All of the Log Cabin quilt designs shown below start with a basic log cabin block,—half dark fabrics and half light, pieced around a center square.
To create the different layout designs, simply flip and rotate the blocks to change the placement of the color values.
Any quilt pattern constructed with half square triangles can be recreated with Log Cabin blocks.
It's a great beginner quilt pattern.
All the block(s) use just strips subcut into rectangles and squares—no bias edges to contend with—so enjoy creating your very own Log Cabin.
Playing with log cabin quilt designs couldn't be easier! I wouldn't consider my quilt studio complete without Electric Quilt.
Take a closer look and you will see that after the center red square, the next log was a light followed by another light and then two dark logs.
If the first two 'logs' you add are light fabrics, the last two you add will be dark. The resulting design will be slightly more 'dark' than light.
If you would prefer to have it 'lighter', then the first two logs you add should be dark. The last two will then be light. Again, the ultimate design choice is up to you!
With a good contrast between your 'light' and 'dark' fabrics, the finished blocks have a strong diagonal line through the center. And that's VERY important for all the designs below.
While you can arrange your blocks any way you wish (and it's a lot of fun!), there are several recognized layout designs with names reminiscent of the pioneer times when this block first appeared in American culture, sometime in the 1860's.
In all of the Log Cabin quilt designs shown below the number of blocks in the rows and columns is underneath the image.
Like the fields the pioneers plowed, this design emphasizes the straight line. To create a symmetrical quilt with this horizontal setting you'll need an odd number of rows and an even number of columns.
A simple setting to showcase your fabric scraps!
There's lot of energy in this layout. You'll need even numbers of columns for a symmetrical layout.
To complete the pinwheels, you'll need even numbers of rows and columns.
Use even numbers of rows and columns to complete this quilt design.
Use even numbers of columns to have a balanced chevron.
Concentric squares on point radiate out from the center. Prepare enough blocks for even numbers in both the rows and columns.
The strong diagonal line in a log cabin quilt block means oodles of design opportunities.
Any pattern with half square triangles can be created with Log Cabin blocks like this Sawtooth Star in a Barn Raising setting. Even numbers of rows and columns are needed to balance the design.
What's a quilter to do?
For this scrappy design where every log is a different fabric, count the number of blocks you'll need for your quilt.
Multiply that number by 2.
You'll need strips from that many different light fabrics for the outside 'round' of logs.
Repeat the process for the dark fabrics. This way, there will be no duplicate fabrics in the outside rounds and no worries about like fabrics touching in your log cabin quilt design.
If each pair of logs of the same value (i.e. light or dark) is the same fabric, then you'll need as many fabrics as there are blocks to guarantee that two of the same don't end of touching each other.