Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Summer in the Country Blog Hop and Give Away


Hi, and Welcome to my day on the Summer in the Country Blog Hop with Island Batik. 

I LOVE being an Ambassador for Island Batik!  It's fun and exciting, and the fabrics are really wonderful.  The colors are great, and the base fabric is quality.  I've compared batiks from other companies, and have found that others fray and the fabric is thinner than Island Batik.  You can feel and see the difference.  

Since I live in the country, in the woods in the Pocono Mountains of PA, I adore Summer in the country.  The trees are so full, the lakes and streams are so pretty, and the crickets chirping at night just make me happy.  It's a lovely place to live.  And you'll find a few beautiful Log Cabins.  I used the Log Cabin as my inspiration for this country theme runner. 

My very first quilt was a Quilt In A Day Log Cabin.  Shortly after I moved here 27 years ago, a small fabric store opened, and had a class for this "new" method of quilting using rotary cutters.  Since I had been sewing since I was 5, I wanted to try quilting.  And I had a new house to decorate.  I took the class, and have loved Quilt In A Day and quilting since.  I'm not sharing a photo of that quilt today, but I do want to share my latest Log Cabin quilt. 

The three lighter colors, and the first on the "dark" side are from Wishing Well, The Buttermilk collection. The 2 darks and binding were from the Green Acres Collection. and the center is Plum from the Basics Collection.  I wanted the center to be close to the traditional red, and it's such a pretty shade to go with the others.  

Displaying Wishing-Well-Logo-Transparent.png        Displaying Green-Acres-Logo-Transparent.png

But the setting is not traditional!  I saw a runner similar to this, done by a friend.  She used a book called "Mostly Table Runners by Calico Printworks.  I've created my version and want to share what I did with you.  

I made 10 Log Cabin blocks, using the Quilt In A Day book.  I used the 2 1/2" strip count for the 9 block baby quilt, but needed an extra 3rd Dark strip (the green/blue animal print in my runner).  

These ended at 14 1/2" (will be 14" in the top).  You can use your favorite method and size of blocks, though.  

Then I played with layouts on EQ7.  I created a template that had 10 blocks in an On Point setting.  Here are some choices (I used a standard colored block from the data base.  It was important for me to see the light/dark not the colors.) 

I picked this first one.     

The really fun thing about Log Cabin blocks is there are so many ways to lay them out, and you'll get a great quilt.  I ignored the setting triangles in these templates, though.  I wanted the jagged border. 

So, after I figured out how to lay them out, I sewed the rows together.  Normally when you sew blocks on point, the ends of the diagonal rows have triangles to fill in the spaces.  We're not doing that, so you'll have some weird looking matches, but it's actually fun and easy.  I numbered the diagonal rows.  Row 1 has 2 blocks, so sew them together.  Row 2 has 3 blocks, and those get sewn.  Row 3 has 3 blocks, and row 4 has 2.  Make sure you leave the numbers on through the next steps.  I used card stock, and just wrote the numbers with a sharpie, and pinned them on.  

Put them back on your design wall, to figure out which seams should match, and which block just hangs out.  I drew an arch for where you need to match the seams.  Block 1 in row 2 only matches to row 1.  Block 3 in row 3 only matches to  row 4. 

I layered the top with backing and batting, and quilted feathers using Aurifil Mako 50wt in 2783, a dark teal blue for the "dark" sections of the blocks, and 50 wt 2000, a pretty cream, for the light sections.  I didn't quilt the center squares.  I adore Aurifil for quilting and piecing. The colors were perfect to melt into the top and just add texture.

I cut 6 strips, 2 1/2" wide, for binding, using the navy and green pine tree fabric (which is Dark #2). The trickiest part is binding this, because of the inner corners.  Here's what I did. First, before quilting, I basted about 1/8" from the entire edge, using my walking foot.  I felt this was needed because of the inner corners, and since this layout made the edges a bias edge on the backing (the front is straight strip pieces, not bias).  Next, after quilting, I trimmed the backing and batting even with the top, especially on the inner corners.  I started stitching the binding to the quilt top, and when I got to the outer corners, did the usual miter fold.  The inner corners need some special handling, but it's not difficult.

First, mark 1/4" on the inner corner, like an X.  When you get to this spot, stop with the needle down, right in the center of the X, through the binding, and quilt.  You can back up 2 stitches, and go back forward, if you want.  Carefully, with the needle down, lift your presserfoot and pivot the quilt so you can go towards the next edge.  Line the binding up with the new edge, and fold/pinch/push the quilt carefully under the foot, so it's actually as straight as you can make it.  Basically, you are UNbending this fold, and continuing to sew the binding.  By pleating the quilt, to the left of the needle, you can straighten the binding. You are NOT forming a pleat in the binding or top, just straightening the section where the binding is sewn.  NO miters or tucks!!  I used a stiletto to help make sure the area under the foot was as flat as possible.  Take 2 or 3 stitches, and you can let the pleated top go, and readjust the binding.  Continue to the next corner, then miter.  Then do the same X mark, pleat the top and continue around the next inner corner. There's only 4 of them, so it's not that challenging.
Mark 1/4" seam lines on the quilt top at the inner corner. 

Stop at the mark with the needle down.   I didn't trim my batting and backing until I was approaching this inner corner, but it's easier to cut out the triangle with scissors before it's under the machine.
Pleat and fold the quilt to the left of the needle, and make the edge where you're sewing the binding as straight as possible, the part you just sewed, and the next block's side. Continue sewing the binding along the next edge.

I machine sew my bindings to the back. I did the cream sections first (the bobbin thread is cream, top thread was dark navy)  I didn't want the cream to show on the blue sections of the front, so I changed the bobbin thread for those areas to match, And then I decided to hand sew the inner binding spots to the back.  It was easier than trying to do it by machine.

This is pretty easy, but to make it look good, you need to take your time (and use a little help from a stiletto).  Start tacking your binding to the back, by hand, as usual. When you get to the inner corner, where the stitches make the L, form a small tuck/pleat to "absorb" the extra fabric in the binding.  Use the stiletto to help tuck this little pleat in, then hand sew the pleat in place on the front and back. Continue sewing the remaining binding down to the back of the quilt. This photo shows the TOP of the inner corner, with the pleat sewn in place.  It makes a nice sharp square, doesn't it?? It's pretty easy, just a little "detailed".  

And you have this awesome runner to show for the effort!  I think it's stunning.  The batiks are gorgeous, especially the paisley in the first dark section, and you have to smile at the trees going around the binding.  The shaped edge just adds something unique to this piece, and I love it!

Mine finished at 40 by 80, and I decided to see what it looked like as a bed runner.

It would look better over a plain blue, grey,  or cream quilt, I think. It makes my purple quilt look weird! lol But I'm keeping the purple in my room.

Here's another photo of it draped over the guest room day bed.

When I saw Buttermilk as the collection name on the cream grouping of fabrics, I knew I had to share my Chocolate Chip Loaf recipe!  It uses buttermilk!  It's perfect for brunch or snack, and with afternoon tea. 

Chocolate Chip Bread

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
`3/4 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup butter melted
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips (I use 1 1/2 cups regular chips)
Preheat Oven to 350*
Grease and flour 3 small (approx 4 x 6) loaf pans, or 2 regular size loaf pans (approx 6 x 9)
Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until well blended. Mix in egg and vanilla until well combined. Stir in flour and buttermilk, alternating, until combined. Stir in chocolate chips, and pour into the prepared pans. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cool.
Place ¼ cup chocolate chips in a zip-loc type bag, concentrated in one corner. Place bag upright in a microwave safe bowl, and melt the chips until liquid, about 2 minutes. Snip a small hole in the corner, and use the opening to drizzle chocolate over cooled loaves.
MY hints:
Double the recipe, and once the drizzle is cooled, wrap in aluminum foil, and freeze loaves in ziploc bags. Keeps for months. I use 3 smaller pans and 2 large ones. Batter is similar to cake batter, or pancake batter. I use regular chocolate chips, and about 1 ½ cups per recipe (about 3 cups if doubled recipe). 

Recipe was originally found in a magazine years ago (can't remember which one), but I add more chocolate chips!   

Remove from the freezer a few hours before you wish to serve them, or they make great hostess gifts.  Everyone who has tasted this says "I could eat that all day!"  

And, if you've made it this far, I have a give away.  I'll select 4 FQs of some of the latest collection to send to you.  Please leave a comment to enter.  I would LOVE it if you could show my FACEBOOK PAGE some love, too.  If you haven't already, please LIKE the page. I'm really close to 300 followers, and I'll add a second prize of FQs to the drawing if I get over 325 by the end of the hop, on September 8.  One comment per person, and please make sure I can get in touch with you.  I'll pick one or two winners from the comments here.

If you've missed the other days on the hop, here's the list.  Many of them still have give-aways open.  

Also, Island Batik is giving away 2 bundles of fabric.  Use the Rafflecopter Widget at the bottom to enter! 

Thanks so much for visiting and reading my book/blog post, lol.  Enjoy the rest of your hop! 

8/17 – Island Batik
8/18 – KISSed Quilts – Part 1
8/19 – Kauffman Designs
8/20 – Adele Mogavero
8/21 – MooseStash Quilting
8/22 – Pamela Quilts
8/23 – Freemotion by the River
8/24 – The Patchwork Pearl
8/25 – Fun Threads Designs
8/26 – For Quilts Sake
8/27 – Lemon Tree Snippets
8/28 – Bejeweled Quilts
8/29 – Tamarinis
8/30 – KISSed Quilts – Part 2
8/31 – Beaquilter
9/1 – Purrfect Spots Designs
9/2 – Maria Michaels Designs
9/3 – Mary Mack Made Mine  You're HERE!  Thanks!
9/4 – Made In Scraps
9/5 – Happy Cottage Quilter

a Rafflecopter giveaway 



Vicki H said...

I love your runner and I can hardly wait to try the bread recipe. Thanks.

Betsy said...

Your runner is amazing. I love how you made the colors fade in and out. Good luck with your surgery tomorrow

Unknown said...

Beautiful Runner and I need to make this bread asap!

Janie said...

Good luck with your surgery. Thank you for the tutorial. Especially the binding tip. I will be making your Chocolate chip bread tomorrow, I love buttermilk recipes! Thank you for the giveaway.

JANET said...

Love the colors you used. Wish I could like you again, but I guess I am one of the 299.

Betty said...

Love this project. Log cabins are one of my most favorite blocks of all time And the chocolate chip loaf, Yum!

Cecilia said...

Your runner is gorgeous! I haven't made a Log Cabin quilt yet, but it's on my list and I love the colors you used. Thanks for the tips for binding and the recipe, it looks delicious. I've already liked you on Facebook. :-)

Anita said...

Great runner; log cabins are one of my favorite blocks!

Joyce Carter said...

Your runner is gorgeous Maryellen. I love the layout of the blocks. Thank you for sharing and for the giveaway. I hope your surgery went well.I already follow you on Facebook.

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

My first quilt was made using that same book by Eleanor Burns! I sure wish I had kept my copy! Your table runner is beautiful and the recipe sounds yummy!

Quilting Tangent said...

Never seen a Zig Zag edge tablerunner, good job.

QuiltShopGal said...

Love your table runner. Beautiful fabrics and great shading that just draws the eye in to admire and enjoy. Total #CreativeGoodness. Thanks for the yummy recipe too!


PS - I think your hand drawn quilt images would make excellent greeting cards in your ETSY shop.

QuiltShopGal said...

Love your table runner. Beautiful fabrics and great shading that just draws the eye in to admire and enjoy. Total #CreativeGoodness. Thanks for the yummy recipe too!


PS - I think your hand drawn quilt images would make excellent greeting cards in your ETSY shop.

Teresa said...

Great use of fabric, log cabin is a favourite

mumbird3 said...

Love Log cabin blocks - your runner looks great!

Calicojoan said...

I love your log cabin runner. The batiks are just gorgeous in it. Yummy bread too!

Lauriejo said...

Great runner! You are very fortunate to live in the Poconos, we honeymooned there many years ago. Beautiful country.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I love the runner and am looking forward to trying the bread. Thank you for both.

tac73 said...

Thank you for such detailed description of your log cabin journey. One of my favorites.

Pam Geisel - For Quilts Sake said...

I love the layout of your runner, and the chocolate chip bread looks yummy!

Maria said...

Very attractive Log Cabin Runner, especially in these wonderful Island Batik fabrics! My family is going to love your Chocolate Chip Bread recipe!

Gill said...

Thank you!
I liked your FB page

Kathy E. said...

I have set myself a goal of making a table runner for each season this year and now I'm adding yours to my list! This is gorgeous! I adore the pops of purple you've added. It just gives it such a richness and deepens the other colors too. Plus, I am rather fond of anything chocolate, so your bread is going into my cache too! Thanks so much!

Lisa England said...

I love your runner! I think log cabin blocks are always pretty and the extra interest of the unique shape really makes this runner special!

adele said...

Beautiful runner. I love log cabins this is really nice.

Sewgirl said...

I love your project and the colors. Turned out great, and the bread sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing your giveaway!

Unknown said...

I have yet to make a log cabin quilt. It is at the top of my list. :) The runner is beautiful, all those peaks and valleys, wow.

Sally said...

Great Log Cabin and fun recipe...Great job ME!!!

OhioLori said...

Loooove your Runner! Would choose same Layout as yout too...very cool! Like the jagged edges too. Definitely making this Bread! Sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing! :)

I don't do the FB, etc etc stuff...but I do Like/Love your BLOG!! :)

Lee said...

A stunning runner! Thank you!

Lori said...

this is gorgeous. I love that each person will have their own placemat yet still be a part of the whole.

Sues said...

Beautiful table runner! I love all the different designs you can get with a log cabin block. Looks like you had fun with it.

Michele T said...

Those colours are gorgeous and I do love the log cabin pattern too! Great idea, thanks for sharing😉

Kelly Dee said...

Fun to see all the work that goes into your final creation.

Pamela said...

What a beautiful runner! I love the color palate that you chose. Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

Robert said...

Love your table runner - made a similiar one with different sized blocks - was a challenge binding it. Also the quick bread sounds good - I use a lot of buttermilk or 'sour' milk in my muffin recipes. Have a good day, from northern Iowa . . .

Anonymous said...

I love your log cabin table runner. I have not made a log cabin anything yet, but I would love to make your project. Thanks!

Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

Tu-Na Quilts said...

I can't wait to try out the bread recipe. It sounds delicious. Very nice runner too. Unique that it's not all even along the edges. And I also liked your facebook page. Karen

beaquilter said...

your runner looks great, those sharp angles for binding always scare me.

Beth said...

Your log cabin is beautiful--I really love how the traditional pattern looks when made with batiks. I'm not on Facebook, so couldn't "like" your page--sorry, but in real life, I like your blog a lot!

Kathy H said...

I love that runner. When I saw the picture of the bread, I was hoping for chocolate chips and I was right! Looks delicious.

KaHolly said...

Great post..beautiful runner! Batiks really change thing up, don't they? And that bread! Yum! I'm definitely bookmarking this page!

Anna brown said...

Very very nice ty for sharing and yess i gave your facebook some

Sarah said...

My kids are going to love that chocolate chip bread! Thanks for sharing. sarah@forrussia.or

Anonymous said...

Love the chocolate chip bread! Liked your facebook page; you're at 311!

Sallie said...

Thanks for showing the different layout for the table runner! That Chocolate Chip Bread looks delicious!

DebraKay Neiman said...

I really love the table runner, also the color selection. I am getting better at making log cabin blocks, just got some rulers to try out too. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com P.S. love you on facebook

apple blossom said...

love your table runner. oh, and the bread sounds so yummy. I'm going to have to try this recipe. thanks for the chance to win your giveaway.

LeAnne said...

You can never go wrong with a log cabin quilt. Your table runner is very pretty.