Chimneys and Cornerstones Quilt Pattern

A Variation on a Log Cabin Quilt Block

by Julie Baird

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Chimneys and Cornerstones quilt designs are a variation on the Log Cabin quilt design.

One group of 'logs' has squares at each end to form a strong diagonal pattern through the block. There is a decided resemblance to the Irish Chain quilt pattern.

On this page you'll find:

My Favorite Quilt Design Software

All of the illustrations on this page were designed using Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7), a quilt designing software program.

Electric Quilt 7 software
Click here to purchase
EQ7 from

EQ recently added a version for Mac users, so it doesn't matter if you're a PC or an Apple fan!

This program makes it so easy to audition different colors and values with just a few mouse clicks.

Rotate and flip the blocks with another series of clicks.

I can't imagine going back to graph paper and colored pencils.

Or worse yet—simply keeping my fingers crossed. Fabric is much too expensive!

UPDATE: EQ's latest version is now EQ8, first shipped in 4Q17. I've purchased it and am using it going forward. I Love EQ! 

Or simply set as an alternate block and see what happens.

EQ makes it easy!

The Chimneys and Cornerstones Block

Grid: 9x9

Chimneys and Cornerstones quilt block drawingA line drawing...

A good choice for a confident beginner this block has no bias edges to contend with.

No special rulers or other quilting tools are needed.

The piecing order is similar to the Courthouse Steps quilt block pattern, where strips are added on two opposite sides and then the block is pressed. This is repeated for the remaining two sides to complete a 'round'.

Generally this makes for faster piecing, but with the addition of squares to the ends of one group of strips or logs, it takes a bit longer to piece than a traditional Log Cabin or Courthouse Steps pattern.

The extra squares make this pattern unsuitable for paper piecing.

Chimneys and Cornerstones with fabric...and with scrappy fabrics.

You can see that the center is really a nine patch quilt block surrounded by three additional 'rounds' of strips.

Our block is drawn on a 9x9 grid, but there is no reason why you couldn't increase or decrease the numbers of 'rounds' of strips as you need.

Chimneys and Cornerstones Layouts

All the quilts shown are the basic Chimneys and Cornerstones block from above—only the fabric placements have changed.

Chimneys and Cornerstones Quilt: Straight Rows

In this straight set, the blocks are all laid out in the same orientation.

Chimneys and Cornerstones Quilt - Layout 1

5 x 7 blocks

Same layout except each block has been rotated a quarter turn. Just a subtle difference from the first design.

Chimneys and Cornerstones Quilt - Layout 2

5x 7 blocks

In this straight set, every other Chimneys and Cornerstones block is rotated a quarter turn creating a pattern that resembles a quilt made of Hour Glass or quarter square triangle  blocks.

Chimneys and Cornerstones Quilt - Layout 3

5 x 7 blocks

In next setting, all the blocks are positioned in the same orientation. Then all those in Rows 2, 4 and 6 are rotated a quarter turn. This seems to resemble a Native American Indian blanket pattern.

Chimneys and Cornerstones Quilt - Layout 4

5 x 7 blocks

Chimneys and Cornerstones Quilt: Diagonal Rows

Our final example is set in an on-point or diagonal layout. Just like an on point Irish Chain quilt pattern, the resulting layout  looks like horizontal and vertical rows of squares forming 'chains' or a grid.

Chimneys and Cornerstones Quilt - Layout 5

Diagonal Rows: 5 x 7 blocks

Now Make It Your Own!

Use these layouts as a springboard for your imagination!

Remember that for a Chimneys and Cornerstones to be effective you'll need good contrast between the quadrant fabrics—in our example block we've used green fabrics for one set and cream/white fabrics for the other set.

The 'chain' or squares added to the ends of the logs need to contrast as well. We've used red for the squares which is the complement of far away from each other as two colors can be on the color wheel. That's high color contrast!

Enjoy designing and stitching YOUR Chimneys and Cornerstones quilt!

For more about Log Cabin type designs, visit:

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