Looking at a Log Cabin quilt, you would think it is so simple. And it is, or can be eventually. As mentioned in my previous post, I am using the Creative Grids Log Cabin Trim Tool, which is terrific. I got the idea for the Log Cabin project from a YouTube video called Hope Blooms Log Cabin Quilt put out by the folks at Fatquarter Shop.
The ruler comes with detailed instructions. Fatquartershop also has a free Hope Blooms Log Cabin Block pattern you can print out, which shows you how to use the Creative Grids Log Cabin ruler to make their version of the quilt My first pitfall was trying to follow both pattern instructions at the same time. I realized at some point in making my first block that the patterns were reversed in their use of dark and light strips. If you are cutting strips to measure, it is important to get the lights cut to the right length and the darks cut to the lengths they need to be. You cannot interchange them, as they are different lengths. Also one pattern numbered the strips in order of use, and the other pattern used letters of the alphabet.
I tell you, I sat for the longest time staring at those two sets of directions and ended up more confused than ever. So, my advice is--if you use the tool pick one set of directions and don't confuse yourself with even looking at another set! You notice in my photo above, I have little scraps of paper with the Fatquartershop letters of the alphabet as well as my numbered pins that correspond to the Creative Grids ruler. I was making myself unnecessarily crazy.
The second pitfall is: know that you are going to have to end up cutting more strips. The main reason for this is that you will want to use certain colors or fabrics in the various "rounds" and you'll find you did not cut enough of whatever it is you need to achieve your desired effect. Believe me, you will end up cutting extra strips of certain colors.
You notice in my dark fabrics, the first round is light grey, the second round is a darker grey and the third round is black. Just trust me that you will end up cutting more strips in the colors you need. Have more fabric than you think you need.
A possible third pitfall is deciding if you want to cut your strips to various prescribed lengths or not. The Fatquartershop instructions called for cutting strips into various lengths: 3 1/2, 5 1/2, 7 1/2, 9 1/2. The Creative Grids instructions just have you sewing your long strips onto the side of the block and whacking it off close to the edge--no measuring. That lack of precision troubled me, so I followed the Fatquartershop instructions and cut my strips according to their use of darks and lights. So I guess I did end up kind of combining both pattern instructions. No wonder I sat scratching my head for the longest time.
Don't throw up your hands and declare with all this bother you will never attempt a Log Cabin quilt. I made 18 blocks over the weekend, and I can tell you by about block number 14 I wasn't even looking at either pattern any more. Or not very often anyway.
The blocks are fun to make, and easy once you get your head on straight. Not sure how big this quilt will be, or even how many blocks I need to make. I suppose I will be cutting more strips....