Wonky Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

Wonky log cabin quilt

Wonky log cabin quilt

I have made this wonky log cabin quilt in its most simple form.  My main aim was to show you that you don’t have to use foundation piecing.  This simple rectangular quilt can be made with normal piecing – and it’s great fun.  I used it as a scrappy quilt and it ended up being a memory quilt as well.  As I rummaged through my stash I came across some lovely fabrics that I had forgotten about.

The quilt measures about 57″ by 74″, requiring twelve blocks which are 17″ square finished size.  I used about 2.1/2 yards of the grey background fabric together with about 8 red strips (3/4 yard), 14 blue strips (1 yard) and a further 3.1/2″ strip of red for the central squares and 3/4 yard of a dark fabric for the border.  The strips are all 2.1/2″ wide, so that you can used jelly roll leftover strips if you wish.

Wonky log cabin quilt block

Wonky log cabin quilt block

Cutting requirements for the wonky log cabin quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  twelve red

2.1/2″ strips:  approximately 35 grey, 8 red and 14 blue

For the border you will need to cut seven 3.1/2″ strips across the width of fabric.

Make the first round

Begin with a red square

Begin with a red square

Log cabin blocks traditionally have a red square in the middle to represent the fire in the hearth of the log cabin.  I have used a red metallic fabric for this.  Sew a 3.1/2″ grey strip to the bottom of the square and a 5.1/2″ strip to the left hand side.

Cut a triangle off

Cut a triangle off

Place your ruler so that it runs from the bottom right hand corner of this section to a point 2″ up from the bottom left hand corner.  Cut this triangle shape off.

Add the remaining logs

Add the remaining logs

Now add a 5.1/2″ grey strip across the top and a 7.1/2″ strip down the right hand side of the red square.

The progression in the photo runs down the left hand side and then down the right hand side of the photo.  Cut a triangle from the left hand side, top and then right hand sides of the section.  In each case the triangle runs from one corner to a point 2″ from the next corner.  This completed section measures about 5.1/2″ or 6″ square.

Add the red strips

Add the red strips

Make the second round of logs

For the next round I have used red strips.  They are from stash so each side is different.  Begin with a strip across the bottom and then add strips in a clockwise direction around the section.

Speed piecing log cabin blocks

Speed piecing log cabin blocks

Speed piecing log cabin blocks

I am using speed piecing for the rest of the block so I am not specifying lengths here.  This involves taking one strip of red fabric and sewing several blocks to it.  Place the red strip with right side up and then place a block with right side down against the red strip.  When you reach the bottom of the block, place another block to butt up against the first block and continue sewing.  At the end of the strip repeat with another red strip until you have added another red strip to every block.  Separate the blocks by cutting across the strip between each block.  This means that you don’t have to measure and cut each strip so it saves a huge amount of time.

Trim the red strips

Trim the red strips

Continue until you have added red strips to all four sides of the section.  Trim a triangle from each edge.  In this case place your ruler to run from one corner to a point only 1″ from the following corner.  This section measures about 9″ or 9.1/2″ square.

One of the reasons that I have varied the size of the triangles is because I wanted the coloured frames to stand out well so that you can see how the block has built up clearly.  So I have taken 2″ triangles from the grey frames and 1″ triangles from the coloured frames.

Third round of logs

Third round of logs

Complete the wonky log cabin quilt blocks

For the next round of logs use 2.1/2″ grey strips.  Cut 2″ triangles from this round.  This section measures about 11″ square.

Add the blue strips

Add the blue strips

I have used blue strips for the fourth round of logs, cutting 1″ triangles from each edge.  At this stage the block measures about 13.1/2″ to 14″ square.

Add the grey strips

Add the grey strips

Make the final round of logs with grey strips.  Don’t cut any triangles from this round of logs.

As I was cutting triangles from the previous frames I wasn’t worrying too much about accuracy.  The final reckoning comes now with the final grey frame.  The edges of all my blocks varied between 17.1/2″ and 18″ long.  At this stage I trimmed all the blocks to 17.1/2″ square.  What size you use for your blocks doesn’t matter.  The important point is that all blocks need to be the same size as each other so that you can sew them together.

Sew the blocks in rows of three

Sew the blocks in rows of three

Assemble the wonky log cabin quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of three blocks.  Sew the rows to each other.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 3.1/2″ strips of a dark fabric to frame the quilt.  You’ll need two lengths of approximately 51.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of approximately 74.1/2″ for the sides.  Do measure your quilt edges as they may vary slightly from mine.

That completes the wonky log cabin quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

Here’s the video:

Snow in my garden

Snow in my garden

I can’t bring you any travel photos this week as I have hardly left the house all week.  We haven’t had nearly as much snow as most parts of the UK, but I still didn’t feel it was worth risking slipping on icy pavements when I didn’t really have any urgent reason to leave the house.

I hope that wherever you live you are safe and warm.


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  1. Like your wonky log cabin block. And love the snow. We have Been hot here in Queensland. Have had rain and the grass goes in front of your eyes. We have. 1/4 acre. Block so once it dries the lawn mower will. Be very busy. Bless you Rose. Stay warm

    • Hi Irena. My daughter has just returned from Australia and she’s found our subzero temperatures a real shock to the system! Hope it’s not too hot for you. We have drifting snow and very high winds – I’ve hardly left the house this week.

  2. Oh wow! This is a really wonderful looking quilt – gorgeous – you are a very talented woman Rosemary! You’re wise to stay in during these sub-zero temperatures – I briefly ventured out yesterday and have to say it wasn’t pleasant, especially as it brought on my asthma.

    • Hi June. Glad you like the quilt pattern. I have just been existing on food in the fridge, although I probably will have to re stock tomorrow or some time soon. It’s certainly given me plenty of time to do some quilting.

  3. Mary Jane Angelotti says:

    Love this modern twist and the colors, I look forward to your weekly contribution to the quilting world you are a true inspiration. Please keep sharing your work.

  4. Thank you for explaining so well and making it easier for a newbie to understand

    • Hi Mary.I’m glad you found the instructions clear. I firmly believe that most quilts become doable when you take them in small steps.

  5. Marilyn Longden says:

    Hello Rose,

    Thank you for the tutorial. I enjoyed the fact that we did not need a special ruler. Your speed sewing is our chain piecing.

    The last week and a half has been beautiful here in southern Ontario, Canada. We enjoyed Spring like temperatures. Unfortunately, at this time of the year, weather conditions change over night. We awoke to 4 – 6 inches of freshly fallen snow. Our local school Board gave staff and students their first snow day of the school year.

    • Hi Marilyn. It’s amazing how much you can do with just a standard straight ruler. You are obviously far better set up for snow than we are over here. It’s very rare for us to have so much bad weather this late in the winter – and Birmingham has been lucky compared with some areas.

  6. Louise Johnson says:

    I enjoy your quilts and the information you share is always helpful. Thank you! I also like little pieces of your life. I live in Hawaii so I am fortunate to not experience bad weather! But alas I do miss the changes of season. God bless !

    • Hi Louise. How lucky you are to live in Hawaii!. I think most of us would gladly give up the season changes in exchange for your weather. But having said that, I do love the spring when the daffodils come out and we have the promise of summer to look forward to.

  7. Shirley McCormick says:

    Hi Rose, It’s lovely to see such a simple log cabin which is very pleasing to the eye. It’s one I am going to put in my file for a later date. I look forward to seeing what you come up with every week. You are amazing. Have a nice day. Shirley

  8. Karen Springthorpe says:

    Oh Rose that’s a really lovely quilt and such a clever pattern.

  9. I always enjoy your quilting posts. Would like to buy from your shop, particularly 2 of your game quilts. However my husband doesn’t want to use PayPal after recent publicity, can we just pay by cheque or bank transfer? We have bought from you before & loved our purchase.

  10. Jacqueline Higgs says:

    Hi Rose glad to hear you are in the warm, it’s not too bad here in Basingstoke either. I love all of your quilts, and have made a few of them. The instructions have been easy to follow and the fabrics sew together really well. I look forward to your designs every week, I not know how you come up with so many. Best wishes to you and your family, Jacqueline.

    • Hi Jacqueline. Glad to hear that you’re not suffering too much with Storm Emma. I’m glad you find the quilt patterns helpful. I love making up the patterns – just wish that I had time to finish more of my quilts!

  11. Elizabeth D Smith says:

    Hello, Rose, this is probably my favorite of your quilts so far. It’s scrappy, but controlled. The light background fabric gives the eye a place to rest in between times of admiring all the bits used for the colors. Scrappy quilts are my favorite, and this fits the bill nicely. Thank you for sharing so many of your works with us.

    • Thanks for your kind comments, Elizabeth. I felt that using light fabric for every second round of logs helped to show up how the quilt was made. I do find that in some wonky log cabin quilts the design can be lost in amongst all the colours.

  12. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Love the pattern. All the scraps can be used to make this quilt. It is surprising what you may find when you clean up your stash. I know all to well.
    We are having a major snowstorm as I write. We have had about 4″ but some places have gotten more. The weather was so nice just the other day. It had gotten up to 70″.
    Maybe Spring will soon be on the way.
    I am glad you did not venture out, no sense breaking a hip and falling for no good reason. I just hunker down on days like this. I have finished crocheting a lap blanket that I had started before Christmas.
    Have a great weekend and Happy Quilting.

    • Hi Sandra. It’s definitely very satisfying to see your stash being used up – although I still have a long way to go to bring it down to a manageable level! Like you, I hope that spring isn’t far off. My daffodils were shooting up nicely but now they’re struggling to show through the snow. As you say, it’s been a chance to finish off some projects.

  13. Barbara Stokes says:

    Thanks Rose. I’ve always loved log cabin quilts and this is an interesting variation. I hope Spring isn’t too far away for you. We’ve had a really hot summer here in New Zealand so maybe it’s headed your way!

    • Hi Barbara. Oh I do hope you’re right and that you are sending us a good hot summer! I think that’s why we all love log cabins – there are so many different ways of making them.

  14. Hi Rose,
    Wonky was a word I wasn’t familiar with until I used the word crooked to describe the strips that I had cut to a quilter who worked in a fabric store. She was quick to let me know that the correct word was wonky – not crooked. Well, I like your wonky quilt and the colors you chose. Good job!
    Horrible weather here today. Heavy rains and winds (snow tomorrow) with no let-up until Sunday. I read about Emma and The Beast from the East that has hit the UK. So this means another day cooped in this house and maybe for you as well. I was a bit under the weather last week but I feel better today. I’ll be glad when spring weather comes around.

    • Hi Claire. My quilts can often be unintentionally wonky! Crooked fits the bill also, but wonky has a definite ring to it. Sorry to hear about your weather. I think that we are all heartily sick of winter now. We have been lucky here in the Midlands – the Beast from the East hit the east coast worst and Storm Emma hit the south worst. We’ve just had the tail ends of both of them. I think that we are not set up for heavy snow so it always affects our transport quite badly. I’m just lucky that I’ve been able to stay at home without needing to go out. Glad to hear that you’re feeling better now.

  15. Noreen McKechnie says:

    I love this quilt, I’m thinking of making it with darks where you have greys and lots of bright colours for the rest. We had a silver thaw this morning, but by the time I went out the wind was blowing the trees and all the ice came tumbling down.

    • Hi Noreen. Your version of the wonky log cabin sounds lovely. Good luck with it. I hope you didn’t get drenched with all that ice tumbling down from the trees. Wind has been quite a problem for us this week as well – sometimes the snow has been whizzing past my window horizontally.

  16. Hi Rose very good modern pattern for scraps.
    Thankfully your tutorials are so well explained it’s a pleasure
    get them. Thank you.
    Being stuck in the house has it’s blessings as we can
    be thankful for having hobbies to keep us occupied.


    • Hi Mary. I became fed up with the cold and the snow while it lasted, but I also feel so lucky because I didn’t have to go out in it so I was safe and warm – and as you say always plenty of quilting to keep me occupied.

  17. Sarah Cureton says:

    Love this Wonky Log Cabin. Great teacher to follow. Thank you for sharing Rose. Be blessed and stay WARM! North Carolina is warm one day and freezing the next. Really mixed up weather with lots of FLU that’s killing people.

    • Hi Sarah. Our weather has improved enormously now that the snow has disappeared. I hope you soon see signs of spring in North Carolina.

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