How to make an American Civil War mini quilt using English Paper Piecing: 2: ‘Lincoln’s Logs’

This is how far I’ve got with the American Civil war mini quilt that I’m making using the English paper piecing method. I’ve sorted out the fabrics for each block now:

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

Once I’ve cut out the pattern pieces, based on the measured papers that I made before, I can arrange them on the reverse of the fabric from the charm pack pieces.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

I use a tiny bit of glue from a special glue pen to hold the paper in place on the fabric while I cut it out. These glue pens are wonderful – they are from the Sue Daley range, made specially for patchwork. The glue is pink in the stick, but when it dries, it dries clear. So you can see where you’re putting it, but it doesn’t mark the fabric permanently pink. You can get refills easily, too. It helps to keep it in the fridge till you’re ready to use it, as if it is at room temperature, it’s a bit soft, and you end up using more than you need to.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

As my quilt is only little, I cut all my pieces out with scissors. If I had hundreds to do, I’d use a rotary blade and a cutting mat. I make my seam allowances about a centimetre, rather than the recommended quarter of an inch, as it makes it easier to get accurate folds on the seams, as I’ve got more to get hold of.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

I put a line of glue on the paper, then fold the fabric over and press it in place. The glue dries really fast. I just fold each side over (not mitreing corners or anything) going round the shape until all four are done.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

This is one block, ready to be stitched together by hand.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

Here’s the twelve blocks, once I’d stitched them all together. I use polyester thread, in a neutral tone, and just oversew the pieces together.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

The sashing pieces (joining strips) are made in the same way – by glueing the fabric over long strips – except that I made these intentionally longer than they needed to be, to give me ‘wiggle room’ when stitching them to the other blocks.

This is the layout:

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

Each long strip is pinned in place,  and then oversewn to the main part, right sides together.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

It’s tempting at this point to remove all the papers from the back, but it helps to have the main area still quite stiff with the papers in, while I’m adding the wide borders.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

The long border pieces are added first, then the short ones. I didn’t mount these wide borders on paper first – I just turned a narrow seam allowance and pressed it in place, then oversewed the edge to the edge of the dark brown strip.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

This is the bit I look forward to! Taking out the papers! Suddenly, the quilt goes from being lots of stiff little bits of fabric, to one soft and flexible quilt top, that has become something different in the process.

Unlike a quilt made by machine, the seam allowances aren’t pressed over to one side – they are left open like this. Later, the whole quilt top will be pressed before being layered with the wadding and backing.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

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needle minders, needle holder, pin keep, sampler, cross stitch, magnetic needle holder

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How to make an American Civil War mini quilt using English Paper Piecing: 1: ‘Lincoln’s Logs’

Apart from doing loads of embroidery all the time, I am starting to make little quilts. I don’t make large ones, as I don’t have the space, but I thought I’d do a few blog posts about how to make an American Civil War quilt using English paper piecing, as that’s the method I like to use. Even then, I adapt it to suit the way I like to make them!

This is the first book that I bought with quilt designs in that really ‘spoke’ to me – it’s by Carol Hopkins, who designs some lovely quilt patterns:

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

She uses the faded, small-scale prints in soft hues that I love. This is the quilt that I want to make:

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

It’s quite simple, and doesn’t have any triangles in it!! The first quilt I made had loads, and I kept getting the seam allowances wrong, and cutting off the tips of the triangles as I stitched the seams  😦  That’s when I decided that machine piecing maybe wasn’t for me, and English paper piecing might be more accurate.

I’ve chosen some gorgeous fabrics in shades of red, cream and brown,  from a range called Chateau Rouge by Moda Fabrics.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

I bought a charm pack (a pack of about forty 5 x 5 inch squares, in many toning shades), and two separate yards of fabric – one for the wide border, and one for the backing.

Carol Hopkins’ book describes how to make her quilts in the traditional way, using a sewing machine. I take designs from books like hers, and adapt them for English paper piecing by working out the sizes of the block pieces, and drawing them out on dressmaker’s pattern paper, like this:

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

I’ve sorted the fabrics from the charm pack into toning pairs, so that each block will have very obvious differences between the L-shaped pieces, and the ‘background’ surrounding them.

Civil War reproduction quilt Lincoln's Logs

The next job is to cut everything out!

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needle minders, needle holder, pin keep, sampler, cross stitch, magnetic needle holder

How to make a quick quilt: 2

Back in June, I posted about this quick project that I’d started – it’s called a ‘cheater quilt’, as the fabric is already printed with the patchwork-style blocks on it, so I didn’t have to piece all those tiny shapes together! I just wanted a simple hand quilting project that would be portable, to see me over a few weeks of the summer while I was travelling about.

So, the quilting itself was completed after about a month. Very easy to do – I just did running stitch around the edges and inner patterns of all the printed blocks, and stitched little squares in the intersections of the blocks, to hold the fabric down nicely.

Then I did the binding, using a long quarter of a fabric I’ve had in my stash for years, which I bought from the Cotton Patch shop in Birmingham. I used two inch wide strips, and pinned the strip to the reverse side of the quilt, flush with the edge, with right sides together.

Then I handstitched the strip in place from the front side of the quilt, half an inch in from the edge.

I folded over the strip to the front, making a hem, and pinned it in place, then slip stitched it into position.

Then I did the same on the opposite side of the quilt, so both long sides were completed first. To neatly bind the two shorter sides, I pinned the strips in place in the same way as before, but first I had to turn back a half inch hem at the start and end of the strip, so that the corners would be neat.

This is how it looked sideways on.

After stitching half an inch in to attach the strip, as before, I slip stitched the binding in place.

This is the finished cheater quilt – it measures about 22 inches by 16 – not very large, but quite impressive considering I didn’t actually do any real patchwork for this!!

I love the checked backing fabric – it goes really well with the colourway of the front.

And this is what I made it for – I have some reproduction dolls that usually sit on the first floor landing in my home, and I decided to make them some mini quilts to sit on (actually, I wanted to make some mini quilts and couldn’t think what on earth to do with them, so that was the best ‘reason’ I could come up with!).

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

 

How to make a quick quilt: 1

I’ve decided to take a break from my embroidery and dollhouse projects for a bit, and make a quick quilt. This because I’m due to go on holiday in a few weeks, and I want to get a project started that will be very portable and simple to do while I’m on the move.

I’d actually been looking around for a simple embroidery project, but then I saw this lovely fabric, and decided that I really wanted it!! It’s a fabric by Northcott, called ‘Stonehenge: A Stitch in Time – Quilt Blocks panel’. I got a half yard piece for £7.50 from The Corner Patch, which is based in Sheffield. They have a really good website. I bought the yellow gingham (a Makower fabric) at the same time. The mustard colour fabric was just lurking in my stash  🙂

cheater quilt

I’m planning to use the yellow gingham for the backing, and the mustard fabric to bind the edges. The quilt is only little – it’ll be about 20 by 25 inches when it’s finished – more like a tabletop quilt than a cot quilt, even. Sometimes these panels that you just do quilting on, without having to make the patchwork first, is called a ‘cheater quilt’. I can see why! I’m planning to use it as a sort of blanket for my reproduction dolls to sit on, at the base of one of my doll’s houses.

I bought some wadding for the quilt from Cotton Patch, based in Birmingham, for £7.95 – they stock loads of different types of wadding, but the kind I bought is cotton/polyester blend, specially for hand quilting. I only needed a small piece, obviously, so I bought their small pack for crib quilts, and I’ll still have enough left over to make several more of this size.

cheater quilt fabric yardage

I sandwiched up the layers, and pinned them one on top of the other, then tacked the fabrics together in both directions, starting from the centre and using long straight stitches, with the rows about three inches apart.

patchwork fabric

Then I just have to do running stitch along all of the lines on the fabric where they have already printed little running stitches! This is so easy, and it’s a great project to do in short bursts, when I only have a few minutes at a time. The ‘patches’ are about four inches square on the fabric, and each one takes about an hour to quilt. The wadding is thin enough to quilt by hand, and makes nice little ‘puffs’ on the fabric, which you can see in the picture above – the patch in the top right hasn’t been quilted yet, but the one on the left has.

I like to use a number 10 size quilting needle for my hand quilting. They are very short, so they are easy to manoeuvre through the layers of fabric. I’ve got a quilting thimble, but I never use it, so I just put up with getting  a hole in my middle finger!!

I used polyester thread for the basting, and 100% cotton quilting thread 50/2 by Aurifil in a deep cream for the actual quilting, which I bought from the Cotton Patch when I bought the wadding.
hand quilting

It’s quite obsessive, once I get going on it – I love the rhythm of just making the simple running stitches, over and over again. It’ll be a good one to take with me on my hols!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits