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 Free Quilt Pattern : Log Cabin Traditions 1 - Page 2

Fabric requirements and notions

1/2 yard print fabric 42 inches x 18 inches to make 40 log cabin blocks - there are wonderful print fabrics available, so choose a fabric with a detailed design that will show up in the log cabin blocks; anything too large would not show pattern detail in the small blocks.

4 fat quarters (18 inches x 22 inches) of solid fabric - each a coordinating color to the print fabric to make 10 log cabin blocks of each color. This is a great place for hand-dyes, some subtle batiks, Moda Marbles, small print landscape colors - have some fun!

1 yard border/backing fabric - I used a black for the simple border because there is a dark gray in the print fabric, and the black accented it. I would recommend a fabric different from the solids in the Log blocks, because you don't want to disturb the "flow" of the Log Cabin design. OR - you may decide to do a small border with the print fabric in your Log Cabin blocks. Do what looks good to you! You can use the rest of your border fabric for your backing fabric.

Batting for the quilt sandwich - one yard (or purchase crib-size batting); low loft is a good choice for a table runner. If you want fluffy pillows, go for a batting that is higher loft. If you are planning extensive hand quilting, use a batting that is easy to quilt. See batting package for quilting recommendations.

Thread for Log Cabin blocks - I would recommend a light gray or light beige thread for the bobbin so that no color from the thread shows up in the blocks as you piece them.

Thread for quilting - save this decision for once the quilt is finished. You will make your decision based on what you will do for quilting.

Rulers and cutting tools - this pattern assumes you have some knowledge of a rotary cutter and mat, as well as accompanying rulers. If so, use them for your cutting. If not, get a good sharpened pencil and good scissors and ruler. You will be measuring and marking on the wrong side of fabrics and then cutting to length.

Seam Allowance - quilters use a quarter-inch seam allowance through almost all construction. You will want to be as accurate as possible. If you are just starting out, mark the throat plate of your sewing machine with a piece of masking tape with a one-quarter-inch line marked down the masking tape. You can then follow this line as you are sewing. The more accurate you are through each step of the construction, the better your blocks will go together at the end.

Your sewing machine and iron

If this is your first foray into quilting, you will only need a basic straight stitch for making this pattern. You will want to clean your machine of loose threads and lint. Change your needle - very important for good tension and even stitching. A size 80 needle is sufficient. If you are thinking of using metallic or other decorative threads for quilting the top, then you will want to invest in a size 90 needle - the larger eye lets the decorative thread go through easier without a lot of breaking.

Your iron should be clean. You will not be using steam, because you do not want to stretch the fabrics unnecessarily. You will "press," not "iron". Pressing will keep fabrics from stretching. There are two parts to pressing. The first involves setting a seam: after you have sewn a seam, with the seam still closed, press the seam. This actually sets the threads into place. Then press the seam open, usually to the darker fabric.

OR - you can finger press throughout the blocks. This will ensure consistency in size of your blocks, and you can actually press the blocks when they are all complete. Finger press means you use your fingers to press open a new seam.

The more you quilt, the more you will discover tricks to pressing seams - open, closed, combination, depending on the pattern.

Pretreating fabrics

There are as many ways to look at pretreating as there are quilting styles! Most people will wash fabrics before sewing them. This eliminates unnecessary finishing chemicals (like formaldehyde). This is especially a good idea if this table runner or pillow will get a lot of use. In this way, any shrinking that will occur will happen before any sewing is done. If you are looking to do a wall hanging, you do not necessarily have to wash first - if the quilt is going to stay on the wall.

Next : Making one log cabin block [Page : 1 2 3 4 5]

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