I was surprised at how many questions I had about my 'log cabin~rail fence' hybrid block but promised to share the stats since so many inquired. My blocks are made from 1½" strips but I didn't have a scrap stash of those, so I pulled a few repro fabrics and made up several test blocks. As soon as I finished the block above, I knew I didn't want to use any soft whites or creams. The contrast was too stark for the overall look I had in mind so I put this one aside.
I was going to need some value range but didn't find many light and/or bright colors in my repro stash. My Shipshewana stop was well timed. I came across a number of interesting pinks, yellows and light blues during my wanderings through town. (Threadlines Kathie ~ Bingo! I found that wonderful little blue Koval print...on sale and in another colorway.)
With the value range so narrow, it was important to vary the print types and pattern sizes within each block to ensure that they had some life to them. I think most of you know my tendencies toward fussing around by now and playing with pattern placement within each block...plaids, ditsies, stripes, larger repeats...has been my favorite part of this project. Picking four that work together, I cut (2) 8" strips from 3 different prints and a single 8" strip for the center piece, which I cut in half for insertion of a 1½" solid center square.
I usually lay out several blocks' worth of strips on the sewing machine so that I can chain piece. Once a block is assembled, I cut it off and press it.
When I started these blocks, my biggest specialty ruler was 6"x12" but I quickly realized that a 12"x12" would be a big improvement so I rustled up a JoAnn's coupon and added one to my collection.
By lining up the top edge and placing that diagonal across the red center square, I'm able to trim these up perfectly square. These blocks should end up 7½", but you may have noticed they're actually 7¼". For some reason, on Janome machines, the needle's home setting is a smidge to the left of center, causing each ¼" seam allowance to be a hair off. With six seams across, that adds up to a quarter inch. I usually reset it for accurancy, but forgot until I had made a few of these so I decided to just leave it. The blocks are consistently the same size, so it doesn't make a difference in this project.
All squared up and ready to add to the wall!
This quilt will be roughly 65"x75", so there's still a bit to go yet. It's been hoppin' around here the last week but it's such an easy block that I've been able to slip in and knock out a few blocks at a time, even when the day's been pretty busy. There's a big pile of strips cut and a few quiet days ahead so I'm hoping to wrap this top up pretty soon.
Thanks to everyone who left comments on the Shipshewana post with suggestions for more not-to-miss stops in the area. If you're planning a trip, do dip into the comments before you go. You might want to wear your pajamas.