This half log cabin quilt was inspired by a dress that I saw in a shop in town. The dress itself was way beyond my price range so obviously I did the next best thing and made a quilt using a similar design. The basis of the design is a half log cabin, which is the main part of the design that is like the dress that I saw, but I have also included a nine patch unit in the middle just because I felt like it! The quilt is 42″ wide by 80″ long. I have used four colours plus black in each colourway and I have made four blocks in each of three different colourways.
This week’s special offer is for just the coloured fabrics of this quilt at 10% discount on the normal fabric price. Click on special offer for more details.
Fabric requirements for the half log cabin quilt
The amount of fabric used is is best listed as just what you will need for one set of blocks, because total fabric requirements will vary depending on how many colours you use.
So for four blocks I cut one 2.1/2″ strip of the first (lightest) colour, two 2.1/2″ strips each of the second and third colours and three 2.1/2″ strips of the fourth (darkest) colour. For each four blocks, I used three 1.1/2″ strips of black fabric. That’s about 1/2 yard total in black.
The white fabric requirements are going to be the same whatever different colours you use:
four rectangles, 4.1/2″ by 16.1/2″, four rectangles 16.1/2″ by 11.1/2″, two rectangles 16.1/2″ by 7.1/2″, two rectangles 16.1/2″ by 2.1/2″, two rectangles 16.1/2″ by 8.1/2″ and two rectangles 4.1/2″ by 8.1/2″. That’s about 1.1/2 yards total in white fabric.
Making the half log cabin quilt block
The log cabin quilt block usually begins with square in the middle (representing the hearth of the log cabin), surrounded by strips of fabric (the logs) which are sewn on around this central square in either a clockwise or an anti clockwise direction. For this block the starting point is a 2.1/2″ square, but the logs are only added on three sides. They are added in an anti clockwise direction, so the first log is sewn to the top of the square, the next one to the left hand side and the third one across the bottom. Then the process is repeated with another colour which is darker.
Begin with a 2.1/2″ square of the lightest colour. This will be the centre of the log cabin, although it will stay on the right hand side of the block as we are only adding logs on three sides..
The first frame around it consists of a 2.1/2″ square placed above the central square, a 4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangle down the left hand side and a 4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangle across the bottom.
The next frame will be made using colour three. You will need a 4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strip across the top, 8.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strip down the left hand side and a 6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strip across the bottom. Sew them on in that order to the previous frame.
The fourth colour is added in another frame around the block. You will need a 6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strip across the top, a 12.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strip down the left hand side and an 8.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strip across the bottom.
That completes the colour section of this half log cabin quilt block. The final round for all of them is made using 1.1/2″ strips of black fabric. You’ll need one strip 8.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ across the top, one strip 15.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ down the left hand side and one strip 9.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ across the bottom.
Make four of these blocks in this first colour and then four more in each of two more colours – twelve log cabin quilt blocks in total.
Making the nine patch unit
I felt that the quilt needed something different in the middle, so I made a nine patch unit using squares left over from all three of the colours, with a black 2.1/2″ square in the centre.
Lay the squares out in three rows of three. Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
Finally, sew a black frame around this nine patch unit – you’ll need two strips 6.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two strips 8.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ for the sides.
Assembling the half log cabin quilt
I decided to put the quilt blocks together with loads of white between them to show up the colours and to provide a complete contrast to the black edging. This also gives lots of lovely open space for quilting! Although the log cabin blocks are not square, it is still possible to sew them together in rows.
For rows one and five, place a block at each end vertically and a block in the middle horizontally. Sew a 16.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ rectangle of white to one side of the vertical blocks. This is the side with the black edging, so that the central square of the blocks is on the outer edge of the row. Sew a 16.1/2″ by 7.1/2″ white rectangle to the black edging of the horizontal block. These three blocks can now be sewn together across the row. Row five is the same as row one, but with the central block placed so that the white is on top and the log cabin beneath it.
Rows two and four are also the same as each other. You will need two quilt blocks placed vertically. Sew a 16.1/2″ by 11.1/2″ white rectangle to the sides of the blocks that are not black and place them with the white on the edges of the row. Sew a 16.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ white strip between the two blocks on the black edging.
Row three is the middle row and contains the nine patch unit. Place two quilt blocks vertically on the ends of the row and sew a 16.1/2″ by 8.1/2″ white rectangle to the black edges of these blocks.
Sew an 8.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ white rectangle to the top and bottom of the nine patch unit. Sew the three sections together across the row.
Sew the five rows to each other to complete the half log cabin quilt top. It can now be layered, quilted and bound.
Here’s the video:
I have had more time this week to play with Minnie, my longarm machine. It has been enormous fun because I really feel that I have achieved something with her. Next week I feel that I can take the exciting step of putting a real quilt on her rather than just sample panels. To see how I got on click on longarm quilting.