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And Heirloom.  Quilts. CT-Mary-Ann's-Baskets

Betsy Chutchian's Classic & Heirloom Quilts. It's a wonderful book and we love it - but then we love Betsy.  I wrote about the book in December when we knew it was "coming soon".  Now that it's here, Betsy and the lovely folks at It's Sew Emma and the Fat Quarter Shop are having a Classic & Heirloom sew-along.  I've been asked to participate. While I love all the quilts in the book, I'm on a log-cabin-kick right now... meaning that I think about making some sort of log cabin quilt with every collection I see.  So it isn't any surprise that I kept turning back to this wonderful Streak of Lightning quilt. CT-Streak-of-Lighning The fabrics at the top of the page are Lizzie's Legacy - the collection Betsy used to make all the quilts in the book.  I'll definitely use them but I know I'm going to add some fabrics.  Log Cabin quilts lend themselves well to "super scrappy", which might explain why I love them.  I'll also be able to mix collections - another thing I really love doing.  (Yes, I'm rather predictable that way.)  We have several new Reproduction collections "around" that will work beautifully with Lizzie's - Barbara Brackman's < * * * >, Betsy's new < * * * >, the next Collection for a Cause < * * * >, Edyta's < * * * >... I'll have to fill in those blanks in six weeks. In the meantime, I'll start cutting strips... but not all of them.  I'm going to use a few pre-cut strips too. Have you ever used Moda's Honey Buns? CT-Honey-Buns There are Honey Buns for Lizzie's Legacy but they seem to have disappeared... I wonder why! If you're keeping track - Bramblewood by Betsy Chutchian - Sundrops by Corey Yoder - Holly's Tree Farm by Sweetwater - Chic Neutrals by Amy Ellis. Each Bun has 40 strips - 1 1/2" x 42" width of fabric.  The edges are pinked so yes, they could also appropriately be called "lint strips".  But they're a simple, fast way to get a whole lot of 1 1/2" strips for any quilt requiring such things.  The lint is a minor inconvenience compared with having to cut about 1 3/4 yards of fabric into 1 1/2" strips... just saying. I love using them for Log Cabin blocks and I haven't had any problems with accuracy because I always square-up my blocks after each round.  With a clean, straight edge, I don't have to worry about where to line up the pinking - the points work perfectly.  After the round is complete and the block is trimmed, I almost always have a "new" clean, straight edge for the next go-round. Why square up so often?  If I "shave" off a sliver, it won't be noticeable.  But if I get to the last round of logs and have to trim 1/8" or more to square the blocks, that becomes a bit more noticeable.  It also seems less "obvious" when it's on an inside row.  I've no idea why, I just know that it's true.  (Ask me how I know?) I'll also use some Layer Cake squares for my strips.  When I mentioned this before, I was asked about it so I wanted to share a couple things I do when I use 10" x 10" squares for blocks like Log Cabins. First, I cut my strips on the lengthwise grain.  It isn't required but narrow strips cut on the crosswise grain can get a little stretchy - or a lot stretchy.  So anytime I can cut those strips on the lengthwise grain, that's what I do.  Not doing so isn't going to mean disaster, impending doom and other dire consequences.  I just find that it helps me keep my blocks square and flat. Before you ask how I know which is the lengthwise and crosswise grain of a Layer Cake square - a piece of fabric for which there is no selvage to provide a "cheat sheet"... pull the fabric.  The direction that stretches the most is the crosswise grain - the weft, and conversely, the direction that stretches the least is the lengthwise grain - the warp. CT-Warp-Weft Unless you've taken it all apart, the squares - layers - in each "cake" will be going in the same direction.  It's how they're cut. If you need longer strips, or if you just have a lot of medium-short lengths that aren't long enough for the subsequent logs, I piece them.  I like the quirkiness of it - and it's my quilt so my preferences, right?  I also like the seam pieced at an angle - but I don't worry about 45-degrees or anything specific.  Nor do I use an angle measurement - degree - that is consistent.  "At an angle" is enough for me. Are you shocked? Here's how I piece my strips. CT-Splice-1 I overlap two strips - same print... same color... whatever.  Two strips.  How much overlap depends on how long my strips are and how long a pieced strip I need.  Place a ruler across the overlap - making sure the cut will be through both layers.  Cut. It's that simple. CT-Splice-2 Because the two ends were cut on the same angle, matching up the strips is easily done.  The little "v" at the top and bottom should be right at the scant 1/4" seam allowance.  Stitch.  Press open.  Presto. Since this is about Betsy, her wonderful Classic & Heirloom Quilts book from It's Sew Emma, her glorious fabric collections and a sew-along... of course there is a giveaway.  (You read this far, there should be some sort of reward, right?) Leave a comment telling me why you love Reproduction fabrics and "classic" quilts and you're entered to win a $50.00 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop and a couple of Layer Cakes of Betsy Chutchian's fabrics. Deadline - Sunday, April 1oth - Midnight. The winner will be notified via e-mail. I'm off to build a cabin.  At least 36 of them - 12" x 12" square. I'll let you know how it goes. Happy Thursday!