Have you ever been sewing and designing along, having a grand old time, when you finish assembling your blocks, put them up on the design wall in two different ways and just say, “Shit!”? That just happened to me. It’s not the worst problem to have but when it happens, it can stop you in your tracks. Both layouts look…AWESOME. I know! I told you it’s not really a bad problem to have. But I have it, so I need some help. Hubby really likes it one way in person but then when we look at the pictures we agree that the other way looks cooler.
Let me back up. Saturday morning I was flipping through my IG feed and came across a photo of the popular Marcelle Medallion quilt. I remembered that I had the magazine with that pattern so I went to my studio and pulled it off a shelf. I started flipping through this cool magazine out of the UK, Love Quilting & Patchwork, and found the Marcelle Medallion quilt pattern. Originally this quilt pattern appeared in the book Liberty Love.
After reading some about it and deciding that paper piecing was not what I wanted to do in that moment I continued to flip through the magazine. Then I came across the pattern “Urban Cabin” by Kelly Biscopink. Originally this pattern appeared in Biscopink’s book Modern Designs for Classic Quilts.
I decided I would give this a try but only make four blocks instead of the whole sixteen blocks the pattern provides instruction for.
Now to decide which fabrics will be used. I pulled out my treasured Stile FQ bundle by Liberty of London and began editing the stack down to the eleven fabrics needed. I liked the look of the gray and white fabrics pictured in the magazine so I auditioned different gray fabrics with the eleven prints. I chose Ash in the Color Weave collection by P&B Textiles and used Kona White by Robert Kaufman.
A great tip when trying to figure out the values of your prints for a quilt is to take a picture of them laid out together and edit the picture to black and white. This picture will show which prints read as light, medium and dark and can make it easier to design your fabric layout.
Now that I had selected my fabrics I went ahead and figured out how many cuts I needed to actually make since I wasn’t making the full size quilt. Once that was done I got to pressing and cutting. After a quick consult with Hubby about whether to have the lights go into the white/gray fabrics or the darks, I got to work. The four blocks came together relatively quickly. Remember, this is a log cabin pattern so it can get tedious sewing strips, pressing, trimming, and repeating the process over and over.
A quick tip for those of you who may be new to patchwork is to always square up your blocks. This process allows for more accurate piecing as you build your blocks and then sew them together. After I added every strip to the log cabin, I pressed the fabric using spray starch and then squared up the edges of the new strips. I did this to provide a clean and straight edge and to prevent a bending effect that can happen when the edge isn’t perfectly straight.
Pinning is extremely important for accurate piecing too. I know that this was just sewing strip to strip but to prevent any imperfections, I pinned as the strips I added were longer and longer. It took a few extra seconds every time I pinned but I feel it was worth it in the end.
I finished building my four “Urban Cabin” blocks with great excitement and they turned out beautifully. Then it was time to see how they looked together! I put them up on my design wall in the layout I had originally decided on but then for some reason I switched them around in the opposite layout and freaked out. Both layouts looked fantastic! What now? So I took some pics to get a new perspective. If you ever need to look at your project in a different light I suggest taking a picture. It can provide a fresh perspective and you may notice something new. I showed Hubby the pics and he liked one layout over the other. Then I asked him to check out the blocks in person on the design wall and we liked the other layout better then the preferred layout in the photo. Ugh!
So, what do you think? Let me know which layout you prefer please. Also, has this ever happened to you? You started making a project with a certain look in your head but when it came to assembling the blocks together you were faced with a conundrum. Which way should it go?
UPDATE: Thank you for all of your suggestions. I haven’t put the four blocks together yet but I will be assembling it with the color at the center. Thanks again!
~Lady K Quilts