Inspiration – Sew Pro Stars Blog Hop

Welcome to the Sew Pro Stars Blog Hop!  Here you will find a variety of sewing projects inspired by the information and interactions from Sew Pro 2016.

Sew Pro Stars Blog Hop

What is Sew Pro?

In September, I took a bold step in building my quilting business. I traveled from Phoenix to Chicago to attend the Sew Pro convention.  It was a gathering of sewing professionals to meet, mingle, and learn some business-building strategies.  The organizers, Brenda Ratliff of Pink Castle Fabrics, and Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness, planned four tracks of lectures. Attendees could choose from pattern designers, fabric designers, authors, and bloggers.  Lecture topics ranged from publishing tips and intellectual property rights, to technology tools and the travelling teacher life.  When I returned home, I knew I wanted to continue the collaboration with the wonderful people I met.  I reached out to my fellow sewists on Facebook, and we agreed to share during this blog hop.  Please visit everyone and prepare to be dazzled by the amazing creativity and talent!

Sew Pro attendee True Blue Quilts

At Sew Pro, our keynote speakers were Pat Sloan and Tula Pink.  I came home with pages and pages of notes just from those two speakers.  The conference was jam-packed with great information about the opportunities for quilters and sewists in the larger fabric industry.

Tula Pink sharing the Elizabeth fabric line


As I pondered how to express the lessons from Sew Pro within a fabric-based project, I explored Pat Sloan’s website.  She is a powerhouse in the quilting world, hosting a weekly podcast as well as designing quilt and writing books!  You may have heard of one of her little projects…the Splendid Sampler, a 100-block quilt along that has thousands of participants. From the Splendid Sampler patterns, I found the perfect block to represent Pat and the Sew Pro conference: #61 Traveler, coincidentally published on the weekend we were all in Chicago!

traveler block with slow and steady fabric

Tula Pink is an amazing artist.  I love her color sense and the whimsical animals she designs.  The Traveler blocks were made with fabrics from her Eden line.  Also, I am featuring two prints from her new line, “Slow and Steady.”  The hare is a tribute to my mom, a collector of porcelain rabbits, who inspired me to quilt when she opened a fabric store.  The snails remind me that building my business is not a sprint.  The Traveler blocks signify life’s journey…my trip to Sew Pro and all the places quilting has taken me.  I can’t wait to see what comes next!

But Wait…there’s more!

To make the Sew Pro Stars Blog Hop extra-special, let’s have a giveaway (or TWO!)!

First, for subscribers to my newsletter, Loose Threads from True Blue Quilts, I am offering the scrap pile from the above project.  It includes 5 fat-eighth size pieces of Tula Pink fabric and a copy of  any of my single patterns (shown here).  I will conduct a random drawing from the list of subscribers on Saturday, Nov 19 at 12 noon Arizona time.


** A winner has been drawn!  winner for blog hop prize
Congratulations Vanessa!  Check your email for details 🙂

Secondly, enter for the grand prize package by following this Rafflecopter link.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other quilters and sewists on the Sew Pro Stars Blog Hop:

Monday Nov 14

Lisa Peterson – Lisa and Lorelai

Sherri Noel – Rebecca Mae Designs

(you are here) Andi Stanfield – True Blue Quilts

Tuesday Nov 15

Vanessa Behymer – Vintage Barngirl

Pam Cobb & Lynn Rinehart – The Stitch TV Show

Sherry Shish – Powered by Quilting

Joanne Kerton – Canuck Quilter

Lisa Nielsen – Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam

Wednesday Nov 16

Carmen Ross – See Carmen Sew

Anne Beier – Hudson Valley Quilts

Jessica Caldwell – Desert Bloom Quilting

Pamela Morgan – Sweet Little Stitches

Thursday Nov 17

Maryanna Powell – Marvelous Auntie M

Cathy Smith – A Quilting Chick

Lissa LaGreca – LovinglyLissa

Paula Mamuscia – Creations by Paula

Friday Nov 18

Becca Fenstermaker – Pretty Piney

Holly Stockley – Lighthouse Lane Designs

Teri Seal – Day Moon Quilts

Trinia Braughton – Penguin Feats

Deanna Wall – Stitches Quilting

4 Log Cabin Quilt Block Variations

The Log Cabin quilt block may be traditional, but simple variations in color placement can create a whole new look.

Option 1 – Traditional Log Cabin

If a quilter refers to a log cabin block, s/he is probably imagining a center block surrounded by light strips on one side and dark strips on the other.  A red center was used to symbolize the heart of the home.  Even in the scrappiest of quilts, the center squares were often a consistent fabric.

log cabin quilt block

Option 2 – Scrappy Log Cabin Quilt Block

For quilters who like to use all the colors at once, try this ROY G. BIV colorway. Make each segment of the log cabin block in a different color, progressing through the rainbow’s hues of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

rainbow colors in a log cabin block

Think of all the possibilities with the rainbow color scheme…the colors can spiral inwards or outwards, you could alternate between the warm and cool colors, experiment with one color family per block.  You have lots of options when you quilt in a scrappy palette.

Option 3 – Courthouse Steps or Lanterns?

When you use color to separate the four sides of the log cabin block, it becomes a Courthouse Steps variation.  And when the courthouse steps blocks are lined up with matching colors, they resemble lanterns.  These blocks can be grouped by color family or stitched from one designer’s line of fabric, or become as scrappy as desired.

courthouse steps or lanterns

Option 4 – Rings

By using a different color each time around the center square, the block loses it’s traditional feel.  This is the perfect opportunity to play with gradients from light to dark and vice versa.  The block is constructed in the same way as all the other variations so you can see what a big difference your color choices make.  Use a design wall or coloring page to audition your favorites.rings with dark center

The ring block is featured in the quilt Yellow Suns.  You can find the pattern in my book Monochromatic Quilts: Amazing Variety

Bonus – Half Square Triangles can be used in log cabin patterns

Make a split 9-patch block with half square triangles to create a straight line between the light and dark fabrics. These blocks can be arranged in many of the traditional log cabin variations.

log cabin variation with half square triangles

Which log cabin variation will you try next?