Fair warning- this post is picture-laden. No appologies.
I think it’s fair to say that I’m a figure-it-out-as-I-go-er vs. a plan-and-methodically-execute-er (sorry grammar police). But that’s just how I learn. For once in my life, though, I committed to following a pattern and doing this project “the right way”- following each step carefully, fixing mistakes, learning techniques that I didn’t know before I attempted them.
Totally worth it.
Especially in the case of the hand stitched binding finish. The seam attachment is practically invisible.
Here are more pictures:
I can’t give you the full tutorial as it’s published in the beautiful book, Modern Log Cabin Quilting. This is an awesome book for beginner quilters and gives detailed instructions, tutorials, and patterns for each quilt. I fell in love with the book even before I started quilting!
What I can give you, though, are some simple instructions for you to practice with, and some technique instruction for those you’ll need to complete this quilt.
First, let’s talk about the actual block. I’ve blogged about log cabin blocks before for this baby quilt and this baby play mat. The log cabin cross block is made up of four log cabin blocks pieced together in a particular way so that the contrasting fabric creates a cross. Like this:
Best drawing ever, right?!
Next up, you need to know how to chain-piece. This will make your life INFINITELY easier and if you aren’t doing this already, you should be. I almost cried after figuring this out when I realized how much time I had wasted sewing, trimming, and cutting every single piece as I went.
Spacing everything out made it easier to see in the diagram- when you are actually chain piecing, you want each piece (so each square in the image above) as close as possible so when you cut them apart there is little to no trimming necessary and little to no wasted fabric.
And finally, the ladder stitch, which is how I finished the binding. I’ve got a one year old a three year old who keep me pretty busy so hand stitching is something that’s been scaring me off for quite awhile. I just couldn’t picture myself sitting with a needle and thread and getting anything accomplished. I compromised with this binding by machine stitching it to the quilt top, and then hand stitching it to finish it off on the back. It looks beautiful and was MUCH easier, for me, than machine stitching that final seam- I always mess up and miss the binding creating big, gaping holes that need to be fixed by hand anyway.
Image from stitchwerx.net
This “ladder” stitch is perfect for finishing the binding as it is nearly invisible when done correctly. Make sure your are inserting your needle just under the actual fold of the binding. When you pull your thread taught, the gap will close and your stitches will be neatly tucked away under the join of both fabrics.
I’d definitely give this one a try if you are ready to attempt a “real” quilt pattern. The finished product is worth every moment of effort, I promise!
Because is there anything better than a baby in a quilt (and signing Mommy to boot?!)? …Oh right. There is. It’s called Mommy in a quilt with coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
chris nalbone says
Tina Marie says
This is next quilt on my “to do” list. I have the book out from the library and fell in love with project. I love the look of yours and I bind the way you do.
Your quilt is gorgeous, so inspiring, thanks xx
Love this quilt. It’s now on my to-do list.
Just ran across your beautiful quilt. I absolutely love log cabins and this is a gorgeous take on one. Definitely adding this one to my list. Thanks for sharing….
I have this book and this quilt has been on my must make list for sometime. Yours is just lovely! I found you via Pinterest and am going to have to peak around. 🙂 thanks for sharing.
Thank you Kristin! Definitely a fun one 🙂
Glynn-Ellen Wilson says
I love your quilt, but I’m not crafty at all!!!! Do you make quilts to sell? If so I would love to purchase a cabin quilt.
Hi there! I DO sell me quilts in a little shop on etsy 😉 it can be found at the following link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheSweeterSideMom And I am always happy to take custom orders incase you are looking for something unique that you don’t see!
This is stunning! I found your quilt pictured on Pinterest but it was linked to a dead link so I googled around until I found it. I LOVE your fabric choices. Would you mind sharing a little about them? Also, how ambitious of a quilt would this be for a beginner?
Hi there! Boo for dead links- biggest pet peeve! But so glad you found it anyway! For the fabric- there are quite a few patterns from Aneela Hooey’s Honey Honey line (love) and some Michael Miller prints so you could look for those online. There are probably 30 or so prints from JoAnn Fabrics (much cheaper, esp. when you only need a little bit- like 3 inches or so of each fabric haha..). I just walk around the fabric section and pulled any and every print that I liked- mostly more geometric and modern with a few florals thrown in. You need a total of 60 different prints if you are doing them all different like mine so you really have freedom to play with any and everything you like! I classify myself as a beginner but loved this pattern. The book is really, really good with it’s explanations and method. I found myself wanting to skip ahead but forced myself to do exactly as the steps in the book instructed. I learned that there was a method to the madness and it came together so beautifully! After finishing the quilt I am so much more comfortable chain piecing and designing log cabin blocks so it was a great learning activity let alone leaves you with a really beautiful quilt. If you try I’d love to see a finished pic/offer any help if you need it! email@example.com hooray for more quilters in the world!
Aww thank you so much for your quick and detailed response! I feel so re-assured by your response I think I’ll give this one a try as my first quilt ever. But I better buy that book first and start studying before I even step into a JoAnn or start looking for those two lines you mentioned. I know once I have that fabric in hand, I’ll have a hard time NOT throwing the book aside and winging it! I’ll definitely post pics once it’s done. Thanks again. 🙂
I have only just found your website and I LOVE it. I love your quilt too and I am so going to buy that book. Thank you so much for sharing and I sorta wish I would have found your site earlier.
Hi Patti! Thank you for the kind words – the quilt was and still is my absolute favorite 🙂
Gorgeous quilt Jacquie! Can’t wait to try it.
Karen Savage says
Love love love this! Have been trying to pick a pattern for a quilt for our master bedroom and this just might be it! Trying to figure out from the pics what type of quilting you did…did you just stitch in the ditch along the seams!
I kind of just arbitrarily stitched rows in-between the crosses (my seams were not perfect so there really weren’t any real straight lines I could follow… haha!) And the quilt is pretty big so I only wanted to quilt the bare minimum to keep it all together.
hi there! another admirer of your sweet quilt! it IS really great. lucky me, i just found my library carries this book. YES. now, i know this is basically one year ago, but do you remember anything about the fabric you used for the binding? i reeeeeally like it. anyway, thanks for sharing your quilt story and all the lovely pictures!
Hi Jamie! The binding is one of my go-to choices and it’s called Clown Stripe from Michael Miller. I can usually find it on sale all over etsy! Hope that helps 🙂
Quilt is beautiful. The binding is fantastic!
Hi! I love this quilt! yours looks amazing! I’ve never ever sewed anything … and im dying to learn and make a quilt for my kids. Do you think I should start sewing something else or can I start with this quilt?
Hi Andrea- you could definitely start with this quilt if you are brave 😉 and if you are very patient with the exact directions in the book. If you keep all of your pieces and steps organized (and don’t mind maybe ripping out a seam or two for mistakes) you could certainly start your sewing adventures here! One word of caution is that this quilt is LARGE for a beginner. It will take some wrangling to get the final product through your machine as it gets quite bulky. If you are looking for some basic information on quilting, my friend Kacia who writes at http://www.coconutrobot.com has a great beginner quilt-a-long series to help with the basics. That would be a great place to start!
One more thing – this might be a silly question but how do you do the black and white trim? is that part of the directions in the book? Thats one of my favorite parts of the quilt so I want to make sure i know how to get it like that.
The “trim” is called binding when you are quilting and it is covered in the book. This is a tricky part to learn and I recommend searching for “binding tutorials” on pinterest, google, or http://www.redpepperquilts.com as those places are where I learned most of my favorite techniques!
Moya Espley says
What a wonderful quilt and your so generous sharing with everyone I shall buy the book and get a grip so to speak x
This quilt looks amazing! Thankyou for sharing. It looks like a pattern that could be quite masculine, depending on the choice of fabric, which is perfect for the quilt I am wanting to make for my son! Are you able to let me know the size of the finished quilt? Thanks!!
I don’t have the actual dimensions on hand… but whatever the dimensions are in the pattern from the book, mine ended up a smidge smaller as I needed to trim here and there to keep my squares lining up 😉
Liane Jensen says
I love.this quilt! I purchased the book you recommended but the quilt size is a full. It seems a little big for the crib quilt I’d like to make. What’s the best way to make it smaller…..simply cut back on the number of squares horizontally and vertically? Any things to be aware of when doing that?
Hatty Brown says
I am just going to make the Midern cross baby quilt. I have her book and was hoping there were instructions for the baby size quilt. Did you use the same size block for your quilt or did you change the block size? I’m excited to use up some scraps and make this cute quilt. Thanks for sharing!
Yes same size block! Good luck!