We live in an old farmhouse that has "good bones". What this means is, there are refinished wood floors, new windows, lots of light and open spaces. What it also means is crooked doorways, slanted floors, mice that come out to dance on the counters at night, and angular quirks that will make renovating "interesting". Although we have long-term plans of renovating the summer kitchen or perhaps even removing it to add an addition that will house a laundry room/washroom and a recording studio, for now we're just trying to find a weekend to paint: our bedroom, the livingroom, the kitchen, the hall...yes, the whole house.
In the meantime, I perk things up by sewing little items that somehow pull the many colours of the present paint job together. Like this table runner:
First, cut out 2.5" strips of 5 fabrics that bring you joy.
Choose two of the strips, and place them right sides together. Sew a 1/4" seam down one long side. Then cut this long (double) strip into 2.5" pieces:
Open these up, and iron down the seam. This will become the centre of your log cabin. Just a word of interest: traditionally, the centre square of a log cabin quilt block was red, to represent the hearth. I love this and usually remain true to the tradition. Since this was a spring/summer runner, I veered a bit and used pink instead!
Now, lay these open two-square pieces down a strip that is the same colour as one of the squares (in this case, green), and sew as you go.
Cut between the pieces, and when you open them up, you'll find this:
Can you see where this is going? You're going to lay the bottom edge (in this photo) along a strip of your next colour, and sew them together, then cut them apart.
This is what it looks like before you cut them apart.
Remember to iron down the seams as you go.
The next strip should enclose that little centre square. You'll be sewing on two strips of the same colour to "frame" each smaller square.
...cutting the strips apart....
So now you have your little centre square, plus a bigger green-and-orange square around the centre.
Continue in this manner! You can go as big as you like, and you can make as many as you like. You can make a whole quilt this way! The advantage of strip quilting is that it is FAST. I've made a whole quilt in one day, from start to finish, using this method. It is now our beloved, much-abused beach quilt! The disadvantage is that all your blocks come out looking the same. You can play with other ways of doing this, like sewing each piece along a different coloured-strip, but then you lose the speed factor. These make great last-minute gifts, so the speed factor matters in that case!
Once you have your squares, you can play with positioning to create different effects:
I chose to lay them in a line to make a long runner. I attached the blocks to one another by sewing a strip of yellow gingham between them, and on each end, then along the long sides. Now I just have to back it and put on some binding. It's FINALLY raining here so today might be the day!
Please email me or ask any questions in the comments...happy sewing!