I’ve always wanted to make a log cabin quilt but large quilts aren’t really my thing. I prefer wall hangings, so I decided to make a super size log cabin block using the quilt as you go (QAYG) method. I wanted to make things easy for myself so I grabbed some jelly roll strips and cut some solid white strips and I was ready to go!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy wall hanging:
- 10½” square of patterned fabric for middle
- Jelly roll strips of patterned fabric (2½” wide by WOF)
- Jelly roll strips of white solid fabric (2½” wide by WOF)
- Large batting piece (mine was 36″ square)
- Erasable pen or pencil and ruler
- Usual stitching supplies (iron, pressing surface, etc.)
- Janome Continental M7 with HP2 foot and HP needle plate installed
- Guide for HP2 (AcuFeed Flex) foot
- Janome AcuFeed Ditch Quilting Foot (optional)
With the QAYG method, you’ll be sewing your strips to the batting foundation which can be whatever size you wish. As I wanted my finished piece to be about 30” square, I started with a batting piece about 36” square. This gave me some extra room for shrinkage as I quilted the piece. You might want to use an erasable pen or pencil to draw a square on your batting of the desired finished size so you’ll know when to stop adding strips to your project.
I set up the Janome Continental M7 with the Janome Professional Grade AcuFeed Flex HP2 foot and HP (High Performance) needle plate so I could use the AcuFeed feeding system on the machine to smoothly guide the pieces along. As the project got larger, I was working with longer and longer strips so I wanted to be sure that there was no fabric bunching as I added each strip.
I started my log cabin project with the 10½” square. As I wanted to give it a modern feel, I placed this square right side up on the left side of the batting, centered it vertically on the batting and aligned the left edge of the square with the line I’d already drawn on the batting. (Folding the batting and the square in half gave me some reference lines to match up).
The next step was to lay a white 2½” strip right side down on this fabric square, lining up the right raw edges.
While I could’ve measured and cut each strip to the “correct” size before I pieced them, I kept it simple and cut the strips as I went along. I cut off the white strip along the edge of the 10½” square and stitched the fabric pieces together with a ¼” seam. I used a seam roller but you could use an iron to press the fabric to the white strip.
It was then time to do some quilting – it is “quilt as you go”, remember? To keep things simple, I used the same thread I had used for the piecing, for the quilting (a white polyester thread). I used a straight stitch for the quilting and used the guide that can be inserted into the Janome Professional Grade AcuFeed Flex HP2 foot-holder to give me the spacing I wanted between the quilted lines. At this point I also used the knob on the front of the Janome Continental M7 to increase my stitch length to 3.0.
The hardest part of this project was remembering to decrease the stitch length to 2.0 when piecing and then increasing it to 3.0 when quilting. Fortunately, this was quick to do using the stitch length adjustment knob on the Janome Continental M7.
After adding this first white 2 ½” strip, I continued to add a white strip to the bottom of the 10½” square and to the top of it, quilting each strip as it was added. Once these white strips had been added, round 1 was done. Note that I only needed to add 3 strips of fabric rather than the usual 4 strips to complete a round as this was an asymmetrical design.
I continued on to the next round using the patterned jelly roll strips and did the same process.
I adjusted the foot guide on the Janome AcuFeed Flex HP2 foot on the Janome Continental M7 to different widths as I quilted this project. It was very easy to pull it out a bit or push it in to give me different spacing – and effect – on the various strips.
I continued to alternate the white strips and jelly roll strips until I had added strips just beyond the line I had drawn on the batting. I found that I needed to piece some of the jelly roll strips together with a mitered seam as the piece got bigger and longer strips were required.
Once I got to a point where there was only room to add strips to the right side of the batting, I chose to continue to alternate the white and patterned fabric strips.
After the batting was covered up to the drawn lines, I trimmed off the excess batting and it was then time to cut a backing to this size and attach it with some additional quilting.
Stitch in the ditch quilting is an option for this step and the optional Janome AcuFeed Ditch Quilting Foot that attaches to the Janome AcuFeed Flex Dual/Twin Foot-Holder would work perfectly to do this final quilting step. Note, you would need to change from the HP needle plate to the single hole or zigzag needle plate if you were using this option. For more information on using this foot on the Janome Continental M7, click here.
While I was going to add a binding to this log cabin wall hanging, I decided that I’d prefer to add a facing instead. If you’re wondering how to do this technique, click here.
If you’re like me and have always wanted to try a log cabin block, why not give it a try using the quick QAYG method and jelly roll strips?!
Happy creating from Kim Jamieson-Hirst of Chatterbox Quilts, a Janome Canada Artisan in Calgary, Alberta.