May 06, 2011

Shadow Seams Log Cabin experiment


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.

30 comments:

NorahS said...

Love! I like the dark shadow strips.

Michelle said...

I love the way you took the "quilt top against a bright window look," which I'm usually trying to time my own pictures to avoid and made it into something absolutely fantastic!

Jessica said...

really cool~
i love your fabric choices.

Kati said...

I love log cabin blocks with a twist. I've been searching for just the perfect new project. I might have to try this. Your blocks look fabulous.

Manda said...

They look fantastic, I really like the black strips in between.

The AfterCraft said...

That looks well cool!!! I might have to try.

Di2Quilt said...

Your experiment always ends up looking fabulous!

Gene Black said...

Excellent idea, I will file that in my "i wanna do one of these" file.

Kay Lynne said...

I really like your experiment. What a neat way to use up scraps, the solid color pulls it all together.

Elsa said...

oh, it's really lovely ~ I really like the log cabin block but it can be boring at times, this livens it up a lot. You are always doing things that are so creative, thanks so much for the tutorial Christina!

Lynda said...

the first time I saw a pic taken in the window I thought that it was sashed that way - I love to do sashing. wonder if you could get the same effect with a slight grey rather than stark black?

Marcia Mersky said...

Nice! I've also been admiring the sunny window effect, particularly on Jen's gorgeous quilt. I also like the stained glass effect!

Jeane said...

This looks so interesting. I have never done a log cabin, think I will soon because this "line" is getting boring!

SewHappyGeek said...

I really like the effect of the dark strips, and pairing it with log cabins looks quite striking. Really simple way to get that effect, but I love it, and am really glad you posted the how to, as I'm now buzzing with ideas!

Leanne said...

Good idea, I too swoon at those sunny window pictures.

Jamie Lee said...

Those look stunning!

Tiffany said...

I love it! And I'm really glad you showed us how you did it... I might have hurt myself trying to figure it out on my own!

beebee said...

So pretty, I would like to try this too! Thanks for showing how to do it.

rubyslipperz said...

This is really cool! thanks for the TUTE!
hugZ,
annie
rubyslipperz106.blogspot.com

Josefina said...

I like your work, It is very difficlt.I congratulate
first you give the form quilting, after you give color?
have a good day
Josefina
tijeras y cuchara wordpress.com

Christina said...

Josefina, I don't think I understand your question!

Sheila said...

The dark strips make the blocks look like stained glass. Very dramatic. Thank you for the tutorial.

Rhonda said...

love this!

Vesuviusmama said...

I'm a bit behind reading your blog, but had to comment that I love this log cabin variation!

Jeanne said...

I've never done a log cabin block before (gasp) and you didn't say how wide each piece was. It looks like each piece is a different size. How does that work? I understand the 3/4" strip part. Maybe I should look up how to make a log cabin quilt and then just add the 3/4" strip. Would that work? I don't know why, but I've never wanted to make a log cabin quilt, but what you did makes me want to try (to do what you did).

Dirt Road Quilter said...

I love log cabin quilts. Am about to bind one. Think I need to make another with your Shadow Seams...a western one! Must start cutting NOW! LOL! Your's is just gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

The thin dark strip really changes the look of your log cabin block. The block reminds me of a small lead glass window. I look foward to trying this technique.

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for sharing!...i also love the 'quilt top illuminated by the sun' effect...will try this with my first log cabin quilt in the very near future!...it looks great!
-rhiela-

Anonymous said...

Can this be used for another style center design?

sonia said...

maravilhos esta procurando pap.

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