BONUS- Mod Cabin Quilt Tips & Tricks
One of the best things about Mod Cabin is how forgiving it is. If your quarter-inch seam isn't always exactly 1/4", it's still going to turn out beautifully. Fabric cutting is minimal and doesn't require much precision because you'll be trimming as you go. And don't forget, the quilting and first wash will hide a multitude of quilting "sins". It's true!
That being said, my pattern testing team came up with a few tips to make your Mod Cabin Quilt experience even more enjoyable! Here are there best tips, along with photos of the quilts they made while testing the pattern.
1. Use a dry iron. Steam is great for getting out wrinkles, but it's also well known to warp the grainline of your fabric and stretch your fabric pieces. Stretched fabric strips are the number one culprit of wavy rows!
2. Press it, don't iron it. If you're a beginner you might not have heard about the difference between pressing and ironing. It sounds trivial, I know. I totally rolled my eyes when I first heard about it, but it makes a big difference. Check out this post for the correct way to press!
3. Slow down. It's just you, the sewing machine and 100" long strip of fabric. Of course you're going to want to put the petal to the metal and make "vroom vroom" noises as you lay down a straight seam. I totally get it, but here's the thing; the faster you go, the more wavy your rows will be. The fabric is constantly moving, creating tension between the presser foot and the fabric (and a seam guide, if you have one). The tension can tug the fabric just a tiny bit to the left or right, and the wobble turns into a wave before you know it.
4. Measure your 1/4" seam. If the Interwoven Quiltalong with Lo and Behold Stitchery taught me anything (besides a few new curse words), its that my 1/4" can vary from day to day! I learned, very slowly, that I had to check my seam allowance every time I sat down to sew because there was no room for error in the pattern. (p.s. As much as I whined, Interwoven made me a better quilter and I recommend it!) This video from Amy's Creative Side taught me how to check myself before I wrecked myself or my quilt.
5. Square up, face down. After sewing each strip, the fabric is trimmed to length to align with the quilt top. This is also called "squaring up" your fabric, block, quilt top, etc.
When you get to this step in the pattern, place your quilt top face down. Don't press open the piece you just attached. It should look something like this picture.
Use your ruler, or the lines on your ruler, to cut the excess fabric in line with the quilt top. By turning it over, you can see both the strip AND your the edge of your quilt top, making a cutting accident less likely.
6. Avoid directional prints... or don't. Fabric that has a right direction and a wrong direction, like the examples below, are a nightmare when it comes to log cabin blocks in particular. In the quilt below, however, Aimee used a mix of directional and non-directional and quite frankly, I love it.
Just keep in mind that most patterns assume non-directional fabric is being used. In order for your prints to all face the same direction, extra fabric (and math) is needed. With this pattern, there is really no wrong way to do it!
The Mod Cabin testing team went above and beyond to make this pattern a fun experience for you, and I couldn't have done it without them! Click on the pictures to find them on Instagram and say hello, they'd love to hear from you!