I had the pleasure of taking THE log cabin class from, the one and only, Eleanor Burns; She has an incredible Koala studio in her home, Bear’s Paw Ranch in Julian,CA. It was a fun-filled day for me, starting with the drive to Julian. I was born and raised in the heart of L.A. and seeing all those acres of crops and land and animals was very foreign to me!
Having arrived in Julian an hour before the class, I decided to explore the land a bit. 🙂
The smell in the air was very… Soothing! It smelled like nature, if you can imagine what “nature” smells like.
There were cows on the land, some laying down watching the sun rise, others chewing on some stacks of hay and most staring at something in the distance.
As I reached the 2,000 foot elevation point, I could overlook hills and mountains, it was relaxing! 🙂
After being happily surprised by deer crossing the street, I made my way to Bear’s Paw Ranch.
As I approached Eleanor’s home, I was still in shock that I was even GIVEN the opportunity to take a class with Eleanor, let alone in her personal Koala studio with her by my side! It really was such an event I will never forget!
As I drove up her driveway, I drove in slowly, taking it all in! I rolled my windows down, breathed in the fresh air and just enjoyed the view! After parking, I walked towards her door and was stopped by some cows, standing on the other side of her fence, mooing at me! I walked on over to say “Good-morning” to the cows, they simply stared at me. 😛
As I knocked on the door, Eleanor walked into the house from the side with her hands full of supplies for the day. I was the first one to arrive, and seeing that she still had to do some decorating and sorting, I offered my help. We decorated her porch and front of the house with some fall decorations!
El had some quilts that needed to be hung in her studio, so off we went with a handful of quilts to hang and decorate in the studio before the other lovely ladies arrived. I was so happy to help and be able to have that one on one time with Eleanor and talk. 🙂
As 9am rolled around, the ladies began to arrive, there in the walk way was Aiko. She came in just as we were preparing the loafs of bread and coffee.
As we all got acquainted and grabbed cups of coffee, I was stuck admiring these quilts by the stairs. A log cabin quilt with 12″ blocks and it’s MINI version with 1″ blocks!!! Can you believe that this mini quilt is a 12th of the size of the big quilt?!? I was just so excited to take pictures of this!
Sue Bouchard, Eleanor’s closest friend and QIAD teacher, has a little class on how to make miniature quilts if anyone is interested! You can find that video on Quilt in a Day’s youtube channel here.
All the ladies had arrived, we were all enjoying our coffees and slices of delicious pumpkin bread; Most of the ladies have actually been friends for some time now, so as me being the newbie, Eleanor took the floor and introduced me to everyone. “This is Diana, she is a Log Cabin virgin and is excited to be here. She is blogging about today, so she will be taking pictures throughout the day, is anyone not suppose to be here or part of the witness protection program?”, she has quite the sense of humor! 🙂
We all mingled and talked about how we were excited to get to sew some log cabins together in El’s studio.
As soon as Eleanor said “to the studio” , we wasted NO time running up to her studio! It truly is a quilter’s heaven in there! She has 9 custom Koala sewing tables and 9 sewing machines(some Babylock and some Elna’s). Two walls on her room are all windows and overlook her backyard from both sides, I can only imagine how neat it would be in the winter; A big cup of hot chocolate, sewing and quilting the day away, watching the snow fall outside! 🙂
The first thing Eleanor showed us was the log cabin pattern as well as the possibilities with the log cabin block. It’s amazing what you can create with a simple change of fabric, color, and pattern!
You can find her log cabin pattern book here, the Christmas tree pattern here, and the wreath pattern here.
After Eleanor talked about how we were going to make our log cabins, she brought out piles and piles of fabric to pick from! I was still too overwhelmed by the whole thing to focus on selecting my fabrics, but I observed the other ladies matching their fabrics; Some were going for dark browns and more quiet colors, others for vibrant reds and unique light patterns for their log cabins.
I began to pick some pinks and some matching tan/ brown fabrics when Eleanor brings out some vintage shirtings from her personal fabric stash!
I may be a beginner quilter, but I definitely know what shirting fabric is. I was beyond excited that Eleanor let us use some from her stash! 🙂
It wasn’t until this class that I learned about the AccuQuilt cutter; I’d seen it at Joan’s and a few quilt shops but had never really looked into what it actually did. Some of the ladies brought their own AccuQuilt cutters for us to share in class, I thought that was very thoughtful. Brenda and El gave a demonstration on how to use the cutter to cut our log cabin pieces. You can find the AccuQuilt cutter and dies, we used, here.
I used the Babylock Espire sewing machine, a special edition sewing machine made for Eleanor Burns and Quilt in a Day’s 30th anniversary.
After we all picked our fabrics for our log cabin, Eleanor showed us how to start putting together our centers for each block. I cut my strips out and got ready to sew my strips!
I was very surprised at how easy it was to make a log cabin the Quilt in a Day way! 🙂
I really got in that chain-piecing mode!
Here’s Brenda and her pile of scraps, isn’t she just adorable!? She collects scraps of fabric and makes projects with them! 🙂 I’m curious to see her projects, Miss Brenda would you like to share pictures of your projects?
As noon time rolled around our tummies were grumbling and the delicious smell of chili lured us to the dining room for some lunch.
As you can imagine, the Queen of Quilting has a quilt on every wall of her home! It truly was a splendid place to spend the day!!
As we sat at her dining table eating some chili and salad, we all chatted about how Eleanor found Bear’s Paw Ranch and the huge sewing room. She is so humble and kind, I truly got to know her and the rest of the ladies throughout the day and more so during our meal.
For dessert, Eleanor treated us to some apple pie from the Julian Pie Co., and it was delicious!
So much so, that after I left her house, I drove straight to the Julian Pie Co. and bought an unbaked frozen pie to make for my family. Thank you Eleanor for introducing me to this delicious pie! 🙂
We all enjoyed our slice of pie, ice cream and , some of us, coffee. I absolutely love her quilt-pattern carved sugar and creamer cups! Aren’t they just magnificent to look at?
As we cleaned up after a filling lunch, El mentioned that her neighbor’s donkeys enjoy hanging around just outside her fence and that she feeds them when she can. We grabbed a bag of carrots and walked over to the end of her backyard. With no sight of the donkeys, Eleanor calls for them, ” DONKEY!!!!! DONKEY!!!!!”, and off in the distance come trotting those donkeys! 🙂
Never have I ever fed a donkey in my life!! These donkeys were so friendly and trusting of us feeding them carrots.
After feeding the donkeys, we all ran back up to the sewing room to continue on with our log cabins. With a very busy morning, a delicious lunch and a walk to feed the donkeys, we all began to get VERY comfortable in the sewing studio. Eleanor, and some of us, took our shoes off to really be comfortable! 🙂
I truly enjoyed sewing with this group of ladies! They all continuously asked if I was doing ok, if I needed help, I couldn’t have had better classmates! 🙂
Thank you to you all for making my day even more memorable! On the topic of shout outs to you ladies, I do apologize for taking so long to post this! I’ve been trying to keep everything in my life balanced and am just now getting back to editing and blogging, but I will get a hang of this all soon and have more consistent posts! 🙂
As the day reached an end, most of the ladies had their log cabin pattern picked, put together and ready for borders! The amazing Sally had hers put together in a flash! 🙂
Karen also had her log cabin blocks put together and ready for borders. Brenda was kind enough to man the AccuQuilt cutter and cut borders for everyone! Sitting there planning out her wallhanging was Jill. She moved her blocks around and then began to audition different colored fabrics for her borders. She picked a pretty light green inner border and a blue outer border, what do you think? 🙂
By the time class had ended, I was barely deciding how I wanted my log cabin blocks to be. El was kind enough to let me stay a bit after to finish sewing it together! 🙂
I didn’t realize, until I got home, that I had sewn a block upside down!!! 😛 silly me!
I decided to not rip it out and “fix it” because that wall hanging I made with Eleanor, in her studio and that’s what matters to me, not that the pattern is perfect. 🙂
I was determined to take a pie home, so a tour of Julian was a must! Considering that, as the locals described it, Julian is a small town, about ” three blocks long and three blocks wide” , I literally walked through the WHOLE town in ten minutes. Can imagine that?
I wouldn’t mind living in a small town like that, I am actually more motivated to find that perfect home with a white picked fence to settle down; Have a nice big yard for my children to play and grow.
My travels in search of bettering my quilting skills and knowledge has opened my eyes to the world and I am so grateful for that!
I am excited to meet more quilters, take more quilting classes and be the face of quilting for this new generation of kids who know nothing about quilting and sewing.
I am definitely learning a lot with Eleanor and I hope to one day teach and inspire others the way she inspires us all!
As I drove back home, the calm animals ,crops and acres became the city, busy freeways and overpopulated streets.
What a change it is to transition from country to city and vice versa!
I have more appreciation for the country, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with peace and quiet, a sky full of stars and a beautiful backyard with cows and donkeys.
If I leave the city and live in the country for the rest of my life, I don’t mind! 🙂
I hope you’ve enjoyed my picture loaded post on my day with Eleanor Burns in Julian!
I’m proud to say that I did finish quilting this wall hanging and is now hanging in my laundry room! 🙂
I was beyond excited to show El my finished wall hanging, she even signed my quilt label to make it official! Woo-hoo!
Thank you all for reading and following my blog! I really appreciate all of your support!
I’m excited to read all of your comments and even questions if you’d like me to answer anything for you! 🙂
Take care everybody and thank you again for reading!
Toodles for now,
Diana and Ray<3