Norah Quilt Sew Along - 2020!

Yayyayyyy! It's time for the Norah Quilt Sew Along! You can find the link to our original post in the previous blog post, but today we are going to start at the beginning....which is the center!
CUTTING: I used a 2" square for my center and 2" strips. You can cut your center square the same or larger. And you can cut your strips wider if you wish. You may also choose to widen the strips as you go along in building your quilt.
**Use your smaller scraps in the beginning and save full widths for later in the quilt**  
We will talk more about that as we get deeper into the quilt. 
 My inspiration for the Norah Quilt was a log cabin I saw on Pinterest. One of the things that caught my eye was the off-set center. A traditional log cabin has a center and the logs of the cabin wrap around that center. You can certainly build your Norah in the more traditional way with the "fire" set in the center of your quilt, you can use a larger center, a "block" or an embroidered piece. This is really just a jumping off spot for you to create your own Norah!
In this post, I am going to show you how I created an off-set center unit!
To begin, I cut my center 2" square and chose two colors to add onto two sides of the center. In a traditional log cabin, you would wrap the logs around the center in a counter clockwise (or clockwise) pattern. 
I have completed two Norah Quilts and for both I chose dark colors for the center adds a bit of drama :) Of course, you can use any colors you like!
Once you have the center 2" square, the first color log is going to be 2" as well. Sew the first color log to the top of the center square. 
The next color (a different color) will be added to the left side of the first two squares.
You can line up the 2" squares with next log and trim to the same length. 
Using a quarter inch seam allowance, sew this log in place. The next log will be measured and sewn to the top (similar color as the first log).
 Repeat, adding log strips to each of the two sides and alternating colors. As you add a log, make sure you square up each corner. This will ensure your quilt stays square. When I say to square up, it means each corner should be a right angle. 
To do this, simply line up the top of your block or quilt along a measured line on your ruler....and the side should be even with the edge of the ruler. Any excess, which should be very little, can be trimmed. If you continue to do this as you piece the quilt, everything should be square and straight.
For my center unit, I used 4 "logs" or strips on each of the two sides. Then this finished unit is used as my center
I chose to go around my finished center unit once with neutral fabrics and then started adding the 4 colors (one color per side) to build my quilt. 
If you are using a simple square as your center, in other words, a more traditional approach, I would suggest starting your first strip of color on each side with a very soft shade of that color. I think that allows your eye to flow out from each side without any awkward break.
Once you have your center, you can start adding sides! The first color will be added to the top of the center in the same way that you built the center. Remember to square up the corners!
Continue to add each side and color in a counter clockwise pattern. 
*Use a quarter inch seam allowance and try to keep your seam allowance consistent.
*Pin your strips to avoid tempation to stretch as you sew
*It would be better to cut your strips longer and trim back - squaring up corners rather than cutting too short and stretching
*Use a wide ruler to square up corners and sides
***Square up corners and sides! ;)
*Let the sewing machine do the work! Don't stretch or pull your fabric as you are piecing....just guide your fabric.
*Slow down....long straight strips mean you need to slow down
*Press set your seams
*Press as you go, but take care not to distort your fabric or seams
*This is a great stash buster! Use smaller pieces early in your quilt building when you need shorter pieces. Depending on the size of your quilt, you may need to join strips as your quilt grows. Join similar colors to maintain the flow. 
That's it for now! Don't forget to post your progress and use the hashtags
#NorahQuiltSAL #NorahQuilt