I love Log Cabin quilts and all of the variations. The possibilities of playing with the fabric placement adds to the fun! But when I tried to actually SEW one, the results were less than ideal. There are several rulers on the market that cut each log to the exact required size. There is one problem with that – if my seam allowance isn’t perfect, the “logs” are longer or shorter as I add each round so I “fudge” my way to a block that isn’t the correct size when done!
Item #CGRJAW1 Retail $18.95
The Creative Grids Log Cabin Trim Tool is a brilliant idea! Jean Ann Wright designed a tool that trims up each set of logs as they are added to the center square. As each round is added you have perfect 4 1/2″ squares; then 6 1/2″ squares; then 8 1/2″ squares – everybody will be thrilled with their results! Here is how it works:
Cut the center square 2 1/2″. I wanted to use a geometric design so I decided to fussy cut them. This is super simple since we added a center line to all of the CGR rectangles. Just place the center white line on the center of the geometric design and cut on both sides of it. Then rotate the ruler 90 degrees and cut the squares.
Item #CGR212 Retail $14.45
Cut all of your scraps into strips at least 1 1/2″ wide. As a rule of thumb, one light and one dark strip cut from selvedge to selvedge are enough to sew any block – no matter where you decide to place the fabrics. Since the blocks finish to 8″, a twin size quilt measuring 64″ x 96″ requires 96 blocks set 8 x 12, or 96 light strips and 96 dark strips. Now isn’t that easy???? I wanted to do a series of log cabins – traditional log cabin; courthouse steps; and a half log cabin. I pulled out my stash of Civil War reproduction fabrics and cut the fabric into 2″ strips so I had a little bit of a fudge factor. I had enough for all three quilts in less than two hours. Now THAT is amazing!!!
For the traditional Log Cabin version, sew two light and two dark logs around the center square, pressing as you go. Then place the first square on the center of the log and trim two sides.
Rotate the block and trim the other two adjoining sides…
Trim to size and add another round of logs. This time place the center square on the ruler over the center square of the log cabin…
Trim all four sides – and you have a perfect log cabin!!!
To sew a Courthouse Steps version, add light logs to opposite sides of the center square and dark logs to the other two opposite sides. Trim each round of logs just like you do for a traditional log cabin.
To create a Half Log Cabin, sew a light log to one side of the center square and a dark log to an adjoining side. Place the half log cabin square on the ruler over the 2 1/2″ square. Trim two sides.
Rotate the ruler and use the Log Cabin and Courthouse Steps square on the ruler to trim the other two sides.
Add six light and six darks to complete the block and Voila!
Your customers will LOVE this! I cut up 10 years worth of my stash of Civil War fabrics in less than two hours. I haven’t finished the quilts yet, but having the fabric organized, knowing what I am going to do with it, and having it ready to sew relieved all of that Quilt GUILT! Do you think they rhyme for a reason??? And these blocks go together so quickly, that I will be able to sew them up on my next quilting retreat!
Here is the quilt that started it all….It was a Block of the Month that I designed for my shop. This quilt now resides on my guest bed. But, in Ohio, one quilt on a bed isn’t warm enough. So, sewing the scraps into a coordinating Log Cabin quilt is the perfect solution! Why not offer an idea for the scraps left from your next Shop project? It doesn’t have to be a matching quilt – a table topper, table runner, pillow shams, or pillows will work too. Give them a reason to use up their scraps as they go – and they will love you for it!
This ruler is being manufactured as we speak so pre-order now so you can be the first to demo this puppy! It will sell like hot cakes!