn’t starch a whole lot, just in case I did have to stretch those strips a bit as mentioned above. We can all become distracted tuning in to our Netflix series while sewing right?
- Lastly, keep strips organized and in order of size so that you can quickly grab the right size strip. Always check that strips will fit that edge of the log cabin before sewing. It may eliminate some unnecessary seam ripping.
Cut those strips and let’s get sewing!
Whenever I’m sewing a log cabin, or any block for that matter, I try to think of the path of least resistance while sewing. Let me explain. We all know the feeling. You are happily sewing along, and all of a sudden you are stuck on a seam. Your machine has either chewed your seam, or the feed dogs have pulled your seam into your machine because the seams were facing the feed dogs. This happens frequently to a lot of quilters! It can sometimes change the way your block looks on the front side, depending on how bad the damage is.
So, think of the path of least resistance. How can I sew this together in a way that lessens the amount of seams that touch my feed dogs? With log cabins, it’s easy. Just flip the block over, block side up and unsewn strip down. Pin the strip in place to avoid slipping and to keep the ¼” seam as nice as possible. If you put the block seam side up while sewing, you have a lot more control over how beautiful your block will look on the backside! Obviously, you can’t always avoid sewing over seams. But it helps to lessen the amount of bumps and bruises your block may endure! Take a look at those pretty seams.
Throughout the quilt top, there are plain filler fabric rectangles. This is a creative opportunity. They can serve a higher purpose than just bringing block and panels to size to fit within the jumbled setting of the quilt. Use this opportunity to practice different styles of quilting, add some embellishment or applique, or even have a go at thread painting! The options are limitless.
I hope you enjoy making Month 2! Next month, we’ll knock it out of the park by sewing with templates and creating 3 blocks.
Until next time,