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Blocks 13 and 14 - Log Cabin and Courthouse Steps

These 2 blocks are some of the most time consuming easy blocks that there are.  There's no shortcuts, each strip has to be sewn on individually.  Between cutting each strip to size, organizing so that the right strip got sewn on to the right side at the right time, sewing and pressing I could have made dozens of other blocks.  I'm not sure that I'd have the patience to make a whole quilt of blocks like these but I do love the way that they look.

The first block is Log Cabin and it finishes to 10 inches and there are 19 pieces of fabric in the block.  The center is cut 2 3/8 inches square and each log is 1 3/8 inches wide.  This is one of the reasons it took longer.  It is harder for me to cut to eights as it is quarters.  I have to concentrate and triple check before cutting.

I would alternate blocks.  First, sew a strip onto block A, then block B.  Then iron block A and sew on a strip.  Then iron block B and sew on a strip.  The weirdest thing happened.  Block A would be the perfect size and block B would be a little small.  The more I concentrated on getting the 1/4 inch seam allowance right, the more off it got.  But, I cheated!  I cut the outside strips big so I could trim down if needed.  On block B, I needed.

The next block is Courthouse Steps and it also finishes to 10 inches with 21 pieces of fabric.  It's similar, yet different.

For this block the center is cut 2 1/8 inches square and the strips are the same size 1 3.8 inches wide (except for the outer blocks which I cut wider so I'd have some extra fabric around the edges).  This block goes a little quicker because you can sew to strips on between ironing but it's still time consuming.


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The ABC's of Cross Stitch Alphabets

Alphabets are quite popular on cross stitch samplers and there are many decisions to be made when choosing an alphabet.  Upper case or lower case is one decision.  It seems that upper case is most popular.  Using lower case causes all sorts of compications.  Extra space is needed for j, k, l, p and the other letters that extend above or below the main line. 

Another important decision is even or odd.  The alphabet above is odd.  That is, it is and odd number of stitches high, in this case 7.  Notice the B and D.  Both are symmetryical.

This is an even alphabet that is 6 stitches high.  Notice that the B and D are no longer symmetrical.  I prefer odd alphabets.  I've been known to change the size of a sampler to mak an even alphabet into an odd alphabet.

Both of these samplers are in a traditional font.  But it is easy to re-arrange the stitches to create different looks for you alphabet.  Here is an elegant alphabet that is only 7 stitches high:

Each letter takes up more space and gi…


A few weeks ago I was at the Local Quilt store basting my bright sampler.

It's been ready to go for a while.  I've been working on a baby quilt and it's now done.  It's been a while since I've quilted so I'm glad I had a quilt to warm up on.
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I've also been looking at pictures of similar quilts looking for quilting pattern inspiration.  I'm thinking of taking the easy way out and use wavy lines like this quilt.
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Lone Star Medallion

I finally finished the last Lone Star - this is the medallion for the center of the quilt.  I'm hoping that this is the last Lone Star I'll ever have to make.
The block needs to finish at 33 1/2 inches so each quadrant has to be 17 inches square.

I have a 16 inch square ruler so by using 3 rulers I can tell it's really close to the right size!  Big sigh of relief.

I'm even happy with the way that the back looks.

What's next?  I have the blocks to add the side strip on the right but I need one more block for the left side.  That will be the last block for this quilt but the fact that I've put it off for this long tells you how much I'm looking forward to it.  The good news is that I've discovered a book that should help me with it and it's on order.   The bad news is that the block is probably the wrong size so I won't be able to use the templates.
For the more modern version of this quilt I still need to make a block to replace the applique dia…