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August 5, 2010 / Mary Ann

How to Build a Log Cabin (Quilt)

The Log Cabin block is a very traditional block, it can be used in many settings (I’ll post settings in a different post, for now we’ll concentrate on the basic block). The center block is traditionally red to symbolize the heart or hearth (red/fire) of the home. But of course, there are no color rules for YOUR quilt.
(I’m writing this for a group I’m in on Ravelry. I’ve never done this before, it’s a lot of work making sure you get measurements right!)

Note: I’m referring to each piece other than the starting squares as “logs”

For a 12.5″ square block you will need:
Light fabrics (I used only one light fabric, you can use one or 5 different fabrics for each section), cut as follows:
1 piece, 2.5 inch square
2 logs, 2.5 x 6.5 inches
2 logs, 2.5 x 10.5 inches

Dark fabrics (I used 1 red and 5 different pink fabrics, you can use all one fabric or you can use different fabrics). The main thing in your fabric selection is to have good contrast between the dark and the light fabrics).
Cut the dark fabrics as follows:
1 piece, 2.5 inch square
2 logs, 2.5 x 4.5 inches
2 logs, 2.5 x 8.5 inches
1 logs, 2.5 x 12.5 inches

This is a good square to check your 1/4″ seam, you want the block to be nice and square, so you will want to measure after every seam.

Start by seaming the light 2.5″ square to the dark 2.5″ square. Press the seam toward the dark square. The piece should measure 2.5 x 4.5

Next you will add a dark piece, 2.5 x 4.5. Press each new seam toward the last log added, in other words you are always pressing the seam toward the outside of the block.

After you add this piece, it should measure 4.5 x 4.5.
You will start to notice that you are adding each piece or “log” in a clockwise manner. Each time you add a log you will notice that the previous piece is at the top of your work. Before you add each new piece lay the block in front of you so that you can see the light square and the dark square side by side as in my first photo.

Continue to add logs, now you will add the 2nd dark 2.5 x 4.5 log.

Block should now measure 4.5 x 6.5

Now you will add a light 2.5 x 6.5 log

Block should now measure 6.5 x 6.5. Don’t forget to lay the block down with the light square in the center to the left of the dark square, this will help orient the block before adding logs each time!
Now add the 2nd light 2.5 x 6.5 log

Block should now measure 6.5 x 8.5
Add a dark 2.5 x 8.5 log and then the 2nd dark 2.5 x 8.5 log. Ha! We’re speeding up, I’ve added these 2 dark logs in the following photo.

The block should now measure 8.5 x 10.5

Next add a light 2.5 x 10.5 log and the 2nd light 2.5 x 10.5 log

The block should now measure 10.5 x 12.5

Now add the last log, this is the 2.5 x 12.5 log.

The block should measure 12.5 inches square.

If you find any mistakes with my measurements, PLEASE let me know ASAP!!!
If you have any questions, ask ASAP!

June 17, 2010 / Mary Ann


Talk about random posting, I debate sometimes whether to just abandon this altogether. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I haven’t added a part 2 to the pink and orange quilt because I put that quilt on hold.

Here’s a picture of the pretty yarn and pincushion I bought at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend. The yarn is from Cormo sheep. I don’t know sheep breeds, but this one is particularly soft. The little butterfly on the needle felted pincushion was needle tatted by a woman who had a whole bag of them, was going to teach a class on how to make them and she gave them away. I will probably knit a narrow scarf with the yarn.

May 10, 2010 / Mary Ann

Pink & Orange Quilt, Part 1

This pattern is from Terri Atkinson’s pattern Lucky Stars. Another well-written pattern. Lots of pieces to cut, but the sewing is fun. You make the center star and then trim the block, so everything ends up fitting together well. I actually have 3 blocks done, only 39 more to go. 42 fat quarters of the pink & orange so every one will have a different center.

May 10, 2010 / Mary Ann

Lap quilt

The pattern is from Laps from Fats for Family & Friends by Ellen Replogle. Book 3. Very easy pattern, I put this together in just a couple days and of course Suzanne quilted it for me. It has white Minkee on the back.  I didn’t get any great pics of the quilting or of the backing. Suzanne might have better ones.

April 19, 2010 / Mary Ann

Wedding Quilt

This is for a co-worker who is getting married. Another one is getting married in June, so it’s time to start that one now that this one is finished. I’ve got my quilting mojo back after knitting so much. Not abandoning the knitting needles, just dividing my time. I was so happy with the fabric I found to back it with. Suzanne did the quilting, of course.

The pattern is Gotcha Covered by Miki and Diane.

February 14, 2010 / Mary Ann

Happy Valentine’s Day

Would you say it’s about time for a new post here? This is from Susan B. Anderson’s Itty Bitty Hats and will be for the newest grandchild, Miss Sabrina, due in just a few weeks.

September 7, 2009 / Mary Ann

Mystery Sock Clue #1



I’m participating in a Mystery Sock Challenge on Ravelry. I may or may not get around to posting in the Ravelry group so that my socks would qualify for a prize, they award the prizes randomly, not time-wise. I’m doing this for the … challenge and the fun. This first clue was a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. There are different challenges each month. I will try to be sane and not participate every month. I do need time to knit non-sock items.

The 1st challenge was the requirement to use yellow yarn. Solid to almost-solid yellow. No yellow in the store. (I have a confession, I’ve ordered some yellow yarn that will be much brighter than this, it’s called Finch. But I don’t have it yet and I wanted to have the first clue done before the next one comes out.) Clues come out sometime after midnight on Tuesdays during September. I got a skein of off white Cascade Heritage sock yarn from the store and 10 packages of lemonade Kool-aid from my local grocery store and dyed the yarn in the microwave. I found instructions and much advice on Ravelry. Of course now I want to jump into dyeing more yarn. It was such fun.

The 2nd challenge was the Vikkel braid. When I first tried it I thought it was impossible, so I did it “my way”. To get technical you start with M1, move that stitch back to the left needle, then knit into the back of the 2nd stitch, knit into the front of the 1st stitch. I found that it could insert my needle between the 2 stitches, knit into the back of the 2nd stitch and knit into the front of the 1st. You keep moving the stitch you just made back to the left needle. No braid appeared but I thought that would happen on the next round. I got almost done with the round and noticed that a lovely braid was appearing on the inside of the round. I went to the forum group postings, went to a site that showed it in more detail, discovered that it was not impossible to do it the right way and now I have my first clue finished.

September 6, 2009 / Mary Ann

Hippie Rainbow Socks and Shades of Blue Socks


The yarn is Zauberball, purchased at The Stitching Bee in Chatham, NJ. The bright ones are for me, the more subdued ones are for daughter Debra. I did hers cuff down. I did mine toe up with a basketweave pattern from Charlene Schurch’s More Sensational Knitted Socks.

As soon as I finish the 2nd purple sock I’ll be going back to the hoodie I’m making for Colin. Oh well, there are the yellow socks I’m doing for a Ravelry group, a free Mystery pattern by Nancy Bush. The fashion industry has Donna Karan, Michael Kors, etc. Sock knitters have Nancy Bush, Cookie A., Wendy Johnson, Cat Bordhi…

More on the mystery sock at a later date.

September 5, 2009 / Mary Ann

A Sewing Post



I’ve been working on this bag for at least 3 weeks while working at the store. I used a Scrap Bags pattern, The little thing with the button on it is not actually part of the bag, it is the Wonder Wallet, a Lazy Girl Designs pattern, I think it looks good sitting there. This would be a great bag to embroider or quilt and/or use beads and other embellishments. Both patterns have excellent instructions. If only I actually followed patterns to the letter. People spend a lot of time writing patterns, why not follow them — at least the first time you make something. Good grief. I didn’t trim the batting from the seams before sewing things together which makes for extra bulk and in this kind of pattern, extra bulk is an issue. The front and back and sides get finished and then sewn together with gussets on the side (for non-sewers, a gusset is an extra piece of fabric inserted in this case at the side, so that the bag is not flat). Scrap Bags sells a board that you can cover and put in the bottom of the bag so it stands up.

I took a photo of the inside of the bag (which is all lined, with pockets) because I love the snap. I’d not used magnetic snaps before, they are so easy and make such a great closure.

The wallet was an easy pattern, took very little time to make it. If/when I make it again, I will NOT use sticky Velcro. I don’t trust it to stick without sewing it on. I ruined 3 sewing machine needles and 1 sewing needle. The glue sticks to the needle and makes it impossible to sew it on. But the wallet is adorable, didn’t get a photo of it opened up, it has several pockets, for change, credit cards, folded bills. This would make a great gift.

I LOVE these fabrics, The Aurora collection, by Anna Griffin. Below are more colors. I can’t decide if I like the blue and green better or the bright black, red, and yellow version. Maybe I’ll make myself a bag out of the bright.


August 30, 2009 / Mary Ann

Lavender Monkey Socks


Cookie A’s Monkey pattern –

I’m doing an all knit version, the original pattern is done with more purling. Either way you do these it’s a great pattern, a perfect first lace sock pattern. It happens to be the most popular sock pattern on Ravelry. I’m doing it on 2 size 1 circular needles (I’m boring, I pretty much do all my socks on size 1 needles, circular being the preferred ones at the moment). Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn purchased you know where. The color is prettier in person, a light purple with a gray to it. That may not be a great description, but there’s definitely less pink to them than the photo makes them seem.

I’ve no idea who will end up with these socks actually. They’re definitely on the small side. There is a version for a larger size that would fit me though.