Ragged Log Cabin

Just recently, on my Instagram feed, I showed a detail of a VERY ragged Log Cabin coverlet that was rescued from under a tractor way back in the 1980s. Like a number of other coverlets and quilts over the years I have tried to provide it with a “good home” (and, initially, a good wash!). All the blocks are machine pieced onto a variety of foundation fabrics – some blocks are the traditional Log Cabin arrangement, half light half dark, others are Courthouse Steps, some are what I would call Concentric Log Cabin. Here’s a closer look at the coverlet in all its raggy splendour –

Getting ready

Yet again, little visible stitching progress to show although there has been a lot of activity! We’re in the early stages of getting ready to return to the Rural Office so I’ve been trying to make the right decisions on which projects need to go and which ones can stay. The simplest strategy would be to take everything each time but that really isn’t practicable, so it does become a question of prioritising. So far I’ve stocked up two manageable bags with diamonds and triangles glued to their relevant papers in readiness for basting – a perfect task for travel.

The table runner I’ve shown here countless times is also going to be included in the Travel Stitching – there’s just one block remaining for Pass Two and then I can contemplate what might constitute Pass Three.

The blocks on my pinboard need to return to base to collect additional blocks and gather some setting ideas –

And, as I resolved in an earlier post, I’ve made a note to bring this quilt top from the Rural Office “still waiting” stack to the top of the pile for backing , batting and quilting –

On to another week – happy stitching!

Marching on

Terrible pun, but sometimes these things need to be done. Thanks for all the sympathy and helpful tech info re my WordPress “improvement” annoyance, I’m managing at the moment but strongly in favour of moving over to WordPress.org in the near future.

On the stitching and quilting front it has been a week of preparation. Delved into a couple of scrap bags, wielded the glue pen and scissors and, from out of almost nothing, there is now a tightly packed bag of diamond shapes all ready to be basted. Hardly a dent in the scrap bags!

This is one of those “no idea” projects – no idea what it will look like, no idea when it will be finished. It began last August in one of my online classes when we were looking at 60degree diamonds, triangles etc and EPP.

These small diamond hexagons were so much fun to do that I thought it would be a Good Idea to make many more using scraps from the stash here at the Overseas Office as the starting point. And that’s as far as that Good Idea got at the time. But now I’ve ordered further supplies of papers and it seems that the time is approaching to continue with this Good Idea. Not forgetting the other Good Idea of assembling lots of sample blocks when we return to the Rural Office…. Wishing you lots of Good Ideas for the coming week!


New-fangled stuff imposed by WordPress has made this week’s post almost impossible to put together.  One long-standing and now VERY unhappy user.  So forgive me if this is short and the images disproportionately sized –  I need to do some background research to see if/how I can revert to the system that didn’t need fixing.  

Quilting thoughts and activity this week have been based around the current project, shown below under construction last year – 

Initial tight-to-all- the-seams quilting is now under way (First Pass) and I’m starting to look ahead to what might be next (Second Pass). I’ve marked out about half the block using my Chaco-liner. You can probably see that all the perimeter of the main shape and the inside edge of the block has already been quilted.

This is going to be quite a lot of quilting for no obvious effect, but I have found over the past decade or so that this is what I prefer and I feel it is worth doing. So “on the ditch” rather than in it! Once this Second Pass is complete I will consider adding quilting 1/4inch away from the seams on the larger shapes (Pass Three). Regular readers may recall that I used this strategy for the sampler quilt and diamond table runner finished last year –

Hoping to be reporting more positively next week!

Seeing red

A slightly silly, but not entirely ridiculous, plan has been brewing this week – the following pictures may give you a clue –

I’m sure you can guess what it is!  Above are some of the sample blocks I have made for classes over the past 6months.  All seem to have a common colour palette, dictated by the size of the Overseas Stash and my current choices.  Back at the Rural Office there are a number of other sample blocks made for classes over the past ten years.  Why not gather them all up and find a way of putting them all together in one top?  Not quite an ordered sampler quilt you understand, more of an acceptable jumble.  Maybe with sashing strips, maybe with pieced sashings or frames and strips.  So over the next few days I’ll be filling a new project bag with as many of these sample blocks as I can find, adding a note to remind me of the plan and putting the bag Somewhere Safe so that it is returned to the Rural Office in due course.  Off to find a suitable bag ….

Looking back

This is what has been on my worktable at the Overseas Office this week –

sort of the same as last week, but a little further along!  Now finished since taking this photo and waiting to be pressed, final showing next week.  I’m not sure if my  sewjo has been fully restored yet but I’ve revisited (via old picture files) some still-unfinished projects that are patiently waiting their turn back at the Rural Office and given some consideration as to what it will take to finish them, whether there is any point in finishing them and all those sort of imponderables.  For instance, this quilt top, thrown together more than a decade ago for a Chris&Barbara workshop, it just needs quilting and binding –

I’d prefer to hand quilt this one, which is probably why it got put aside in the first place.  Hand quilting doesn’t have to be complex, close-spaced or complicated but even simple pared-back hand quilting isn’t done in a day.  I think I’ll plan to pick up several reels of quilting thread from the Rural Office and bring this top back to the Overseas Office later in the year.

Future online plans include a Tentmaker style applique class/presentation/lecture –

and an Antique Rose Star hand piecing class –

I might even get to the heady heights of offering a Whigs Defeat hand piecing class –

Time to get back to stitching!

A lot going on

Still searching for my sewjo but managing very small amounts of progress.  A busy week on Zoom starting today – short class today, quilty meeting with longstanding pals also today, hosting a Very Special private class Tuesday (really excited about this), regular class Thursday (we’re looking at Pineapple blocks) followed by a Thursday at Three meeting.   Here’s a glimpse of my prep for Tuesday –

One of my US quilting pals Barbara Black (https://bbquiltmaker.blogspot.com) graciously offered to lead the class – or did she have her arm twisted? The truth may never be known….. but it’s going to be fun to be one of the students and not the teacher!  Tucked into the class materials that Barbara sent ahead was this gorgeous repro fabric –

Thank you Barbara! I’m now investigating the blues scrap bag here at the Overseas Office and there’s a whiff of another new project in the air.  Maybe the elusive sewjo will soon be knocking at the door.

And there’s a lot of activity behind the scenes at the https://chrisandbarbaraquilts.wordpress.com blog – we have a Tile Tuesday series just started and some mysterious stitching coming next month.  We were really pleased with the block we developed from this fragment of Roman mosaic floor at Fishbourne –

the floor

the block

Check back in next week for another thrilling update!




Got started!

Only modest stitching progress this week, but some is better than none! And there has been a lot of background “stuff” that has needed attention – Zoom meetings, Zoom classes, all things quilt and Zoom related, plus lots of Zoom meetings with friends and family, and a LOT of shuffling and sorting through the many and various projects that are awaiting their turn for some attention here at the Overseas Office.  The shuffling and sorting has been necessary as I am still hunting for my mislaid sewjo and it just might be lurking in one of the project bags – it hasn’t come to light yet but I’m hopeful.  So here’s the stitching – outline quilting of the blocks well under way in the first pic and a border going on a sample to turn it into a cushion panel in the second.


Might need to consider a visit to the opticians once we get back to the Rural Office – I really hadn’t noticed that both of these pics are just sufficiently out of focus as to be annoying!  Time to return to a good tasklight and reading glasses…..


Under way

Happy to report that quilting has actually started on this – hopefully some progress to show next time.

A couple of other things are asking for some time to be spent with them –

and there is a certain amount of weekly “admin” to do – always better for coloured markers, squared paper and a large cup of tea!

A random selection from the Overseas Office bookshelf is ready to dip into in between times – “How to Bullet Plan” was acquired in 2017 and is highly recommended for all stationery and control freaks!

Over on the ChrisandBarbara blog ( https://chrisandbarbaraquilts.wordpress.com ) we have just started a series of Tile Tuesday posts – tiles historical, contemporary, decorative and downright inspirational.  Pop over and take a look.