May 9, 2017

Week 9: Long Time Gone Sew Along | Log Cabin Blocks, or Chevrons

Use Log Cabin Ruler #8037 (3/4- and 1 1/2-inch finished strips).

Cut all strips to length and 1 1/4-inch wide.

If I could only make one quilt, it would have to be Log Cabin. It was the first full-size quilt I ever made and there are so many variations, I don’t think I would ever get bored. This is the second of the 3 variations Jen has included in Long Time Gone.

It made me happy when I saw that the strip widths were 1-1/4 inches cut because we have a Log Cabin Ruler (#8037) that cuts strips to length for the finished 3/4-inch strip – it is such a great width. It took me a few moments to realize Jen had used three different widths of strips in the Chevron Log Cabin. Then I calculated that I could make the 6-inch finished block I needed with the 1-1/2 inch (2-inch cut) corner square and six 3/4-inch (1-1/4 inch cut) strips on two sides and I was good to go!

My arrangement:

Log Cabin Ruler # 8037 1 1/2- and 3/4-inch finished strip widths

Jen did not select fabric to make blocks with the typical half light, half dark colors and I decided to follow her lead with a twist. I decided to try warm colors on one half and cool on the other.

Cutting the Fabrics

1. For matching corner squares, cut a strip 2-inch wide and at least 8-1/2 inches long. Cut into four 2-inch squares with the A square on the wide side of the ruler.

2. Looking at my chart for strips used in the entire quilt (posted with block 3), I see that this is the only block in the quilt that uses 1-1/4 inch strips. Because I wanted variety I cut a strip 10 or 12 inches long from 10 or 12 warm fabrics and 10 or 12 cool fabrics.

3. Cut strips to length. The beauty of cutting strips to length is that every piece that you add confirms that the block is still the right size and your ¼” seam is accurate. The smaller the strips, the more important it is to know you have an accurate seam allowance.

The first piece on each block is 2 inches long, or “b” on the narrow side of the #8037 ruler.
Cut 4. Mine were warm fabrics. From then until the last strip, you will need 4 of each value (8 total) of c, d, e, f, and g…just move up the ruler. You will only need 1 “h” per block. Mine was a cool fabric.

Making the Blocks

Chain piece all 4 blocks.

Work in alphabetical order to add strips. Press away from the corner square.

When I put my set of blocks on the design wall, I was slightly disappointed. The diagonal bands of warm and cool strips were not as distinct as I wanted and because they are lacking neutrals, they are a little “heavy” or dense looking.

It didn’t take long for me to decide on a solution.
1.  I’m not making them over! They will be almost in the middle of the quilt, so the “heavy issue” won’t ruin the balance of the quilt.
2.  But, I still wanted a better diagonal look. As soon as I put up high contrast A-6 half-square triangles to replace the multi-colored corner squares, I felt I got it. I was willing to make that change to get a stronger diagonal look. (Click the photo for a larger view.)

Join the Blocks

Follow the arrangement in the book to join the blocks. I did that and went ahead and added a sashing  strip to one side. Then I noticed that I worked clockwise on my Chevron blocks and Jen worked counter-clockwise. Oh well!

Looking Ahead

You may have noticed on my strip chart included in Week 3 (Crosses of the UK) that I said I was thinking about 3 different width borders that would equal 5-1/2 inches finished width instead of the three 1-1/4 inch borders that equal 3 3/4 inches.

I haven’t decided yet, but I’m ready to start quilting by the section. Section 4 has been on my design wall beckoning for a couple of weeks now. It measures 14-1/2 by 27-1/2 inches wide. I’m going to add 8 inches to both dimensions and cut batting and backing 22-1/2 by 35-1/2 inches. When I layer, I’ll let an inch of batting and backing extend on the top and right side of Section 4 and the remainder on the left and bottom.

After I have pinned  Section 4 in place, I’ll roll up and secure the extra batting and backing to make a nice package for quilting. Later, after the sections are joined, I’ll add the borders stitch and flip so that I quilt as I add the borders.

Visit these other Long Time Gone Sew Along blogs, too, for tutorials, contests and other info:

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Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell. Copyright 2016 by Jen Kingwell Designs. Available on the From Marti Michell website,

1 comment:

  1. I'm loving your fabrics and colors in this quilt! Thank you for showing us how to use your tools to make this happen. Fantastic tutorials.