The woman who instructed me to begin my first-ever-sewing-project-since-seventh-grade with a log cabin quilt block should immediately resign her position as proprietor of a quilting store.
Shame on you, madam; shame.
While the log cabin is lovely and versatile and not immensely difficult, it is also ridiculously time-consuming and one doesn’t see a lot of progress quickly. It doesn’t Set The Hook properly.
Enter the simple, unassuming Four Patch Block. If one is only using two different fabrics, it’s as simple as strip-piecing each half of a bunch of blocks, cutting and then piecing the two halves together to get a whole bunch of blocks right away. A child of five could do this in about twenty minutes (naturally, it took me a couple of hours.)
If one is using, as I am, multiple fabrics, it’s a little less quick and a little less easy, but not by much.
Tonight, I managed to get about 40 block assembled. Granted, I had done most of the cutting last weekend, but the sewing itself sort of flew by easily. I think I may need to start pressing my seams open, instead of to one side or the other for this pattern, though, as the blocks seem a bit bulkier than they probably should.
Mike’s little camera flash failed me on a few shots, but here’s what I’ve got thus far. You’ll notice the seams are far from straight and the blocks far from square, but I’m slowly getting this. The biggest problem I’m having right now is how to keep that final half-inch of the fabric going under the presser foot from going all cattywampus.
These are the first sort of block I pieced together – it’s very conservative, pretty and organic:
I think it looks quite lovely, and I could do a whole quilt out of just that. In fact, I may actually have two entirely separate projects going on here, but I’m experimenting. Enter the striped fabric I’m completely crazy about, along with the other Very Dark Fabric I selected:
And then I threw caution to the wind and brought in The Paisley, even combining stripes and paisley on the same block. Someone stop me, I’m out of control!
So, in the end, it will probably end up being somewhere in the middle. Trying to find the right pattern with all these different small squares is fun, but challenging. Here’s most of them trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up:
And a fair number of them loosely assembled:
I’ll need to figure out where to put the paisley in the pattern so it’s not so random, and keep my stripes probably going in the same direction… it’s kind of like putting together a jigsaw puzzle with outrageously large, floppy pieces.
For this project, I’m not going to puss out with a couch throw or “lap robe” – I’m going to go the whole nine yards and get at least to a size Mike and I could cuddle under on the loveseat.
 When I say “as simple as,” bear in mind it is only simple if one has a pretty good attention to detail, knows how to cut and sew in a straight line and so forth. If, like me, you’re new, you may find it a bit fussy keeping long strips of fabric lined up properly… even with pins.