An Elegant Affair
This post is about an elegant log cabin variant that is beautiful and easy to make.
Sometimes fabric just speaks to us – do you know what I mean?
The fabric chosen for “An Elegant Affair” sure fits this category.
You may have noticed from many of my quilts, that I really love high contrast. When I saw the gray and plum in my stash, I was confident that black and white were the right colors to make them pop. The more I looked at all the fabrics laying on my design table, the more I saw a 20’s elegant party. The men all dressed in top hats and tails – black and white of course, and the women in beautiful jewel tones. The plum color with its beautiful pattern reminded me of something an elegant lady would wear.
Now that I had my colors and concept, it was time to create a design. Many of you may remember this quilt on the wall at the Rock House Retreat in September. You can check out the entire post here: Rock House Retreat – September 2017.
I do have an affinity for log cabin quilts, but the standard format just didn’t have the look I was hoping for. That was when I used my Electric Quilt 7 program to design the block from the ground up.
The original design is pictured below. At the advice of some of my fellow retreaters, I flipped the left and right mid blocks so that there was a black secondary border all the way around. Another difference from the finished product is the patterned, black border which resides on the draft, but not in the finished product. After putting all the blocks together and auditioning this fabric, it was clear that it was way too busy and not elegant at all! Instead, I decided to use this fabric for the backing.
Gem Log Cabin Block
As I said, this elegant log cabin quilt is different in that there are small squares moving in from the one corner. Because of the Gem in the center, I call it the Gem Log Cabin Block. The actual block looks like this:
Having that small square of plum fabric nestled in the center provides just enough color that the block retains it’s elegant format.
Adding the borders was fun too! Because that first black border was created by the turning of those side blocks, adding the first border was easy. I chose to use the plum first because so little of it was used in the quilt. I also wanted to keep the black and white together. A small grey border followed the plum and then a large white border and finally black binding. This log cabin quilt was now properly framed.
I knew I wanted to do custom quilting, so I started playing with the border treatments first. The white border was screaming for feathers. The gray border was so small that I could have left it be since I stitched in the ditch for all border elements. Ultimately, I felt that to add a line down the center would provide for more texture and framing for the quilt.
Quilting the Blocks
Lastly, I had to come up with something for the plum border. At first I couldn’t decide, so I switched to the block design. In many cases, I would chose one or two designs and then multiply them to see how the design would play out along the quilt. In this case, I didn’t. Instead, I started playing with the block, first choosing a curvy featherish design for half the square. This half represented the fancy dresses of the ladies at my Elegant Affair. The other half was angular and proper as fitting a nicely turned out gentleman.
*NOTE: most log cabin quilt blocks are quilted using this same approach, cut the block in half and quilt each section separately.
With the block finished, I was able to agree on the quilting for the plum border. I did angled lines with corner pieces that mimic the mid-sections of the white, feathered border. Yes, I flipped the quilt at the end to do the other sides of the borders.
Everything was coming together!
In order to remain consistent when quilting the blocks, I decided on a format and stuck to it. Each angled section began to the right of the feathered half. The image below shows how each row was marked out for consistency. I used chalk and/or soapstone pretty consistently throughout this quilt for marking.
It was a total surprise when the quilting was finished. I had no idea how each block would relate to the one next to it. Below is a section of the quilting. I love all the secondary patterns.
Ultimately, I am so very happy with this quilt. I have no idea where I am going to use it or what I will do with it! For sure it will make a wonderful addition to my “From Kits to Custom” trunk show.
Not everything works out as planned – trying to take pictures on a windy day can be problematic! Every time, I got the quilt set up, the wind would come whipping through and it would take off!
At least you can see my pretty fall mums!
Well, it’s time to move along to the next project. The next quilt I have planned is going to be a challenge. Each block is made of templates with lots of Y sections.
What is your next quilting project?