Monday, April 27, 2015

Piano Keys Log Cabin

Thank you to everybody who has left me such a nice bunch of well-wishes over this nasty cold! Yesterday I felt a wee bit better and did some catching up on dishes and laundry. Then, for my reward, I sewed this "Woven Plaid" block for the Barbara Brackman Civil War Quilts sew along. Here is the link to her blog post.

This is my block for Week 15 in that sew along and I was very grateful to Gwen for her inclusion of a nice big Ziploc bag of woven plaid scraps in her "Whatchagot Swap Box" sent to me. As seen above, the handsome red/black/tan woven plaid that is background for the star points is from you, Gwen!!! Thank you!

The gingham in the center is, of course, a printed plaid. I thought it was fun to use both in one block. After sewing it, I was too exhausted by the effort to press it, so it awaits me on the ironing board.

This morning was very special! I've had a booking all month long to quilt my Piano-Keyed Log Cabin top at Ellen Peters' Cat Whisker's Studio in Laconia, New Hampshire. I cleaned up with a shower, washed my filthy hair, put on clean clothes, found my bag of methol & eucalyptus sugar-free cough drops, and I went.

Above is pictured Ellen, as she just finished loading my quilt top on her longarm, on which I rent time. I was so afraid of infecting her and/or any other quilters who were also enjoying today's studio day. My solution was to borrow one of Miss Emma Lynne's clean bandanas to create a mask to wear. I know that I looked like the "Frito Bandito" as I quilted, but I hope that I kept my germs to myself!

I chose an antique tan top thread and a fairly deep red for the bobbin.

The quilt has a cozy red flannel 108" wide backing that I had prewashed and it had shrunk down to 105". That worked out perfectly for this 86" square top.

My quilting pattern was to use Freehand Baptist Fans, which I am very grateful to have learned from If you'd like to see her most excellent instructions, here is the link. Thank you, so much Mollie!

Another huge "Thank You" goes out to Ellen herself! She had to help me reposition the start point at the conclusion of every one of the 18 passes that it took for me to complete my quilting.

That meant that I was like a whiny toddler asking for her support each time. She has the patience of a saint! As I worked on the quilting, I must have told myself a dozen times to just, "Suck it up, Buttercup!", meaning my very sore muscles.

I really did smile for the camera, too, even though you cannot tell from my mask, LOL! Three hours went by so very quickly and it was done!

At the end, I was winded again but so very glad that I had toughed it out. I really like this quilt!

After driving home in the cool damp air with the windows gloriously open and my mask off, I rested. Soon I had a homemade iced coffee and felt energized. The predicted showers had not yet materialized, so I decided to tempt the fates and trim the quilt outdoors on my driveway.

I used scissors and a small kneeling pad that I made for this task and I just went at it. Soon it was trimmed in spite of a few gusty breezes that toyed with my progress. Doesn't it look neat?

The grey skies gave an even lighting that made it very difficult to photograph the quilting patterns. Here are some close ups to see the fabrics at least.

These are my beloved Civil War reproductions with the occasional Civil War "Wannabee" snuck in here and there, only because they were there in my scrap basket, LOL!

This setting of seven blocks into seven rows is done in the Field & Furrows pattern layout although I have also heard it called, "Streak of Lightening."

Above you can make out a little of the quilting in the lights of the lower right corner of the photograph.

Now here is my query to all of you; which orientation of the light streaks does your own eye prefer?

The pictures below are the same quilt taken from the different side than the photos seen before.

See? Now the light streaks go slanting upwards rather than downwards. Do you prefer it this way, or the previous way?

You can just say "First Way" or "Second Way" in your comments. Thanks so very much for your input! It will tell me where I'll put my label.

Stay well and happy quilting to you!


Anonymous said...

Ok, I like the first way. And LOVE that red plaid star!

Janet O. said...

Great looking plaid star, Vic.
I have to say that I like both orientations equally well. It is just a heartwarming quilt, no matter which way you view it!

Cathy said...

Aren't you a lovely sight in that mask! We have the same funk going on here and I'm glad I'm over it. All my employees should have worn masks and not spread it to me.

Your quilt is awesome! Congrats on that beauty.

Second way for me.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Vic, this is one wonderful quilt; three cheers for your stick-to-itiveness! The quilting studio/rental idea is a grand one... how many machnes does she have to rent time on? I like the second option... but, to tell the truth, this is a quilt that looks great from any angle!

Auntie Em said...

I agree with Mrs. Goodneedle above, that quilt looks good from any angle! I think it was very nice of you to don your bandit gear to keep from spreading germs onto the machine. I wish everyone were so thoughtful.

beth s said...

Love the quilt from any angle! What a fun post about getting this one done!

PaulaB quilts said...

I just found your blog, love the repro fabrics. What a gift that box was, seen in earlier post. I like the first way because it is like reading, left to right and down, but whatever you choose, it is terrific quilt.

Wendy Caton Reed said...

Oh, what a beautiful quilt! I can't say that I prefer it one way or the other. It is lovely whichever end is up. Glad to hear you are feeling better. Thanks for sharing this beautiful quilt.

Feathers in my Nest said...

Love, love your Log cabin quilt...just beautiful as always..luscious colors..hope you feel like your self soon..kisses & hugs all around.

mpv61 said...

Beautiful quilt. I like it the first way. :)

J Britton said...

This is truly a gorgeous work of art! To say it is beautiful is a major understatement!
Log cabins have always been my favorite quilt pattern, even though I'm pretty new at quilting and didn't have the best results on my first try. That piano key border is absolutely perfect for this scrappy wonder! You are amazing, and a super wonderful quilter!

Sara said...

Love it! Either way it is gorgeous! It has inspired me to make another log cabin quilt- they are so versatile and I just realized I have given given away all that I have made so I need one for me!

AnnieQuilts said...


Second way.

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