Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 1


By Judith on May 20, 2019
2 Comments (Leave comment)

Last week in classes I taught a short lesson on the Log Cabin Family of blocks!

 

Log Cabin Family of Blocks

 

I’m going to take you through the 3 main categories in a series of posts, with a mystery post to finish the series!

 

Part 1: Log Cabin

Part 2: Courthouse Steps

Part 3: Pineapple

Part 4: Watch this space!

 

I demonstrated a few variations within each category, but there are many more than what I can show you here (follow the Pinterest links for lots more inspiration!).

 

(All the sample blocks have been made using Handmade by Makower)

 

Part 1: Log Cabin

 

Log Cabin Variations

 

1 Traditional:

The standard log cabin block starts with a square centre (traditionally this would have been red) adding ‘logs’ around the centre square (either clockwise or anti-clockwise) in rounds.  All the logs are the same width.

Log Cabin Construction

The traditional log cabin block was the first block I learned, and made a little quilt for my young daughter using chopped up clothes and linens!

 

Shannon's Log Cabin Quilt

 

You can find a tutorial on how to make a 12″ traditional block here.

 

2 Colour Rounds:

 

This variation of Log Cabin follows exactly the same construction as the traditional version, but keeping the fabric choice of each round the same.

 

Log Cabin Colour Rounds

 

Just a change of fabric placement dramatically changes the look of this block.  Here’s another similar example, the back of quilt I made several years ago.

 

Brit Bee Log Cabin Quilt (Back)

 

3 Wonky:

 

If you enjoy a little ‘improv’ piecing then how about a Wonky Log Cabin!

 

Wonky Log Cabin

 

Again the logs are added in rounds, but this time, the sides are sliced at irregular angles before adding the next log.

 

 

While strips are useful to start with here, the width of the finished logs will be varied.  No two blocks will be the same!

 

This can be a really fun block to make if you like a little more ‘freedom’ in your piecing.  Just keep adding rounds until your block is a little bigger than you need, then square it off to the required size.

 

 

Here’s an example of a Wonky Log Cabin Quilt I made for Quilt Now Magazine several years ago.

 

Wonky Log Cabin Quilt (Quilt Now October17)

 

4 Curved:

To achieve a curved effect in a Log Cabin block, the background logs must be thinner than the coloured logs.

 

Curved Log Cabin

 

The curved effect becomes more obvious when you put 4 blocks together to create a ‘circle’:

 

Log Cabin Circles 006 (2)

 

The bigger the difference between the widths of the background and coloured logs, the greater the curve!

 

There are lots more variations of Log Cabin, like the Quarter Log Cabin (adding logs to the same two adjacent sides each round, rather than to all four sides) ….

 

Quarter Log Cabin cushion Tutorial

(Quarter Log Cabin Cushion tutorial available here.)

 

….. or how about starting your Log Cabin block with a different shape!!

 

Log Cabin Variations

 

These are definitely on my Quilts Bucket List!

 

And as if that’s not enough, check out my Log Cabin Pinterest board for lots more inspiration from around the Quilty Web!

 

Come back soon for part 2 of The Log Cabin Family of Blocks!

 

2 thoughts on “Log Cabin Family of Blocks: Part 1”

  1. I like to do wonky improv blocks, these are the only blocks that I feel I can let go on and not worry about points. In fact I have made several large wonky blocks as cushions too.

  2. The first wonky, intentionally wonky, blocks I sewed were through you for Bee Blessed. It was such a liberating experience to break the rules and sew wonky blocks. I loved it.

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