Monday, 22 April 2013

Offset Log Cabin Quilting Block

As I mentioned in a previous post, I hadn't quilted in years up until this year. Most of what I know about quilting, I've learned from books and magazines. I live in rural Alberta, so access to courses is limited, as is the time I have to go to courses. So when I discovered Craftsy, I was quite excited. I could finally actually take quilting courses from experienced, expert quilters at my convenience and in the comfort of my own home. There's no lugging a sewing machine and quilting supplies back and forth to some classroom somewhere. And I can review the lessons as often as I want as my access to them does not expire. Best of all, some of the courses are free and, for the ones that aren't, there are frequent sales.
I was actually enrolled in the ET Nurse program this year, but resigned from the program for various reasons. And while I'd still love to get my ET certification, I'm not disappointed with the extra time I now have to pursue other interests, like quilting and crocheting. So, after I had enrolled in the 2012 Block of the Month, which is a free course, I then saw the advertisements for the 2013 Block of the Month, which is also a free course. And I decided to take both. That way, I could learn even more quilting skills.

Due to various and sundry distractions (plus waiting for fabric to arrive), I didn't really get started in either course until this month (April, 2013), so I'm kind of scrambling to catch up so I can finish both this year and just have to do one block for each quilt per month. That's why you are seeing so many quilting posts on this blog in one period of time. Trust me, I will get back to blogging on other topics eventually. I just want to get my quilting caught up first. Then I will return to recipe and cookbook reviews and whatever other ramblings I care to discourse on, with quilt blocks thrown in and I will probably discuss crocheting projects as well. Just today, I enrolled in a Craftsy course on Artisan Bread Making. I'm excited about that and you can count on hearing about my experiences with bread making as well. Meanwhile, here's the link to the class:

Online Bread Making Class  

Now I need to discuss the blocks in the picture above. They are from the 2013 Block of the Month, January's blocks. As with the 2012 BOM, I chose to use my own fabric, rather than go with the fabric package available from Craftsy. The final product is going to be throw-size, 60"x63", so I decided to make it for my living room. I chose to make it with greens, purples and some yellows for accents. I purchased all of my fabric on eBay. One vendor was offering 40 green fat quarters for $40. One dollar per fat quarter is practically a steal, so I bought it. Inevitably I did end up with some "duds" amongst the lot, but they all appear to be good quality fabrics, some even name brand (not that I know much about name brands in quilting fabric, but I'm beginning to recognize them). Initially, I thought I would try to sneak some of these duds into my quilt, but then I realized that I don't have to feel obligated to use ugly fabric just because I paid for it. Maybe I'll sell it in a yard sale. (I was raised by parents who grew up through the depression, so it's hard for me to "waste" anything). In addition, I purchased several fat quarters in purples and yellows. I also have some charm packs in purples. Finally, I chose a pale green for my background fabric, which was not easy to find. And it's not easy to know from an online picture if a fabric is the exact colour you want. After buying 2 separate green fabrics, I decided to not continue trying different ones and just selected one of the ones I had already bought.
This block is called "offset" log cabin because the strips on one side of the block are wider than the strips on the other side. In the course, the wider strips are all from the same fabric and the narrower strips are all from the same fabric. I chose to use different fabrics for each strip and made the required four blocks, as above. Normally, when I complete a project, I'm pleased with the results. Not so with these blocks. I was disappointed with my fabric choices and how they worked together. I have had compliments on these blocks, but personally, I'm really not satisfied with them. I don't intend to remake them, but they really don't "speak" to me.
This is going to be an interesting quilt because not only is each month's block different, but the blocks are not always the same size and not always the same number of blocks. 
If you're interested in enrolling in the 2013 Block of the Month course, it doesn't have to be the beginning of the year. You can start - and finish - any time. Here's the link: 

Online Quilting Class