Hello, readers!  We hope you’re having a great week (and enjoying Issue 6 of Fat Quarterly!)  We’re back with Susan Beal today, author of Modern Log Cabin Quilting, for the final installment of our apron-along.  Judging from the lack of photos of aprons-in-progress in our Flickr pool and the Modern Log Cabin Quilting pool, we can only assume that the busy-ness of this time of year has unfortunately prevented many of you from sewing along.  That’s OK, because these posts aren’t going anywhere!!  We hope you’ll come back and re-visit the apron-along when you have some more time to sew.  As we mentioned from the start, these quick and easy-to-make aprons would make GREAT holiday gifts.  Just sayin’.

In case you missed them, here are the links for Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3 of the apron-along.  And even if you’re not taking part, please read through to the end of this post for a fun announcement from Susan herself!

And now, for the final few steps in completing your apron, here’s Susan …

Today we finish the apron up with a few last steps. I’m making the Vintage version, which has a softly gathered waist, but if you prefer a Modern version with a flat front, you get to skip this next bit!

The downloadable pattern has more detail on evenly gathering the waist, but for this brightly patterned print, as I mentioned last time, I kind of let the pillowcase fabric tell me what to do. It seemed like a shame to cinch those vibrant diamonds and change their shape, so I did less gathering and pleating on this apron than my white-and-blue one from the book. I basted just one row of stitches (on the 6 setting on my sewing machine – remember, you do NOT need to backstitch at the beginning or end when you baste) and just brought the sides in smoothly, leaving most of the middle section pretty open. I felt like that let the pattern breathe a little more and didn’t hide it away or distort it in overly ruffled folds. Here’s what it looked like overall.

Now you’ll open up your package of 2” wide bias tape (mine was labeled quilt binding), and press the folds out. If you have the flat/hem facing version, you’ll need to fold it in half lengthwise and press it, too. I like an apron sash that’s about 2.5 yards long and this new package was 3 yards, so I cut 18 inches off and set it aside for a Charming Camera Case project-to-be.

Mark the center of your apron and the center of your tape with pins or a washable fabric marker and match them. Then tuck the top of the apron body right into the bias tape sash, pinning every few inches, until the apron is pinned side to side, with any gathers captured neatly inside the sash.

Fold and press the raw edges under at each end of the bias tape sash, and continue pinning the tape between the apron body and ends so it’s secured. You’ll topstitch the apron sash along both the top and bottom edges – I started at the left side, stitched the bottom (raw) edge of the tape together all the way across, stitched the right end, and then stitched back across the top (fold) edge and finished by backstitching at the left end again. Sew it however feels easiest, but I think it gives the overall apron strength and stability to sew the sash along both top and bottom.

You have an apron!! Hooray! Here’s mine out on the clothesline – I love how cheerful and summery it is. It’s such a contrast to the two I made for the book – the serene blue and white cross-stitched and scalloped version, and the crisp green and orange squared one. There are so many other embellishments or details you can add… the sky is the limit with this one since it’s so customizable!

We’d love to see your aprons in the Fat Quarterly and MLCQ flickr pools, please add yours if you’ve stitched one up!

Thanks again, Susan, for your time, your energy, and your inspiration!  And now, before we wrap-up the apron-along, two quick items …

  • The winner of Susan’s extra pillowcase (to make an apron of your own!), is Ellen Ban, who said:  “Too busy at work to sew along right now, but plan to make one of these. Love the pillowcase – I had this very print when I was little! Wish I’d kept it!“  Congrats, Ellen!  Please email us at winstuff@fatquarterly.com with your mailing information, and we’ll be sure your pillowcase gets sent out to you ASAP!
  • Due to the popularity of the Modern Crosses quilt pattern, the cover girl of the Modern Log Cabin Quilting book, Susan has set up a special new Flickr group called the Modern Crosses Get-Together.  If you love this quilt pattern as much as we do, be sure to jump over and join the group.  Susan will be sharing submitted photos of Modern Crosses quilts, providing tips and tricks to people just starting to make their own … and who knows, you might even see some swaps and other surprises popping up over there, too.  Don’t miss out on the fun!  To whet your appetite, here are a few Modern Crosses quilts already submitted to the group:

Modern Crosses Quilt

Cover photo of Modern Log Cabin Quilting book

Progess, Quilt for Japan

Photo courtesy of Little Bluebell

PMQG in Sisters

Photo courtesy of oregonsurfers

Modern Log Cabin Quilting

Photo courtesy of bettycrockerass

Modern Crosses Quilt from Modern Log Cabin Quilting

Photo courtesy of iknitandtell

Crossing Hope Valley

Photo courtesy of staarlight