My First Quilt

Log Cabin Quilt

My first block.

I’ve been interested in making a quilt for a few years now, but somehow making clothing always seemed more tempting. When a local fabric store went out of business last year I picked up a couple bundles of coordinating fat quarters with the intention of finally learning to quilt. The bundles took care of the hardest part – choosing which fabrics to use! Months passed, but eventually I decided on making a log cabin quilt – an easy design good for beginners.

Log Cabin Quilt

Log Cabin Quilt

Laying out the blocks.

I checked out the book Modern Log Cabin Quilting from the library for inspiration and guidance. I ended up doing a classic log cabin design using some of the dimensions from the book: 4.25″ center squares and 1.75″ logs for a finished block size of 9.75″. I then made as many blocks as I could out of the fabric I had and ended up with a 4 block x 5 block throw size quilt.

Making the blocks was actually pretty fun. First you cut a bunch of long strips of fabric (the “logs”), then you sew as much as you need on one side, cut off the extra (which you’ll continue using on other blocks), turn the block, and repeat. It’s best to do the same step on multiple blocks at once, so you can get a good rhythm going.

After I finished the blocks I tried to arrange them so that the same fabrics weren’t touching on adjacent blocks. Then I sewed all the blocks together.

Log Cabin Quilt

Log Cabin Quilt

The bundles were all Art Gallery fabrics by Leah Duncan. They’re definitely good quality fabrics and easy to work with!

For the backing I couldn’t resist buying a yard of this Art Gallery bunny print! There wasn’t enough to cover the whole back, so I broke it up with a couple wide ivory stripes. I made the bias binding out of the same ivory fabric.

For the quilting itself I did diagonal lines in both directions that meet in the center of each block. My little machine isn’t meant for quilting, and I definitely wouldn’t want to do a project larger than this on it. Even with a walking foot it was difficult to keep the quilt moving smoothly through the machine – the weight of it kept messing with the thread tension and stitch length. Now I can definitely see why there are quilter-specific sewing machines!

Log cabin quilt

Log cabin quilt

Log Cabin Quilt

As soon as the quilt was finished I washed and dried it, and the fabric shrunk up nicely. I like the pop of color it adds to my living room, and it will certainly be nice to cozy up with now that it’s finally getting cold!

It was fun trying something new and I definitely learned a lot. I don’t foresee making many quilts in the future (especially not big ones!)… although I have had my eye on this constellation quilt kit for a while. I have a feeling hand-quilting will be an entirely different adventure!

Do you prefer to stick to clothing, or do you enjoy other types of sewing as well?

<3 Lindsay

Quinn Shirt

Quinn ShirtOver the summer I had the opportunity to do some pattern testing for Named. I tested the Augusta Hoodie for their last collection, so I was really excited to be asked back. Laura and Saara are super nice, and I can tell that they really take the feedback into consideration and make changes accordingly. I chose to test the Quinn Shirt from the New Black collection.

I love sewing button-down shirts, and this was a great opportunity to try out some new techniques. The french cuffs, overlapping collar, tower plackets, and rounded button stand were all things I’d never attempted before. I think Named always really nails the details in a way that makes their patterns both flattering and fashion-forward. You can tell that even little things like the pleats at the back yoke and cuffs are well thought out and perfectly placed.

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

An intermediate-level sewist should have no problem making this pattern. I found the instructions easy to follow, and the collar instructions in particular are some of the best I’ve come across.

I don’t believe any major changes were made to the pattern after I tested it, although the instructions were updated in a few places to be more thorough.

Making the button cuff links took a couple tries to get right, but I think they’re pretty clever. You just stitch some thread through the buttonholes for looks, and then attach the two buttons together with elastic thread. I would like to get some real cuff links, but the button ones are certainly cheaper, especially when you need four!

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

I sewed my normal size 34 with no alterations. I think next time I’d shorten the arms by 1/2″. There’s also some drag lines/tightness at the upper bust when the shirt is buttoned, especially when I move my arms. I think I may need to go up a size at the bust and then do a SBA?

The fabric is a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in “lichen”. Shot cottons, like chambray, are woven with different colored warp and weft threads, in this case green and blue. I think it gives the fabric more depth and makes for a really pretty effect.

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn Shirt

Quinn ShirtConclusion: I love this shirt! And I’ll definitely be making this pattern again. I like that it’s a bit more fitted than the Archer, and I love all the cool details. Button-downs are definitely a fall/winter staple for me, so it’s great to have a new pattern to add to the arsenal.

Have you sewn anything from the New Black collection yet? The Sloane Sweatshirt and Olivia Wrap Dress are both on my list for this fall! I also think the Isla Trench Coat is gorgeous – I can’t wait to see some more versions of it pop up!

<3 Lindsay