Saturday, February 16, 2013

fan mail

Like all quilting divas, I just love fan mail. If you email me I consider it fan mail no matter your comment or question. This past week I got an email from Sharleen who needed help getting her log cabin blocks together. I totally identified with her because for years I had the same problem she was having...until I figured out a way to overcome the challenge.

What was Sharleen's challenge? Knowing which direction to sew the next strip to the log cabin block. Now that may seem simple enough but when you have dyslexia like I do, it can be daunting to keep track of where to put that next fabric strip.

Sharleen: "I keep adding logs on the wrong side.  Any tips?"

Jean Ann: "Here is how I keep myself going in the right direction:
1. I always add the new log to the top side of the portion of the block I am working on.
2. I always add the new log in a clockwise direction. I turn the sewn portion of the block to the left (counterclockwiseP so the new strip can be added in the clockwise direction.
3. After the first round of logs has been added all around the center square, pressed and trimmed with the Log Cabin Trim Tool, then I know that each new log to be added will be sewn on the side of the block across two seams from the previously sewn round.

Sharleen: "Oh, I like that two seam hint. As soon as I get this ripped out , I'll be trying that. Thanks for your speedy reply!"

Sharleen's Log Cabin Quilt

Sharleen: "After getting your tip, it all went together better and I'm starting on the layout. I can't appreciate the pattern so much "in person" but I can see in a photo that it's all working out.  Thanks so much!"

Sharleen used my Log Cabin Trim Tool to make her blocks. You can get it at your local quilt shop or from my website:


  1. I never thought about it being a problem of Dyslexia, I can't make a Log Cabin Block without messing up so I avoid them like the plague. Even if I lay all the pieces out on a Mat.

  2. Mary, I have had dyslexia all my life, but when I was a small girl, we didn't know that term. I just knew that the only way I could tell my right from my left was by looking at both hands and finding the small mole between thumb and wrist located on my left hand. I knew that mole was on the left. The teacher would say raise your right hand, I would check and raise the hand without the mole.

    when you have dyslexia you have to work out a system of little clues to help you always go in the right direction. The only issue i still have is when the GPS person tells me to turn left or right, I often turn the wrong direction and then have to listen to her mutter "recalculating".

    Try my method with the log cabin, let me know how it works. :-)

  3. One of my friend has dyslexia too and she has your problem to tell the right way from left and right and other problems.
    Sharleen´s log is just wonderful!!