Monday, December 8, 2014

Project: Bump on the Logs, part 1

About six or seven or maybe eight years ago, I was browsing through the fabric isles when a bright pink and green fabric with frogs caught my eye.  I'm not sure why it was calling to me.  I really dislike lime green, I think pink is best used in small quantities, and I don't have a particular penchant for frogs.  I like frogs, I just don't collect froggy things.  But that fabric didn't care.  It was calling me loud and clear.

It had evidently been calling other people, too.  I got all that was left of the frog fabric, about half a yard.  And I got one yard each of the lime green and bright pink polka dot fabrics.  To justify my purchase, I challenged myself to come up with a design that was: 1. fast, 2. easy enough for just-getting-their-feet-wet beginners, and 3. adaptable to 5-inch charms (which were all the rage at the time).  I came up with a design that I named Bump on the Logs.  (My dad would often admonish us kids to "stop being a bump on the log" when we were too inactive.  It must have been the old version of "couch potato.")

I was planning to publish this pattern, but before I got things written up one parent was hospitalized, then the other, and so on and so forth.  A few years passed and I began seeing similar designs published in magazines.  They weren't exactly the same as mine, but nevertheless the similar designs took away the excitement of publishing my own.  Instead, this design became my personal "go to" pattern whenever I needed to make a quick gift.  

But my first one hasn't even been quilted, yet!  It is sandwiched, though. The photo doesn't do it justice.  We had a rare sunny day so I hurriedly unfolded it and took a snapshot before the dogs jumped on it with their muddy paws.  I still don't like lime green.  I still think pink should be used in small doses.  And I still love this quilt.  It's bright and happy and makes me smile.  And the backing is just as fun!

The weatherman has promised us 3-4 days of warm winter weather (highs in the low 50's) -- perfect for working in my sewing shed.  It's time to put this pattern to use on some of that 2-foot high pile of Christmas fabric.  Each time I make this pattern, I change it up a bit.  That's part of what makes this a great design, in my opinion.  I can play with it, adapt it to my needs, and no two quilts ever have to look exactly alike.  Here's another top that was made with the Bump on the Logs units, but it looks quite different.

The Bump on the Log units in the frog quilt were sewn together in vertical columns.  Those in the dinosaur top were sewn together in horizontal rows.  The dinosaur top also uses seven different fabrics instead of three as in the frog top.  I have another top buried in a tote box somewhere that was made from pre-cut 5-inch charms and 2.5" strips that looks completely different from these two.  I can't wait to see what the next one will look like!

Actually, it might look similar to the frog one since I've chosen to keep things simple this time and only use three fabrics.

I only had 18 inches of the green fabric, 22 inches of the beige, and one yard of the red.  So by default, the green fabric is my focal fabric (the Bump), and the beige and red fabrics are my strips (the Logs).  The frog top has 15 Bump on the Logs units, but I'm choosing to make 21-24 for this project.

If you want to follow along, you will need to cut the following:

     3 strips 5" x WOF (width of fabric) of focal fabric (my green)
     6 strips 1.5" x WOF of contrast fabric A (my beige)
     3 strips 1.5" x WOF of contrast fabric B (my red)

Save all leftovers for borders and the strips that hold the Bump on the Logs units together.

No comments: