The log cabin quilt pattern is probably one of the oldest around. It is incredibly simple to make and there are many different ways of making it to give a lovely variety of looks to your quilts. For this quilt pattern I have used the basic log cabin block and the emphasis comes from colour placement. I have also used speed piecing which makes it a quick as well as simple pattern.
A log cabin quilt block is made with a central square representing the hearth of the cabin. Strips representing logs are then added around this square. There are four logs to each round and you can add as many rounds as you wish to build up the log cabin quilt block. I have added three rounds for this quilt pattern – light, medium and dark in brown, blue and red. The colour fades out so I have the darkest colour nearest the middle, then medium, then light.
Fabric requirements for the log cabin quilt
I have used 2″ strips to make 1.1/2″ logs and have made eight blocks in red/brown and sixteen blocks in blue/brown. The finished quilt size is 42″ by 63″ and I have used 1/4 yard each of peach and light, medium and dark red and medium and dark blue, 1/2 yard each of dark and medium brown, medium and light blue, and 3/4 yard of light brown.
Making the log cabin quilt blocks
I have used a peach colour for the centre. The first step is to sew together two 2″ strips of fabric (peach and dark brown) along the length and cut these at 2″ intervals. You will need twenty four. The brown square is the first log of the cabin. There will be two brown logs and two eighter blue or red in each round.
The second log, still dark brown, is speed pieced by taking a 2″ strip of dark brown fabric and sewing the peach and brown strip to it. Place the brown strip with right side up and lay the first peach/brown strip on it, right side down, with the peach square at the top. Place this in the sewing machine and sew down the right hand side using a 1/4″ seam. stop just before the bottom of the brown square and place another peach/brown strip on to the long strip so that it just butts up to the first peach/brown strip. Sew this in place and add another peach/brown strip. Keep going until all twenty four strips have been sewn to a brown strip.
When you have completed a strip, lay it on your ruler with the long strip underneath. Line it up with a line on your ruler and cut between each block. The photo on the left shows the strip as you cut it and the photo on the right shows how it looks when you open each block up.
Put sixteen of these blocks to one side because they will be brown/blue. Begin adding dark red logs to the remaining eight blocks. Lay down a dark red strip of fabric and place the blocks on it with right side down. The peach square will again be at the top, but the important thing to remember is that the log that you have just sewn (the 3.1/2″ long dark brown in this case) must be at the bottom. This will ensure that your logs are added in the same order around the centre – in this case clockwise.
Cut the red strip between each block as before. The photo on the right shows how the log cabin quilt block is building up with each new log added – first the brown on the right then the brown across the bottom and then the red up the left hand side. You now need to add one more dark red log, then two medium, two medium red, two light brown and finally two light red.
Here you see the first light brown log being added by sewing the blocks to a light brown strip with the most recent log (the medium red) across the bottom. This log cabin block now just needs one more light brown log, then light red logs and it will be complete. Using the same system, make sixteen brown/blue log cabin blocks.
Sewing the log cabin quilt blocks together
The eight brown/red blocks are placed with four in the middle, red towards the middle and brown facing outwards. This gives the first diamond in the middle of the quilt. The remaining four will go in the corners of the log cabin quilt.
The log cabin quilt blocks are set out in six rows of four blocks each. On the left you see the top four rows, the top of the diamond, and on the right you see the bottom four rows.
Sew the log cabin quilt blocks together across each row and then sew the rows together. The diamod log cabin quilt top is now complete and ready for layering, quilting and binding. Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.
Here’s the video: