Scrappy Wonky Log Cabin Quilt Top

I finally finished my scrappy wonky log cabin quilt top, and I HEART everything about it!!  I love the scrappiness!  I love the wonkiness!  And I love how the bright blue solid brings it all together.

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You can read about why I started this adventure here.  I share some tricks with you in making wonky blocks here.  And I share with you how I squared up the blocks here.

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Now it just needs to be quilted and bound.  I plan to quilt it sometime in August.  I’m thinking an all over edge-to-edge design will do just fine.  There is already a lot going on in this quilt, so it doesn’t need anything fancy.

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Although I love this finished quilt, now that the top is finished and I can get a good look at the whole thing put together, I think it would look really neat to make the wonky blocks in a wider range of sizes.  Most of the wonky blocks finished at 11-12″ and then I added the blue to make a 13″ finished block.  But it would also look great if some of the wonky blocks finished at 6″ or 8-9″.  And then to not center the wonky block into the blue 13″ square but offset it a bit.  There would be more solid blue in the quilt, but the variety of sizes, and offsetting the wonky blocks, could make the quilt more visually interesting.  Hmmm… I might have to make another one day.

And that’s another thing I love about quilting.  You can finish a project and completely love the way it is, and then think “if I change it up a bit here and there, how great would that be?”  I never run short on ideas when it comes to quilting.  I only run short on time.

Linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and  Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Squaring Up Wonky Blocks

Remember the wonky log cabin blocks I’ve shared with you the last couple of weeks.  Well I have all 35 blocks made now, and some of them are very wonky.  I auditioned several different colored backgrounds based on solids I had on hand already.  I decided I really liked the darker blue backgrounds.  The blue I chose ended up being the one I had the most yardage of.  I really liked the other one better, and I might have had enough, but it was just too close to be sure and I didn’t want to get 90% done and then run out.

Turning them into a square, rather than a wonky, 13 1/2″ block has proven to be challenging.  Not because it’s hard, because it’s not.  I could just cut a strip the width I need (3″ wide should be largest enough for most sides), sew around all 4 sides, and then trim to be square discarding the parts that I trimmed off.  That would be easy, but it would create a lot of waste and a lot of new scraps. In the example below, the piece I cut off is approximately 1 3/4″ on one end, and 0″ on the opposite end.  Which basically means I can’t use this scrap  on another block and it will have to go in the scrap bucket.  Oh the horror!

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Remember the whole point of this was to use my scraps, not create more.  So I have been challenged in how to square up each block with as little waste as possible.  I started out trying to use a spreadsheet and that didn’t work.  Eventually I moved on to a post it note that I could pin to each block.  Still took me a bit to figure out how to measure what each block needed.  Don’t worry about trying to figure out this mess.  I’ll give it to you in a nutshell below.

 

What I have come up with is to pair up the squares, and then to cut the strips wide enough so that what is cut off of one block is close to the right size to fit on a different block.

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pair blocks with similar but opposite wonkiness (is that even a word??)

I put the block on the left under the ruler centering it as best I could between the 13-1/2″ finished square size that I wanted.  I’m working with just the right edge of that block right now.  It measures 2-1/2″ from the top edge and 1″ from the bottom edge. (see below)  Add 1/2″ to both of those numbers for the seam allowances for each fabric, and that means I need a piece 3″ wide on the top and 1-1/2″ wide on the bottom to finish the right edge of this block.  The left edge of the other block I measured the same way, and for it I needed 1-1/2″ on the top and 2-3/4″ on the bottom (no picture).   So I took either the top or bottom measurements, which ever were the largest in total and then added 1/4″ for safety.  In this case, the top measurements were the largest so 3″ left block + 1-1/2″ right block + 1/4″ for safety means I need to cut the strip 4-3/4″ wide.

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Here is my 4-3/4″ wide strip between the blocks.

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Cut a wide strip

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Sew to one size. Cut off amount not needed

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Sew to opposite block

I might trim 1/8″ off each of these in the end (remember we added 1/4″ for safety).  Also, this method is taking about 10 times longer than it would otherwise, but at least I won’t have much wasted fabric when I’m done.  So, in that manner, I’m meeting my goal.

Also, since I cut a strip 4-3/4″ by WOF (width of fabric), I still have about 34″ left of that strip after the two blocks above.  So I matched up more blocks that needed that same width (or close to it) and did the same thing with those blocks using up that entire strip I just cut.  Do this same thing for all 4 sides of each block.  I made 35 blocks, so in this case that’s 140 sides!

Let me know if you would like to try this or if you have questions on how this is done.  I can write up more detailed instructions.

Now to work on squaring up more of these blocks.  I’m ready to get this thing put together.

If you want to read about how (and why!) I started this scrappy log cabin adventure click here, and I share some helpful tips and tricks here on working with wonky blocks.

 

 

Scrappy Wonky Log Cabin Blocks – Hints & Tricks

Last week I shared with you the Scrappy Wonky Log Cabin blocks that I was starting with the gazillion scraps from my 1″ scrap bucket.  As I was working on these scrappy wonky blocks, I thought of several hints and tricks that might help should you decide to also make some of these blocks.

  • If sewing a strip to the block and there is an acute angle on a corner to which the strip will be sewed (in the block below both corners along that top edge are acute angles), or an angle pointing out, make sure you use a longer strip to account for extra length needed on that new strip when trimming.  If I had used the same length of strip as the widest point on the side of this block before the new strip, it would have been too short if wanting to keep that same angle once trimmed.
  • If scrap is a weird shaped, trim sides of the scrap first and then trim long edge based on where the straight edge of the sides ended.
  • Trim the whole side, not just the end of the last strip sewed on.  Sometimes, due to fabric stretching or not a completely straight piece of fabric, there is a little extra that needs to be cut off to make that side straight for the next strip.
  • If the block is getting too wonky, and you want to square it up a bit, you can do that too. In this first example, my block is a bit too rectangular, instead of square, so I just needed to plan what the next couple of strips would be.  By planning to sew a more narrow strip to the side and then a wider strip to the bottom my block will be more square once those strips are trimmed.

Then in this example, my block is getting too wonky.  The top is much thinner than the bottom, and after another round or two and it will be a triangle.  Not a bad thing, but not what I am wanting here.  So, I sewed a wider strip to one side, and then purposely trimmed that strip at an angle such that the wider portion is at the top of the block where the block was slimmer, and the thinner portion of the strip is at the bottom of the block where the block was wider.  Although the other (left) side of the block is still not squared with the rest of the block, the block as a whole reads more square than triangle now.

After 3 rounds, my smallest block is approximately 6-3/4″ x 7″ and the largest block is approximately 7-1/2″ x 8″

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Next week I’ll share with you how I’m squaring these blocks up to the same size so I can sew them together to make a complete quilt top.

Too Many Projects to Count

It has been a busy week!

First, the elephant I made for the Cultivate in Fall Challenge with Art Gallery Fabrics won 2nd place.  Woo Hoo!  Thank you so much to everyone to voted.  I wouldn’t have made it that far without you.

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Second, I finished a quilt that I started this past February.  Yippee!  A finish is always something to celebrate.  I can’t show it to you yet.  I’m waiting to mail it to the intended recipient. But, I’ll show it to you as soon as I can.

Stitched in Color is hosting a Primary Mosaic contest featuring Lark Cottons.  It sounded like a fun adventure.  So, I took the time to create and submit two samples.  I think it was a great idea to get us quilters to slow down and think about color, and it really was as fun as I expected.  I didn’t make it into the top 10, but I really didn’t expect to.  After I submitted my fabric choices (below), I read through the blog again and realized I didn’t get the gist of what she was looking for the first time around.  That will teach me to try to do something like this when I’m tired and trying to listen to the TV at the same time.  But that’s ok.  I still like what I picked out, and I LOVE the navy fabric with the sail boat schematic, and the blue dandelions, and the blue giraffes… Voting starts today so head on over to Rachel’s blog and vote for one of your favorites.  mosaiccdb1d9de8b5e0e62bc937c9567eca89ac2210431

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I also have the front and back of the Long Star quilt for my middle son completely pieced.  It should finish to be about 70″ x 90″.  Now to iron it really good (somehow on my 2 foot portable desktop ironing board), and get my sandwich pinned together.  My plan for quilting is nothing too complicated.  I plan to straight line quilt following the lines of the diamond pieces, which is a good thing since my machine is still skipping stitches if I try to FMQ as discussed here.  I really need to get my machine serviced, but I can’t figure out when I’ll have time.  I am in the mist of too many projects at the moment.

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Also, I belong to a Facebook crafting group and one of our members found out she has stage 4 breast cancer that has matastasized into her hips.  Her treatment is expected to be extensive and costly.  So, our group is having a benefit by making items to sell at a craft fair.  We are looking to make as many items as we can over the next 9 days and ship them out to one of our members that is planning to have a booth at an upcoming craft fair.  I do hope we are able to raise a sizable amount of money for her.  If you have any finished projects just hanging around that you would like to donate, please let me know.  Also, here is a link to her go fund me page.  So, for this new venture, I designed and made this paper pieced mug rug last night.  It is made entirely with scraps from my scrap bin and measures 6″ x 9″.   I plan to make a few more mug rugs, and several other items (not sure what yet) in the time we have allotted.  So, for that reason, progress on the Lone Star will likely be stalled for a little while.  (Please excuse all the strings in the photograph.  I need to bury my threads but I can’t find my little needle book.  I am blaming the cat!)

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And there’s more going on.  But really, I don’t want to overwhelm you.

Linking up with