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Safely working on the bias: making a half log cabin block

 

Good morning!

I hope you weren’t up all night sewing! If you were, I see a nap in your near future!

For now, let’s get back to our modern quilt top we started a couple of days ago using the beautiful Northcott Banyan Batiks: Nostalgic Vibes, Primitive Lines and Shadows collection!

 

Nostalgic Vibes collection has 2 lines: Red-Black and Blue-Green
Nostalgic Vibes collection has 2 lines: Red-Black and Blue-Green

 

Get ready for more cutting and sewing!

Since we assembled our blocks yesterday, now we’re ready to make our diagonal cuts across our blocks to continue the quilt top.

Yesterday I showed you 2 block layout variations: A and B.

I opted to use block A’s layout, that is, multiple fabrics with lots of colors. I don’t want little triangles to skew the overall look of my finished quilt top. So, to avoid triangles, I’ll have to cut in a creative way!  Rather than cut once, I will be cutting twice.

 

Making a diagonal directly in the center would create these orphan triangles.
Making a diagonal directly in the center would create these orphan triangles.

 

The method to make my 2 cuts is quick and simple.

The first step is to draw a diagonal center line going from corner to corner on the light colored 10” square center section of the block.

 

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the center section of the block.
Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the center section of the block.

 

Now place a ruler on the 1¼” mark on the line that you have drawn.

 

Placement of ruler’s 1¼” mark over pencil line.
Placement of ruler’s 1¼” mark over pencil line.

 

Once the ruler is in place use a rotary cutter to make a diagonal cut across the entire block. Then make the same cut on the opposite side of the line. Repeat this step on all of your blocks.

 

Parallel cuts are made on each side of the diagonal line.
Parallel cuts are made on each side of the diagonal line.

 

Note: After you’ve made the cuts don’t handle the half blocks too much. Remember, the cuts were made on the fabric’s bias and you don’t want your half blocks to stretch out of shape.

Next, draw a diagonal line on all 4 – 19½” x 19½” squares of background fabric.

 

Draw a diagonal line on the 4 pieces of the background fabric.
Draw a diagonal line on the 4 pieces of the background fabric.

 

Gently take 1 of your half blocks and, right side down, line up its cut edge against the diagonal line that you just drew on the 19½” x 19½” background fabric pieces, pin in place. Remember not to stretch the half blocks.

 

Align the diagonal half block edge with the line drawn on the background fabric.
Align the diagonal half block edge with the line drawn on the background fabric.

 

Place another half block’s cut edge right side up along the opposite side of the line and pin in place.

Repeat this step for all half blocks.

 

Line up and pin 2nd half block on the opposite side of the background fabric line.
Line up and pin 2nd half block on the opposite side of the background fabric line.

 

When all of the half blocks are placed and pinned, sew along the diagonal seam ¼” from the aligned edge of the half blocks.

 

Sew a seam ¼” from the diagonal edge.
Sew a seam ¼” from the diagonal edge.

 

Once you’ve finished sewing, use the rotary cutter to cut along the edge of each half block to separate the half blocks.

 

Separate both half blocks by cutting along edges.
Separate both half blocks by cutting along edges.

 

Press the blocks and square them off to 18¾” x 18¾”.

 

Squaring off a block at 18¾” x 18¾”
Squaring off a block at 18¾” x 18¾”

 

 

2 of the 7 blocks that will be used in our modern quilt.
2 of the 7 blocks that will be used in our modern quilt.

 

Now, take a well-deserved moment to admire your blocks before they’re joined together in a quilt top.

Tomorrow we’ll be using the rest of the fabric from Northcott Banyan Batiks Shadows collection.

 

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Making a modern quilt out of traditional log cabin blocks and batiks

Go to part 4: Banyan Batiks Shadows: a great background fabric for a modern quilt

I took my first quilting course in September 1994 in Barrie, Ontario, near the armed forces base where I was stationed. After moving to Ottawa in 1996, I joined my first guild. I took more courses and began to buy quilting books and lots of fabrics. Quilting has become my passion. I have made over 150 more quilts since then, and have never looked back. I now share my knowledge of quilting by teaching and doing presentations, and blogging!

5 Comments

  1. Rose Lefler

    Very interesting and definitely helpful information. Thank you.

  2. Maureen

    Enjoyed Paul’s blog this week

  3. Delaine

    What an interesting idea! I will have to try it (if I get the nerve to cut through a block that I have sewn!) Thanks!

  4. Di Wilsey Geer

    Great tutorial; thank you for the infor.

  5. Sharon Gates

    I might try this!

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