Hi everyone, and welcome to week 2 of our Modern Log Cabin Quilting apron-along with Susan Beal! Have you found your pillowcase and selected your fabrics yet? If so, we’d love to see them. Please add them to the Fat Quarterly Flickr group as well as the Modern Log Cabin Quilting Flickr group. Starting next week we’ll be showcasing your photos, so add ‘em if you’ve got ‘em!
For week 2 we’ll be focusing on cutting all of our fabrics and assembling our log cabin pockets. But enough from me … take it away, Susan!
Here we go, it’s time to cut everything for the Block Pocket Apron project! You’ll also decide if you want to make your apron a Vintage version (a slightly wider apron body with a softly gathered waistband at the sash and a top-stitched pocket, shown on the right below) or a Modern version (a flat waistband and an binding-tape-edged pocket, shown on the left). Since I’m using a vintage pillowcase, I decided to make this one a Vintage apron!
First, you’ll do your cutting for the log cabin block – which is exactly the same for either version.
To begin, you’ll cut a 3.5” x 4.5” center for your pocket block. I use the spotlighting centers method (which is explained in more detail in the downloadable pattern). Here I’ve pinned my 3.5” x 4.5” piece of pattern paper to my Fabric A (a piece of the same vintage sheet as my pillowcase) and used it to highlight part of the print I really liked. Cut this out with scissors, or use a rotary cutter and transparent quilting ruler.
Next you’ll use a rotary cutter and quilting ruler to cut a 1.5” x 21” strip of Fabric B and a 1.5” x 30” strip of Fabric A (the same one you used for the center). Press all three pieces of fabric.
Now you’ll join the first tier of logs (1, 2, 3, and 4, all in Fabric B) to the center in a clockwise direction, trimming them as you go. I made a simple video that shows my method for building a log cabin block, in the “picture frames” style – so that the center square is framed by concentric tiers of logs in the same fabrics. I think this is the easiest way to do it, but if you have a favorite method, use that one instead!
When you finish joining the fourth log, press your block back and front.
Now join the second tier of logs (5, 6, 7, and 8, all in Fabric A to match the center) the same way as the first. You’ll start on the side with your shortest log (1) to add log 5, and work clockwise again to add 6, 7, and 8. Press your block, front and back, again.
Now you’ll cut your pillowcase (as shown in more detail in the downloadable pattern). Cut along the short seam at the top and then the long seam down the back (or exactly opposite any design you want to use for your apron’s front, like my Vintage apron’s cross-stitched flowers) so you have a large piece of fabric with a hem or edging all along one edge – this will be the already finished bottom of your apron. Handy!
Now decide how long you want your apron to be (measuring up from the hemmed edge). Aprons I’ve made have measured between 17” and 24” long – it’s really up to you! You might want to measure an apron you already have and like to choose your length. Mark and cut the case to that length (no seam allowance necessary). Set the extra pillowcase fabric aside.
Now trim your case on either side, this time deciding how wide you’d like your apron to be. Remember, you will do some soft gathering at the waist for the Vintage version, so you may want to cut it slightly wider than a flat-front Modern version. (The ones I made for the book measured 30” across for Modern and 32” for Vintage when I cut them.) For this step, be sure to add 2” of seam allowance total to the width (for this apron, I wanted it to measure 30” across finished, so I trimmed it to 32” across at this point). Set the extra fabric aside for the moment and press your apron body. Here’s mine, with the pre-hemmed edge at the bottom – it measures 20” long and 32” across.
For a final step, square up your log cabin block (trim the sides so they’re straight and symmetrical) and pin it to the extra pillowcase fabric you set aside. Cut out a rectangle the same size as your block. This will be the lining for your pocket.
Optional step, for the Modern version only: cut one more 1.5” x 9” strip of Fabric B and make it into binding tape using a ¾” binding tape maker. The full instructions are in included in the downloadable pattern. Press it and set it aside for now.
See you next week to finish up the pocket and make the apron body!