The Log Cabin

You can't live in this Log Cabin, but you can certainly curl up in it. If you've never tried your hand at making a quilt, this is the perfect project for you. Log Cabin quilts are among the easiest to construct, and they're also a lot of fun.

I just love the fall colors and the beautiful pattern that runs through one end of the quilt to the other. This has always been one of my favorite quilt projects and if you browse through the pictures below, perhaps you'll be inspired to try your hand at making one too.

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The Log Cabin quilt starts with one block that is duplicated dozens of times over. The beauty and the fun of this quilt, is the ability to create different overall patterns in the finished quilt, by simply shifting the arrangement of those identical blocks. The block, like the one below, is made up of a series of 1 1/4-inch "dark" fabric strips and "light" fabric strips that are sewn alternately around a small square center or heart.

For this block I used eight main fabrics selections- four florals and four fabrics in the tan/brown family.

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Even though the above block is shown quilted, I think you can still clearly make out my four floral fabrics to the lower left of the quilt heart. These make up my necessary "darks". The four beige fabric stips to the upper right of the heart make up my required "lights".

I arranged 56-identical blocks in a zig-zag pattern, using the diagram below as my guide. From this diagram you can see how the dark edges, and the light edges of the blocks are lined up to give you that zig-zag appearance. If you were to move the blocks around, you'd get a totally different look.

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One of the best Log Cabin books I've found is by well-known quilting expert Eleanor Burns who is known for her Quilt in a Day series of quilt books and patterns. Her book featuring the Log Cabin pattern is filled with step-by-step instructions that are easy to understand. There are also loads of pictures of beautiful finished quilts and layout diagrams to help you arrange your Log Cabin blocks into a pattern that suits you.   

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Of course, the more blocks you use the larger your project will become. The size and number of your individual fabric strips also impacts the size of your quilt. After sewing my 56-blocks together I added two different border-fabrics to make the quilt even larger.

This Log Cabin measures approximately 74 X 84 inches, which makes it slightly larger than a standard queen size but smaller than a standard king size.

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Experimenting with the Log Cabin blocks is a lot of fun. It's amazing to see the variety of appearances that can be created by just moving the blocks around in different positions.

Take a look at the photo below and you can see how the floral zig-zags run through the project.

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There are also several ways to finish-off your quilt. Most quilts have a basic straight edge along the bottom which leaves the overall quilt in a large square. In this case, I decided to scallop the edge to give the project a little more whimsy.

Scalloping the border and sewing the binding onto a curved edge does take a little extra time and effort but I think the enhanced result is well worth the extra labor. 

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I also love how a beautiful quilt can warm up any room and I've incorporated several of my quilt projects into my home decor.

I'll share some of my other quilts later in a different post.

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My family members tease me all the time, because I never really want anyone to actually use any of my quilts. I think of them more as fashion than function, if you know what I mean.

However, I do make exceptions for the furry feline below. Allow me to introduce Clarice, who loves to curl up and sleep on my quilt projects. She's such a quiet, sweet kitty. 

Come to think of it… this cat is always sleeping!

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That's because she's actually a furry faux feline.  I picked her up at a local gift shoppe to console my kids who badly want a pet but can't have one because my husband, Boris, is allergic to dogs and cats. 

For now Clarice fits the bill. She's adorable, never any trouble at all… and her litter box is always clean.  MEOW!

 

  • Sara

    Hello Lisa, thank you for stopping by Come Away With Me and leaving a comment….and for offering to explain about this quilt. I found it on your blog and I like it even more now that I’ve seen it laid out flat. However, not being a quilter, I will never be making such a thing of beauty! I think I can see how the vine effect comes into play, and a lot of it is your choice of fabrics and the quilting stitching, at least to my untrained eye, besides, of course, the placement of the segments. It’s very beautiful.

  • Lily

    Hi! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog šŸ™‚
    I have been having a look at some of yours and I couldn’t go past this log cabin quilt. I’ve been tempted for aaaages to try one, but seeing yours has really inspired me. I love the way you’ve used your fabrics and to me it looks organic, like a vine growing through your quilt. At first I thought you had incorporated sashing, but looking closer I realised the red fabric is part of the blocks. Just a stunning quilt!
    Oh and I thought Clarice was real too!

  • Kim

    I’ve taken several classes based on QIAD – Log Cabin was my most favorite. You’ve done a lovely job with fabric selection and combination – what a beautiful quilt!

  • Rachael

    Gorgeous quilts and gorgeous Clarice. Lucky her getting to sleep her life away on such beauty! Rachaelxo

  • Jacki

    I can’t believe you MAKE these quilts! I sew a lot, but not quilts. I made one quilt many years ago; my husband told me finish it because he knew I’d never make another one! One of the few things he was right about, ha!

  • Sue

    This quilt is amazing. I am so in love with it! Just so beautiful.
    Hugs,
    Sue

  • lisa sanford

    quilting is on my mind today since martha stewart featured sewing projects on her show today, 9/25/07…I’ll have to check out that Quilt in a Day book…maybe I can get one made by Christmas.

  • Carla

    That is an absolute work-of-art! I LOVE the color choices, the wavy edges, and I can’t believe how perfectly you got the flower motif to “flow” throughout. You should be so proud of yourself. I want to make a quilt like that! (I see that a Karla posted before me-It’s not often you see two Carla’s in a row! LOL! There aren’t that many of us!)

  • Karla

    Oh boy…there you go again. Blowin my mind!!!!!!! Just tell me…is there anything you can’t do??? šŸ™‚
    LOVE the quilt. It looks mighty cozy! I tried my hand at one one time and it…well um it’s….too small so I put it on my wall LOL!!!! I will have to blog it sometime and let you know!
    Chat soon honey,
    -Karla

  • Aina

    Hello Lisa,
    I am deeply impressed with your quilt work!! The log Cabin looks amazing!! Very well done, I am speechless šŸ™‚ It is so nice to see that your little cat Clarice seems to enjoy your work šŸ™‚ Of course you have to use it!! So nice and warm in the winter, makes good memories šŸ™‚
    Enjoy your weekend! Aina x

  • Mimi Leinbach

    Your quilts are fabulous!
    I just want to curl up on a cool day and nap on the couch with one. Beautiful!

  • sheree

    What a gorgeous quilt!! That must have been a ton of work.
    Cute kitty you have there–looks very comfy and cozy. šŸ™‚

  • robyn pope

    Wonderful post, I’ve always wanted to meet someone that knows about quilts. I have a windmill pattern quilt that was my grandmother’s.
    it needs some tlc. i don’t know quite how to go about preserving it! Thanks for the nice comment on gardenrooms today, I’m so happy to know your blog!

  • patti

    Wow, after browsing your blog, I think you can do anything! Your title is certainly appropriate! That is a wonderful quilt and it looks like your quilting/binding is just awesome.

  • Mary

    Oh my gosh! I seriously thought that was a real cat! Gorgeous quilts!

  • Penny

    Thank you for visiting my blog and saying such nice things about my mosaics! Now I would love to return the favor….
    The quilt is beautiful. My mother was a quilter and this post brought back wonderful memories. I have enjoyed reading through your blog, and I will be back!
    Penny

  • SugarShop (Dena)

    Too funny, I thought the kitty was real! Beautiful quilt! I love the edges.

  • frenchgardenhouse

    What a gorgeous quilt! I love the colors, the combination of patterns, but mostly how you quilted this with the swirls.
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog, I am enjoying yours.
    Lidy

  • Jen Seals

    This is one of the most beautiful quilts I have ever seen! It is very inspiring to see work like this. I love the colors you chose and how you put these patterns together. So gorgeous!

  • Daffodil Hill

    What a gorgeous quilt! Your fabric choices AND your quilting are absolute perfection. You have a beautiful blog! : )

  • Susan Beth Breuner

    You are amazing with what you have time to do and of course what you are talented to do. Amazing! I love your quilts.

  • Elaine Tutman

    I took the Quilt-in-a-Day course years ago to make my first quilt. Your Log Cabin is gorgeous – it’s sometimes hard to find just the right LIGHT fabrics and DARK fabrics for a look that is pleasing. Your choices were excellent. Best wishes !