|My 12x12 log cabin blocks waiting to find their place in the quilt.|
Log cabin blocks are considered "easy" in the world of quilting. In all the books I've looked at, they are always included in the beginner projects. Well, this beginner got confused...twice. Let's just say I will have two potholders in my kitchen that will match my sons quilt. Go me!
|Piecing my block with a 1/4" seam allowance.|
The thing that tripped me up was the order in which you assemble the pieces. I got cocky and didn't think I needed a cheat sheet. Yeah, I was wrong. I made a cheat sheet and now all is well. Eventually I didn't need to refer to it so much, but it is great when you get started.
|Keep in mind...this is the direction you want to keep adding blocks.|
Here is the recipe I used to make a random-colored block, hopefully I can inspire some of you to make some too:
Quilter's cotton is recommended, but you can also use corduroy, linen, flannel, etc. The letters before the measurements show where that piece appears on the illustrations below.
A: one 2-1/2” square
B: one 1-1/2” x 2-1/2” strip
C & D: 1-1/2” x 3-1/2” strips of 2 different fabrics
E & F: 1-1/2” x 4-1/2” strips of 2 different fabrics
G & H: 1-1/2” x 5-1/2” strips of 2 different fabrics
I & J: 1-1/2” x 6-1/2” strips of 2 different fabrics
K & L: 1-1/2” x 7-1/2” strips of 2 different fabrics
M & N: 1-1/2” x 8-1/2” strips of 2 different fabrics
O & P: 1-1/2” x 9-1/2” strips of 2 different fabrics
Q & R: 1-1/2” x 10-1/2” strips of 2 different fabrics
S & T: 1-1/2” x 11-1/2” strips of 2 different fabrics
U: one 1-1/2” x 12-1/2” strip
Note: I used about 12 different patterned fabrics in my blocks which means I had to repeat them in the block. The trick is carefully repeating fabrics far apart from one another, plus never using a single fabric more than twice per block. Above photo of block shows an an example of how to repeat and still maintain "randomness".
Another Note: You will need to have a hot iron on standby at all times. After you sew every seam, you need to press your seams either open or both to one direction to avoid bulkiness. I personally prefer to press them all to face the outer edges of the block.
Begin by sewing your 2-1/2" square and 1-1/2” x 2-1/2” strip together with a straight stitch and a 1/4" seam allowance (use this seam allowance throughout the block). You will have something that looks like this:
You will always want to add your strips in a clockwise fashion. Therefore, strip C will be added to the right:
And D will then follow suit of going around the center square block, being added to the bottom:
Logically, E gets pieced on the left and you have a square block again:
Then it all starts again at the top with F:
Continue in this clockwise pattern until you have used all your strips and your piece should look like this:
Repeated, this block alone could make an adorable quilt. Used singularly it could be a great pillow front, potholder (ahem), feature on a tote bag or some such. As excited as I am to start work on the other blocks in my grand quilt design, I will miss making my log cabins.
P.S. For more quilting tutorials,please check out our staggered strips block tutorial and easy pinwheel block tutorial.