From the Archives: Working Through "Piecing The Piece O' Cake Way" in Six Months - Published July 31, 2015

If you're anything like us you love quilt books! Even though we each have tons of quilting and sewing books, we can't resist buying new ones. But sometimes it's worth it to revisit those old favorites. Here's a classic from all the way back in 2007 - Piecing the Piece O' Cake Way, by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins.

You may know Piece O' Cake by their fun and colorful applique designs, but this piecing book is also great. Becky and Linda give a lot of clear and helpful tips and advice and there are a lot of photos to give you examples. The book would be great for beginning quilters, as it covers everything from rotary cutting to color choices to binding. Even more seasoned quilters would probably find it helpful as a refresher course or just a good reminder of how to do the basics! Another thing we love about it is that it is spiral bound so it stays open to the page you're on.

The book is divided into sections based on common shapes in quilting, and includes patterns for each shape. Becky and Linda have each pattern done up in different colorways to show you the variety you can achieve just by changing the fabrics. 

Kris made her quilt, Word Up, for July - a log cabin in aqua, lemon-yellow, and gray toned fabrics featuring text.  The log cabin blocks worked up fairly quickly, especially since this quilt is on the small side, and Kris chain-pieced the blocks so it was even quicker than if she made up each block individually.  To make it a little more modern, she left out the outer border and arranged the blocks into an alternative "lightning" assembly with a zig zag at the bottom. One thing to remember if you make this quilt is that you need to be accurate with the quarter-inch sewing seam (Becky and Linda tell you this, but it's worth mentioning again).

One of our favorite parts of quilting is the fabric selection process. There are so many awesome fabrics and color combinations out there, the possibilities are endless!  Kris wanted the light half of the log cabin blocks to use fabrics that either had lettering or crosshatching in them in light tones that read as gray when you looked at them from far away.  Kris chose aqua blue fabrics for the other half of the blocks, and luckily we had all of these in the shop! 

Cutting was fun and easy:  just line up the strips and cut them at the specified lengths!

Another aspect of this quilt that makes it fast is chain piecing.  Just start with the center square, and add the next piece for all 48 blocks. Cut the blocks apart (because when you chain piece, they are all attached in between blocks), press seams open, and do the next row of strips. 

When you're all done, you should have 48 blocks looking similar to the one pictured below.

Once you have the blocks joined into rows, and the rows joined into a complete top, you can put your quilt sandwich together and choose how you want to quilt it.  Kris used a thick yellow jeans-weight thread for the gray section and a lighter-weight aqua in a squiggly meandering pattern for the aqua section.

And here's the back side of the quilt, quilted with white thread.

Once the quilt was quilted, the binding was attached and machine-sewn to the front, and hand-sewn to the back.

Voila!  A quick crib-size quilt that looks more complex than it really is.  Thanks for the lesson, Becky and Linda! 

We'll be working our way through Piecing the Piece O' Cake Way for the rest of the year, one quilt a month. Stay tuned for August where Becca will work through the Squares section with a nine-patch quilt using Essex Linen and lots of great Denyse Schmidt fabric! 

- Kris