Log Cabin Patchwork Block {Sewing Tutorial}

LOG CABIN BLOCK

This is my favorite patchwork block of all – A log cabin block. In this block, some thin strips of fabric are joined to create a very interesting look with just the color play.

I really admire those who manage to create whole quilts with this block. It is not an easy job joining 21 small fabric pieces multiplied by the blocks you need for the whole quilt. So much sewing needed, and so much patience. But I suppose, the end result is worth it for a lot of us who love sewing.

For making a Log Cabin patchwork block you need light-colored fabric and dark-colored fabric; cut these fabrics into strips with neat straight sides.

When cutting pieces for this block, you have to take care of 2 things – cut each fabric strip accurately. And every time you join a seam press the seam allowance open. You can finger press or press with your iron (it is a pain, to sew then press, then sew, then press…. but well worth the finished neat looking block in the end).

One set of light-colored fabric and one set of dark-colored fabrics are preferred for the log cabin effect to stand out. The center square is usually cut off a different colored fabric (if you want the centerpiece to stand out)

You can attach the pieces to a foundation square or join the pieces separately. I am joining the strips separately, skipping the foundation piece.

The effect of the final log cabin block depends on the way you arrange the colors of your fabric pieces, and how you assemble the block to make your bigger patchwork piece. You can arrange it like a medallian, like the picture below.

LOG CABIN BLOCK

Or as a border

Or something larger- with several blocks placed strategically to work in a pattern.

How you place the log cabin blocks in your larger design is as per your preference and imagination. As a basic block which allows such color play, this one is unique.

Log Cabin Patchwork Block

What I have sewn is the most common arrangement of log cabin block – with contrasting colors (the light and dark colors) on the left and right of the block and the central square in a different color.

To make this log cabin block, you need to cut your fabric (a light-colored fabric and a dark-colored fabric and a contrast colored fabric – 2 1/2 inch square). Cut the fabric from the straight grain of the fabric. 

log cabin block sewing

Black color fabric piece :(for the centerpiece)

Cut one 2 1/2 inch square

White color fabric piece : (the right side and top pieces for my block)

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 5 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 7 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 8 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 9 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 10 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 11 1/2 inch fabric strip

Red color fabric pieces : (the left side and bottom pieces for my block)

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 5 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 7 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 8 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 9 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 10 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 11 1/2 inch fabric strip

Cut one 1 1/2 inch by 12 1/2 inch fabric strip

Stack them in the sequence of their length – so that you do not get confused as you join. Otherwise, if you are like me, you will get confused at the first step and then proceed fast to worse confusion – the hair pulling stage.

Join these strips in the sequence given below and you will finish the block in no time.

As I said before, do not forget to press seam open every single time.

How to sew the Log Cabin block

Step 1

Take the black square. Join the 1 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch fabric piece on any one side of the black square.

log cabin

Press the seam open.(Henceforth I will not say this – but you will have to do this)

log cabin

This is how it will look.

log cabin block

Step 2

Take the white strip – 1 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch fabric strip

Join this fabric strip to the right side of your previous piece.

log cabin block

Step 3

Now take the Red – 1 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch fabric strip

Join at the bottom edge.

Step 4

Take the red – 1 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch fabric strip and join to the left side.

log cabin quilt block DIY

log cabin quilt block how to sew

Step 5

Take the white – 1 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch fabric strip and join at the top edge.

Step 6

Take the white – 1 1/2 inch by 5 1/2 inch fabric strip and join to the right edge.

Step 7

Take the red – 1 1/2 inch by 5 1/2 inch fabric strip

And join to the bottom edge.

log cabin

Step 8

Take the Red – 1 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch fabric strip and join to the left edge.

log cabin block sewing tutorial

log cabin

Step 9

Join all the rest of the fabric strips in this way, going all around in the same sequence described above.

log cabin - block sewing

How to change the dimension of your block

If you want to change the dimensions of your block, remember that all the fabric strips you cut for sewing the log cabin block should be of the same width. As for the length, you can cut as you sew.

First cut the center square. The side of the center square is going to be the width of your subsequent fabric strips. It can be anywhere from 1 1/2 inch to 3 inch. 

Log Cabin Block – Variation

Another way to make a log cabin block is to change the way the colors are placed. The dark colored strips are joined so that they appear opposite to each other. This block is called Courthouse steps

sew log cabin block

If you do not like symmetry of a regular log cabin block, you can check out this tutorial for a wonky log cabin – http://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com/2008/04/for-dana-wonky-log-cabin-block-tutorial.html

Related posts :- List of different types of quilt blocks ; 13 different Quilting stitches

 

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