I am working on the log cabin variation top. It deceivingly looks simple. If you look at the vintage inspiration tops you can see what can happen.
How did they get so off? They did not measure. It seems like a little thing but it is so important. The temptation is to cut your strip and take it to the machine sew it on and then cut off the extra.
Here is a strip as an example, it is long enough with a bit extra on the right.
The temptation would be to take it to the machine, sew it on and then cut off the extra bit . We like to think we are very good and have no need to pin, we can easily keep the edges together and lined up as we go. This is not a good idea because no matter how careful you think you are when you are sewing that much length there will be some fabric shifting, the feed dogs pull the fabric forward into the needle, but no matter what you do there will be just a tiny bit more pulling on the bottom piece of fabric than the top so the top will always end up just a tiny bit longer than the bottom and if you multiply that little bit row after row you end up with a very wavy top like the ones above.
To prevent this measure and pin.
I lay the fabric strip next to the top and mark where to cut it.
I could do a ton of math and figure out the exact measurements for every piece but yikes that sure sounds painfully tedious. So I measure as I go.
Then I pin the strip in place
This prevents any slipping of the fabric across all that length. Then sew and press.
Press carefully! It is very easy to distort the fabric if you pull or stretch as you press.
It is also not a bad idea to be sure that the top remains square as you go. I have had a few spots where I needed to trim a sliver off of the edge to square up and keep straight lines. The bigger it gets the harder it is to keep it on track and flat. I do not want a top that is a bumpy mess so I am taking my time on this.
I did decide to mix up the fabrics a bit. In a previous post I talked about separating the fabrics into dark and light (https://timquilts.com/2015/01/19/invisible-hand-quilting/) using a black and white photo. I decided to mix a few lights into my darks and a few darks into my lights.
here it is in black and white where the value differences show better.
I think it makes it more interesting to have a bit more variety.
Teddy is enjoying watching
But has not yet mastered the sewing machine. (he can’t reach the pedal )