In keeping with the Log Cabin Christmas theme, I made Log Cabin Quilted pot holders to include in the gift baskets, and I thought you might like to see the process. The Log Cabin pattern has been around for a very long time, and it's a great quilting project for a beginner quilter (like me!) Here's a step-by-step of how I created these potholders.
1. Choose your fabric. Traditionally, the center square of a Log Cabin block is red or orange to represent the hearth, then you will need three darker colors and three lighter colors. You can use one of the fabrics as the back fabric if you'd like, but I chose backing fabric that complemented both color schemes.
|This was one of the most fun parts of the project, picking out the fabrics. My daughter helped me pick out the fat quarters. There were so many to choose from and we had a blast matching and comparing.|
2. Cut fabric into 1.5" strips. Since all the pieces will finish at 1" wide with 1/4" seam allowances, cutting them all for width first speeds up the cutting process. I have a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and template grids, which help so much.
|I cut a lot of strips, then cut them to length. The center square was 1.5" x 1.5" and the longest strip was 10.5"|
3. I made a list of the lengths I would need to cut from these strips, and when I had them all cut out, I laid out the quilt block.
|The center square is a cherry print that caught my eye. Log Cabin blocks always have one dark side and one lighter side, hence the brown and blue fabrics. I also made brown/green, pink/white, and red/gold potholders, two of each.|
4. Starting with the center piece and working around counter-clockwise, I sewed each of the pieces together. I quickly learned that while plaids are easier to cut (with those built-in straight lines) sewing them calls for extra attention to make sure you keep the lines perpendicular to the seam. Once the top is pieced, I cut batting (medium weight) and the backing fabric. Because I wanted to keep things simple, I decided to roll the edge and sew it down from the top rather than cut and sew on binding by hand. This meant I needed to cut the backing to the appropriate size to allow a half inch turned in and a half inch reveal.
|This photograph shows everything inverted. Since I was making several potholders at once, I did all the cutting at the same time and stacked them between sheets of paper to keep everything straight.|
5. When it came time to quilt, I pinned. A lot. Careful to catch all the layers and get everything to lay flat in the center of the backing piece.
|It's really starting to take shape.|
|This was the trickiest part for me, making sure I caught all the fabric I needed to, and yet stayed as close to the edge of the turn as possible.|
I plan to put two potholders in each of the gift baskets, along with a few other goodies. If you can stop by one of the book signings, sign up for the drawing to win one of the baskets.
Question for you...do you sew, quilt, cross-stitch, or do other needlework?