I may have seen one too many quilt-tops-in-sunny-windows pictures. They always make me gasp. Jen just did one here. Wow.
I tried to get that without the sunny window. What I used is a simple stained glass technique. And with Susan Beal putting log cabins in my head, I couldn't ignore the fact that a log cabin would fit the bill perfectly for a pattern-free block that could be built easily with this technique. Susan's bohemian mixes of fabric are fresh in my mind, which may be why my fabrics are such a joyful jumble.
So to do this you'd want to choose your fabrics and cut them into strips the width you desire. I tried to choose fabrics that had a luminous quality to them, like the sun might be shining through them. You also need a shadow fabric that's darker than the others. I chose a muted eggplant. Cut this fabric into strips 3/4" wide.
Set aside a few pieces of your prints to use for the centers of your blocks. Then prep: sew a shadow strip to each of your print strips using a 1/4" seam.
Now choose a center piece for your block. This starting piece should not have a shadow strip on it. Sew one of the prepped print strips to one side, along the shadow edge, using a 1/4" seam. Trim the edges even.
And work around the blocks. Every strip you add is being sewn along the shadow edge.
My squares were two tier, ending up around nine inches. If you start with a consistent size for your strips and center pieces you will get a consistent finished size for the log cabin blocks. But I think you know I don't work like that at all.
So that's my latest experiment. Sewing things together with 3/4" strips between them. I only sort-of achieved the effect I was going for but I do like how they look! I think I needed a different, (slightly lighter?) color for the shadow strips. I'm sure I'll play around with this some more. It was fun.