Darlene’s Mystery Quilt Step #5 This month we have a border made from 48 blocks.

Log cabin blocks, which are one of my very favorite blocks. The blocks are 5” finished, 5 1/2” before sewn in, all strips are 1 1/2”. I prefer to chain stitch my log cabin blocks, but if you prefer to do them another way, do whatever works for you.

Pressing with log cabin blocks is the preference of the quilter. Some people prefer to press each step, some prefer not to press anything until the block is complete. If you prefer not to press, make sure that each segment is opened fully when you lay it in place on the strip that you’re stitching it onto. Whether you press or not, make sure that the seam allowances are pressed or finger pressed away from the red centre. Cutting: For the centre of the blocks, I used red, which is the traditional colour for a log cabin centre. So to create the scrappy look, I chose several of my reds for the centre squares. So, these instructions will be for 4 reds. From each red, cut one strip, 1 1/2” x 20”. For the lights, again, you should have several for a good variety, I used 12-15 different lights. You need a minimum of 15 - 1 1/2” strips. To make more variety in the placements of the lights for each block, you can cut some of the strips into halves. For the darks, I used again around 12-15 different darks. You will need a minimum of 18 - 1 1/2” strips. Again, you could cut some of them into halves. Instructions: Using the red strips that you cut for the block centres, pair them with an equal amount of light strips and stitch down the length of each pair. Do not press.

Counter cut these strip sets into 48 - 1 1/2” segments.

Open one of the centre segments that you just cut and place it right side down onto a light strip ( right side up ). Use the picture here for placement.

Stitch in place, then continue chain stitching the remainder of the centre sections onto light strips, making sure to butt the next segments flush up against the previous one that you stitched on. This creates less cutting for you later.

At this point, you have to cut again. You can cut with your rotary cutter or your scissors, whichever you prefer. If you’ve chained stitched your centre sections close enough together in the previous step, you should only have to make one cut between the segments here.

Now you’ve completed the first and second light logs, from here we move onto the first of the dark logs. Choose one of the dark strips, position the centre/light segments onto the dark strip using the picture here for placement. Stitch in place, again, being sure to butt the segments flush against one another. Continue with all of the segments.

Cut, seperating the blocks. Repeat again, with another dark log for each block. Cut, seperating the blocks.

At this point, you’ve completed one set of logs all around (two lights and two darks).

Move onto the next set of logs, starting again, with two light logs.

Repeat the cutting process and then move on to two dark logs. Cut. This completes the blocks. Press.

Arrange your blocks around the quilt with 12 blocks on either side of the quilt, and 12 on each end. Stitch each of the 12 blocks into 4 long borders. Stitch one border onto either side of the quilt, press the seam allowance towards the border. Repeat, stitching the remaining two borders onto the top and bottom of the quilt. Press towards the border. Step 5, complete. The quilt at this point should measure 60 1/2” x 70 1/2”.

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