Sunday, January 1, 2017

BONUS POINTS Tutorial--A Layer Cake Quarter Log Cabin Block Quilt

After my Extra Credit jelly roll log cabin pattern, I always meant to make another quilt block with little pieces--but from layer cake squares.  I recently got inspired by these mug rugs that I use every day and basically ignored for  The corner piece finishes at 2" x 2" and the logs finished at 1" wide.

After sketching a bit on some grid paper (every quilter's friend), I came up with this block.  I'm calling it Bonus Points because the pieces are small and you deserve some Bonus Points for taking the time to assemble blocks with little pieces....LOL...teacher humor, get it??  😊

Unfinished size:  9.5" x 9.5" (approx--depending on seams)
Finished size:  9" x 9" (approx--depending on seams)

Which looks like this when assembled...

I came up with a simple method for making one quarter log cabin block from a layer cake square and a bit of background fabric.  Once you add more layer cake squares, you get more variety in your blocks.  My first go around, I made a rainbow version with 12 blocks.  For this gradient method, I used two fabrics of each color.  ** I did use small scale fabrics that almost read as solids.

If you are going gradient, I'd recommend making blocks that are multiples of six (like 12, 18, 24, 30 or 36...etc).  Here are a few suggested quilt sizes for gradient blocks... it is available in PDF form here

Block Assembly:  First, stack several layer cake squares on top of one another for faster cutting (I do six at a time).

**Be sure not to make a cutting mistake--there is no room for error in the cutting ;-)  Cut all the layer cake squares in this manner and stack your pieces by letter.  There will be a 2.5" x 5" scrap of fabric leftover from each layer cake.  In a later post, I'll show you how I pieced those scraps together and inserted them in the backing fabric for a little added cuteness...

The pieces are lettered in the order they will be sewn into the block.  Start with piece "A" and add "B" to the right side.  Press the seam toward the "B" piece and then add the "C" piece to the top.  Press the seam toward the "C" piece, then add the "D" piece to the left....etc.  I always pressed the seams of the logs toward the outside of the block.

Depending on your seams, your pieces might not fit perfectly.  If you are using a scant 1/4" seam, everything should be spot on!  But if your seams are slightly bigger or smaller, your pieces will be a bit smaller or bigger when you attach them to the block.  Don't worry!

HINT:  As you add the next log, be sure to line the edge up along the corner where all the logs are meeting (the upper right corner--the one opposite of the "A" piece).  Don't worry about the jagged edge on the left side and bottom of the block--these will get squared up at the end of the process.

After all the logs are sewn together, it is time to attach the background pieces.

You will need two 2.5" x 7.5" background rectangles for each block.  From your background fabric, cut the required number of 2.5" x WOF strips and subcut into 2.5" x 7.5" pieces.  Each strip should yield 5 rectangles.

Sew one of the rectangles to the right side of the block and sew the other rectangle to one of the "L" 2.5" x 2.5" squares.  At this point, I pressed the seams open.  Also, I picked a "L" square that matched the color of the original "A" piece...but you can mix it up and put whichever "L" square you like in the corner...

For the final step, sew the top rectangle/"L" unit to the pieced block, aligning the seams of the "L" piece with the final log in the block.  Sew these together and press the seams open.

Finally, it is time to square up the blocks.  Ideally, if your seam was a scant 1/4" inch, you should be able to square up to 9.5" x 9.5".  If your seam is a little off, then you might need to square up a bit smaller or a bit bigger--no worries, the pattern is flexible.  My Juki has a "wide" 1/4" seam so my blocks squared up to 9.25" x 9.25".

I started squaring up in the corner with the "A" piece to keep as much of the logs as possible. Trim the top and right sides. Rotate the block 180 degrees and then trim the other two sides to your "square up" size.

Here is the finished block.

As for layouts, there are several possibilities...and more if you have more blocks!  These are a few I came up with on the fly...

I hope I covered everything in this tutorial  Watch for later posts as I try this in other colorways and larger sizes.  Honestly, with the cutting taking so little time, and the piecing being so easy, a baby quilt can quickly come together in an afternoon.  I love log cabin blocks and I hope that you have fun with this pattern.

Please send me pics if you make a quilt from this tutorial,  I'd love to see your quilts!!  Enjoy...Happy Quilting!

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