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Autumn Harmony within a Log Cabin quilted sampler

Autumn Harmony within a Log Cabin quilted sampler

by Nancy Devine

“There is a harmony in autumn,
and a luster in its sky,
which through the summer is not heard or seen,
as if it could not be, as if it had not been!”
— Percy Bysshe Shelley

I love autumn, that season of color. As quilters, we appreciate the vivid hues of changing leaves, set against the intense cyan skies. These post-card pretty days are often bathed in the pure sunshine. It’s like a big finale before the greys and icy whites of winter.
That saturation of colors is the inspiration behind my Autumn Harmony wall quilt.
Made up of four large log cabin blocks in low volume creams and neutrals, the fanciful batik foliage dances across the surface.
And it all starts with scraps and strings. This is the ultimate frugal art piece.

batiks and pieced leaves

Colorful batiks frolic across neutral log cabin blocks in this fanciful wall quilt.

I’ve begged batik scraps from quilting friends, and prepared some lightweight quilting muslin flat in preparation for some string pieced foliage.
Let’s get this color party started by creating a cozy quilted canvas to showcase our wild autumnal colors.

Autumn Harmony: a seasonal sampler

You will need

Various quilting fabric remnants in neutrals (creams, beiges, very light yellow)
Green batik scraps and pieces
Yellow, red, gold, pink batiks
Bias binding in brown batik
Binding strips
Bias binding maker
Tailor’s awl
Finger pressing tool
505 basting spray
Template plastic
Spray Starch
Freezer paper
Small paint brush
Clever Clips (large and small)
Marking pen
Flatter pressing spray
Quilting muslin
Gutermann silk thread
Size 10 hand quilting needles
24” quilting hoop
Birch branch
Curtain rings

rotary cut strips for log cabin block TruCut rotary cutter system for quilters

Cut out 2½” strips from a variety of cream, beige and low volume neutral fabrics to create a log cabin canvas.

We’re going to make four 14½” log cabin blocks.
The log cabin is a beginner block that requires a lot of cutting. It’s a perfect use for jelly roll pre-cuts, since they are 2½” wide strips. Unfortunately, you might not have a jelly roll bundle of neutral fabrics. No worries.
Let’s whip out our rulers and rotary cutters and make some 2½” strips.
I cut seven strips from eight different neutrals. It helps to have some Clever Clips around to clip the strips together as you go. It just keeps everything tidy.
After you’ve cut your strips, you then cut them (which is called sub-cutting in quilting lingo) into varying lengths, but the width stays the same.

For one block, cut:

Two 2½” squares
Two 4½” strips
Two 6½” strips
Two 8½” strips
Two 8½” strips
Two 10½” strips
Two 12½” strips
Two 14½” strips

Log Cabin block diagram

Log Cabin block diagram

Start piecing by joining the two 2½” squares, followed by the 4½” strip, all around the block, pressing with each addition. Try to get the strips to lay as flat as possible after piecing them. I’ll make for easier time later when you’re quilting the sandwich.
Make four 14½” blocks. (Please see the layout diagram above).

iron, pressing tool and flatter spray

Use Flatter pressing spray and a finger pressing tool to make the Log Cabin blocks as flat as possible.

completed log cabin blocks in neutrals.

Completed blocks are pressed flat before being joined together to create a large quilt top.

505 temporary spray basting stablizes the quilt top

Spray baste the quilt sandwich to prepare it for free motion quilting, pinning the corners to prevent shifting.

Join these two blocks together, then join the resulting half square to form a 28″ x 28″ quilt top.
Make a quilt sandwich spray baste layers together, using safely pins to secure the corners.
Free motion quilt in wavy vertical lines. I added leafy squiggles along the lines. Set aside.
Let’s take a break for today, and bask in the glory of your quilted canvas. Join me tomorrow when we start working on the colorful elements of our Autumn Harmony wall quilt.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: How to coordinate color-soaked batiks to make fanciful fall foliage



Denise Mitchell October 2, 2018 - 7:14 pm

Beautiful quilt !

Wendy R October 13, 2016 - 8:18 pm

What a beautiful and happy little quilt! I always shy away from batiks thinking they are not for me but I love the use here!


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