Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.

Red Flower Wonky Log Cabin Quilt

I actually thought I was creating wonky log cabin blocks in a previous blog post when I used Australian fabrics by M&S Textiles. But I just wasn’t wonky enough! Who would have thought?!

Why was I back to creating Wonky Log Cabins? Because we will use a Wonky Log Cabin blocks in our 2015 Row by Row Experience pattern! I thought I should practice first (this is totally out of character for me) and began to investigate the technique.

I found a terrific blog online: Quilt Dad, the alias of John Q. Adams. He has already done the hard work of creating a wonderful instructional tutorial posting on the Wonky log Cabin.

Thanks to his influence, I fashioned my step by step photos like his (because why reinvent the wheel when someone has done such a great job?) Thank you, Quilt Dad!

Above, I began with a mini hand drawn batik panel, Red Flowers, by Hari Agung, trimming the sides at a bit of an angle. The actual cutting is approximately ¼” to ¾” on each side.

Adding "logs" of fabric around the center panel

I then decided on my selections for the additional fabric I wanted to use for the logs around the center panel. Once I had them picked out, I cut them approximately 1½” each for ease (above). I would then trim different amounts off with each row to add variety to my wonky logs (below).

Trimming the added "logs" of fabric around the center panel

I continued to add “log” strips.

Adding and trimming "logs" of fabric around the center panel
Adding and trimming "logs" of fabric around the center panel

Then I added a 3″ border (below). This is I Make The Path, Spirit by Frond Design Studios.

Three-inch border added

Lately I have noticed that I tend to find myself sticking with like fabrics in my projects, and am trying to change that. For example, when I work with batiks, I tend to work with only batik fabrics, even when my intent is to be scrappy. I think I have been limiting myself with that approach, so I am challenging myself to move out of that comfort zone and mix up my fabric choices.

Final touch: lime green piping and a narrow batik binding

I did use one of my favorite tools, the Groovin’ Piping Trimming Tool, to create the lime green piping (shown above). The piping was stitched on first, and then the binding. I have tried to combine these steps in the past with one sewing pass…unsuccessfully. So now I take the time to sew them each on separately.

I added some free-motion stitching on the panel and throughout red border fabric. It’s difficult to see in these photographs, so I took a closeup photo (below). It was great fun following the Frond Fabric wisps and curves! (You can see a bit of that in the binding photo above.)

Free motion quilting on red flower panel

My Finished Quilt (below). I have used batiks, Australian Aborigine, and the Frond Design Studios in this small quilt, and they look great together!

Red Flower Wonky Log Cabin by Judy Gula

Stay tuned for our Row by Row announcement in a future e-newsletter or blog posting, and “like” Artistic Artifacts on Facebook to see our Row first!

P.S. Remember, Artistic Artifacts will be an exhibitor at the 42nd Annual Quilter’s Unlimited Quilt Show in Chantilly, VA, May 28-31. The shop will be closed Friday and Saturday, May 28-29, so locals, please plan visit us at the show!

Strip Piecing meets East

Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts by Rayna Gillman

At Artistic Artifacts we had fun creating a pattern for the Row by Row Experience. (Well, let’s be honest: I had the fun part of the job, Sharon had the hair-pulling part of actually writing the pattern!)

But since our agreement to participate in this huge shop hop means we are unable to publish our Springtime Flora & Fauna pattern until this fall (after Row by Row ends), I came up with another piece to illustrate Rayna Gillman’s wonky strip piecing technique, a key design feature in our row.

I learned how to embrace rotary cutting without the rulers from reading Rayna’s book, Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts: a Stress-Free Journey to Original Design. If this technique interests you at all, I heartily suggest buying the book…for one, I can assure you her diagrams are much better than mine! Plus what I am about to show you is only one portion of the book, which is an amazing modern/art quilt reference I often recommend.

Hand Drawn Batik Panel by artist Jaka

Hand Drawn Batik Panel by artist Jaka, 2 Girlfriends

At Artistic Artifacts we have recently received a new shipment from Indonesia of wonderful Batik Panels by our artist friend Jaka. He creates imaginative designs, especially people: from women with an attitude to family settings, and village scenes. I have named the panel that caught my eye for this project 2 Girl Friends; it can be purchased from our online store.

I knew immediately that I would put an inner border using a beautiful royal blue batik, and it looked wonderful with the panel colors.

Free-Form Strip Piecing

Next was the strip piecing. Rayna encourages you to use leftover pieces of fabric that have already been cut for other quilt projects. But if, like me, you don’t have enough long strips hanging out in your stash, simply pull a variety of fabrics and cut strips. For this project mine are approximately 18 to 22″ long and 1¼" to 1½" wide. In her book Rayna recommends as a guideline initially working with strips that are 8" to 15" long and from 1" to 3" wide.

Below, the fabrics selected for strip piecing. (This is a real “behind the scenes” view: the messy tiny corner of my work table!)

Fabrics Selected for Strip Piecing

Here I have two strips ready for the process. My selected fabrics that have been cut (or torn) are placed, both right side facing up, with a slight overlap.

Right sides up, overlap two strips

Cut a gentle curve with your rotary cutter along the overlap. You are freehand cutting, no ruler needed! The sliver of purple showing underneath the orange, and the orange showing under the purple, are pulled away and not used: you will have a two strips with matching curves.

free hand rotary cutting strips

This part can be a bit tricky. When your two strips are placed, right sides together, to be sewn together the curves do not match up (as seen in the below photograph).

Match convex and concave strips together

If you have ever sewn a curved quilt block, such as a Drunkard’s Path, you will already be familiar with this concept, but if not, you have to pull the convex and concave edges of the fabrics together to be able to sew a seam. If your curves are gentle, this can be done by hand while you are at the machine, but if you don’t feel comfortable, pin the strips together to have the “peaks and valleys” (as Rayna calls them) match up. If you haven’t previously sewn curves together before it won’t seem as if they will seam together flat, but they will!

Wrong side of the strip: notice the imperfect seam allowance

Above, two wonky strips sewn together. Notice the imperfect seam allowance! In her book Rayna teaches you that you don’t always have to aim for a 1/4-inch seam allowance, that between ⅛" and ¼" is fine. I tested any of my seams that looked thin by gently pulling them apart; if the seam did not hold, I just stitched over it again.

Below, the front side of my free-form strip segment. One strip attached, many more to go! But these go together quicker than you might think, and it’s fun piecing because there’s no stress…imperfection is your goal.Free-form strips seamed together

Below, my completed unit of free-form strips. From this, I then cut bands that I used to border my panel.

large unit of free-form strips seamed together

And just in case you want to see this from the back, I’ve included the photo below. I pressed all of my seam allowances to one side. while you are stitching, you don’t worry if some are longer than others. Using Rayna’s method, the only time you use a ruler with your rotary cutter is to trim square those strip ends and to cut strips for borders (as I am) or blocks for precise piecing.

Reverse side of seamed strips

Below, here is my completed 2 Girl Friends Jaka batik panel with strip piecing edging. Well, completed without being layered, bound and quilted! Click on the photo for a larger view.

2 Girl Friends art quilt by Judy Gula

Copyright © 2017 artisticartifacts.com.