Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quilting Birdhouse "Pentagon" Lob Cabin Experience

I suggest you have some basic experience with log cabin quilt piecing for this project.  It would just make it easier :)  This is a very "organic" instruction... meaning you are in full control of how big you want each block to be - how big the center starts at, how wide the strips are, etc.

Can also be seen here.

A fun Birdhouse shaped (Pentagon) take on log cabin style of quilt piecing.  This is so easy and simple to do and a great use of scraps!

I'm going to try to make this blog as "mathless" as possible.  While this is a good use of scrap strips or store-bought strips, it does take quite a good length of strips of fabric in order to make it easy and math-free.  :)

Center:  Square of fabric big enough for your center
Strips: choose at least 2 different fabrics in lengths of at least twice the length of one side of your chosen pentagon shape.  (See Below)  I usually just cut some 1 1/2" to 2" strips from the edge (selvage to selvage) of an existing piece of fabric cut from the bolt or fat quarters work nicely too.  Of course, even better are the strips already cut from leftover projects or from the store. :)  *For the Birdhouse version you'll need another color of fabric you'd like to use for the roof.
Optional:  big enough scraps for the background once you've finished the pentagon log cabin - you can use the finished shape as an applique, or you can piece on background fabric to the finished shape to form a square finished block.

I start with a small and simple pentagon shaped ..
(I have provided the printable shape above that you can print off in whatever size you want using the "scale-to-fit" option on your printer dialogue box - the one that pops up when you choose Print from File.)  OR, you can certainly use an existing quilting guide that you may have on hand for other projects using this shape. 

This is a fun project because you can do this any size you want...  Just keep in mind that your strips will need to be at least the length of the final edge of your block - about 2 times the starting side... 

OK, now that we've got our pieces cut out, let's get started with the fun part! 
Sew the edge of one strip to the first side of your pentagon.  The strip must hang off the start end at least enough so that when you go to flatten the seam and press, the opposite corner will extend far enough to maintain the pentagon shape when cut.  See pic above - the strips have already been sewn on, pressed and cut.  You can see where the line of the sides not yet sewn extend on the sewn-on strips...

Right above is one of the pics of a piece that's not yet been trimmed down.  Simply line up the edge of your ruler with the existing side of the recently sewn on piece - above it would be the green plaid. The pink strip-y piece is cut down to follow the green plaid line and the other end is trimmed down to follow the center edge line.
Pic above shows one go-round finished....

The pictures above show the twice around version.  This is where I normally stop, but this is YOUR project - so keep going if you want!

OR, for the birdhouse version with a little roof, sew the strips onto THREE sides and then skip sides Four and Five.  Do a second go-round starting with the first side again and sew strips onto those same three sides again...

The pictures above show the birdhouse version with a "roof" where you've sewn your roofing fabric onto the "three-sided" go-round pictured above.  You simply sew the roof strips onto the two top edges trimming to match the edges before you sew on the second one. 

See more here.

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