Designer Lucie Summers of Summersville is author of the recent Quilt Improv: Incredible Quilts from Everyday Inspirations.

In Quilt Improv, Lucie shows how to turn every day inspiration into contemporary quilt blocks. She guides you to interpret the twelve quilt blocks in the book to make original quilts, sharing lots of design principles and important quilting techniques in the process. Lucie leads you to independence and confidence in your improvisational quilting!

Today we have an international giveaway for Quilt Improv: Incredible Quilts from Everyday Inspirations! Let us know in the comments about your experiences with improv quilting. Are you comfortable finding your own design path when you quilt? Do you stick with patterns you know and love? Are you inspired by improvisation? Your comment enters you to win a copy of the book.

In addition to a giveaway Lucie stopped by to share today’s sweet “Love in a Log Cabin” Ornament tutorial, which she designed for all of us here at Sew Mama Sew. Enjoy this super-easy project; you could make a few for Valentine’s Day gifts!

We’re the final stop in a long and fun blog tour for Quilt Improv, so check out the full list of participating sites at Stitch Craft Create for interviews, giveaways and more. You can also get a peek at the quilts in the book via this trailer:

Love in a Log Cabin Ornament by Lucie Summers

Surprise a loved one this Valentine’s Day with this cute little log cabin ornament mounted in a tiny embroidery hoop! It’s quickly and easily made in under an hour.

You will need:

  • 4” embroidery hoop
  • Scrap strips of fabric at least 1” wide, any length up to approx 7”
  • Felt tip pen
  • Small piece of felt 5” square
  • Double sided tape
  • Fabric glue
  • Pencil
  • Usual sewing kit: scissors, thread, sewing machine, iron

1. Draw around the outside of the embroidery hoop on the piece of felt with a pencil and cut out. Leave to one side until later.

2. Choose a small square of fabric for the middle of your log cabin (mine was approx 1”) and draw a small heart in the middle with the felt tip pen.

3. Cut another piece of fabric roughly the same size and stitch (using a quarter inch seam allowance) to the top of the heart fabric and press.

4. Cut a strip and stitch to the right hand side of the heart fabric.

5. Do the same to the bottom, then the left hand side, pressing after stitching with a hot iron.

6. Repeat another “round” with different fabrics, stitching in the same sequence: top, right, bottom, left. Each of my strips is roughly one inch wide, but you can do them any width you fancy, within reason!

7. Depending on the width of your strips, you are likely to need to stitch a third round. Check your progress against the size of the embroidery hoop; not much of the third round of fabrics will be seen, but they need to be thicker than previously to help tension the ornament when you mount it. My third round strips were approx 2” wide, making my log cabin around 6.5” square. Remember to press your log cabin firmly.

8. Stick thin strips of double sided tape around the outside rim of the inner hoop.

9. Peel the paper backing from the tape and place the hoop under the log cabin. Try to center the heart motif as best you can. Loosen the screw on the outer embroidery hoop and place it on top of the log cabin. Push down firmly on the hoop, ‘framing’ the log cabin. You may need to manipulate your fabric a little to straighten up seams or to pull the log cabin a bit tighter. When you are happy with how it looks, tighten up the screw.

10. Smooth the little tab of fabric that you can see underneath the screw using a small pair of scissor or similar; ensure it sticks to the tape underneath. Trim the back, trying to cut as near as possible to the wood. A small pair of sharp embroidery scissors is just right for this job!

11. Using the fabric glue, glue the felt circle to the back of the hoop. Place under a heavy book to dry, then trim any little bits of felt that are visible from the front.

12. And there you go! One super cute Valentine’s gift in no time at all!