Greetings, Fat Quarterly readers! I’m Caitlin, a quilter and crafter, who blogs over at Salty Oat. I’m so excited to be here today to share a project with you as part of The Twelve Days of Ruby Star!
I’ve had log cabin blocks on my mind lately (I’m currently working on a queen-size log cabin quilt!), so when Melody’s gorgeous fabric arrived, I immediately began thinking about ways to use it in a log cabin block. To highlight Melody’s prints, I decided to use coordinating solids for all of my logs, with strips of white to frame everything.
Rather than making an entire quilt, I decided to make napkins, since they’re great for either gift giving or dressing up your own holiday table. I plan on using mine this Christmas.
Here’s how to make your own log cabin napkins:
1. Select a focus fabric (in this case, one of Melody’s awesome prints) and two coordinating solids. For the Ruby Star Shining floral print, I chose Kona Berry and Kona Curry, and for the Ruby Star Spring Flower Dots, I used Kona Coral and Kona Candy Green.
2. Cut the following:
-one 5 ½” x 5 ½” square of your focus fabric
-two 1 ½” x Width of Fabric (WOF) strip of white
-one 2 ½” x WOF strip of color 1 (the middle log)
-two 2 ½” x WOF strip of color 2 (the outer log)
-one 17” x 17” square of a print or solid for napkin back (not pictured here)
3. After you trim your selvages, you’re ready to start building your block. First, pin one of the white strips to your center block. Sew the white strip to the block, using a ¼” seam (the same seam you’ll use throughout the project), trim the excess strip of white, and press toward the print (I always pressed away from the white strip, to avoid having it show through to the front of the napkin).
4. Continue building your block by adding the white strip all around the center print. You can add the strips in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction—just make sure you add them in the same order each time, for each row. In my case, the strip that I had just added was always furthest away from me as I sewed on the next strip.
5. Once your center block is completely framed in white, you’re ready to add the rest of your logs, using the same technique. Add each row in the following order: color 1, white, and color 2. Be sure to always press away from the white strips.
6. Once your napkin top is complete, give it a good press and then pin it to the napkin back, with the right sides together. For these napkins, I pulled a plain, natural linen from my stash to use as a backing, since it coordinated beautifully with Melody’s linen-cotton fabric.
7. Sew all around the edge of the block, leaving a 3”-4” opening in the middle of one side.
8. Clip your corners and turn your napkin inside out, using a pointy tool (like a knitting needle) to poke out each corner.
9. Iron the edges flat, pin (to help avoid puckering and folds while you top stitch), and top stitch around the edge of the napkin with matching thread, being sure to catch both sides of the fabric, especially at the opening where you turned the napkin inside out.
And that’s it! Make a set with all of the same fabrics or mix it up. I alternated the order of my colors, so each of my napkins are unique. If you make a napkin, or eight, please share photos in the Fat Quarterly Flickr pool—I’d love to see them!