Log Cabin

Many secondary designs can be made from log cabin blocks.


The center red square is surrounded by the different sized fabric “logs”.


The Log Cabin has been a popular quilt block for over 100 years.  The pattern has a square in the center (the hearth) surrounded by different sized rectangles (logs).  Often the center is red (or yellow) to represent the hearth in the cabin.


Close-up of a traditional log cabin block.


There are many different techniques for sewing a log cabin block.  I like to paper piece small blocks.  For larger blocks, I find strip piecing easiest.  I steer away from using templates even though this was the preferred method of the pioneer quilters.

The logs of the block can be all the same or all different fabrics.  Often quilters will use fabrics of light value for half the block and dark values for the other half.  Secondary designs are formed when quilters change the value of the log fabric (see quilt below).


Many secondary designs can be made from log cabin blocks.


Traditional log cabin blocks are made with different logs of different lengths but same widths.  Quilters today experiment with logs of different widths to produce a even more design options – often resembling curves and/or circles.  No matter which technique or style of block you choose, log cabins require precision sewing in order to make all blocks fit together into a quilt.  If precision sewing isn’t your thing but you love the look of log cabins, check out our class: Crazy Log Cabin (link below).


crazy quilt
These curtains were made from crazy log cabin quilt blocks.

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