Today I have a log cabin quilt pattern for you, the best part is that it’s on point! If you are not familiar with what on point quilts are, it’s when you use quilt blocks and turn them diagonally so the blocks pointed sides are facing upwards. Keep reading this post if you want to learn how to make the classic log cabin quilt block, learn different quilt designs using blocks, and learn how to make quilts on-point.
In this free tutorial, you will learn the following:
- How to make the classic log cabin quilt block.
- How to turn any quilt “on point”.
- How to add sashing and cornerstones to quilt projects that have blocks.
- Three different quilt layouts for log cabin quilt blocks.
- Be able to design your own quilt with the knowledge you learn in this post.
- Learn how to design your own quilt using log cabin quilt blocks or any quilt block.
In my next post, I’ll show you how to finish the quilt. That post will cover backing fabric, basting, my quilt design using straight line stitches on a home quilting machine, squaring up and finally adding the binding.
You can create different design patterns simply by how you lay out your blocks to form your quilt top. Before we move on to the on point log cabin quilt pattern, here are some more log cabin quilt patterns you can check out.
Log Cabin Table Runner – Simple table runner using 5 log cabin blocks sewn together. Add backing fabric, simple quilt design and finish with a single fold binding. Perfect if you are doing your first log cabin quilt. Great project for the beginner quilter.
Log Cabin Quilt with Sashing and Cornerstones – Free king size cabin quilt pattern. joining your perfect log cabin quilt block together to form horizontal rows. Add sashing and cornerstones, no border (but optional). Want a more modern log cabin quilt pattern, just leave out the sashing and cornerstones or just add sashing with no cornerstones, no border. Machine quilt and add 2.5″ width double fold binding to complete.
For best results, please read the entire post before you begin this project.
Before we go any further, are you by chance a brand new quilter? Make sure you check out How to Learn How to Quilt: Beginners Quilting Guide. It’s jam packed with info. It breaks down each step in the quilting process with easy to follow tutorials and free patterns. I walk you through step-by-step, from start to finish. Anyone can learn how to quilt even if you don’t know how to sew. Let’s be friends, make sure you sign up for my newsletter and I’ll email you whenever I share a new free pattern.
Whether you’re a seasoned seamstress or a complete novice, my guide breaks down the process into simple, easy-to-follow instructions. Discover the joy of selecting fabrics, making quilt blocks, creating your own one of a kind quilt patterns, quilting on your domestic sewing machine, creative patchwork quilt backs and finally finishing your quilt with binding. Lots of free quilt patterns designed for beginners. Don’t miss out on the chance to turn your creative aspirations into stunning reality—click here to embark on your quilting adventure today!
How to Make Single Block (Log Cabin Block)
The traditional log cabin block is a classic quilting block that consists of a central square surrounded by strips of fabric. The traditional center of the block is supposed to be red to represent the “hearth of the home” but you can use any color you want. This sampler quilt has red and light gray center squares because it’s made with left over blocks. As you add strips, the block grows, creating a log cabin effect. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making a traditional log cabin block:
- Fabric – Variety of fat quarters or scrap fabric strips that are at least 1.5″ x 12.5″, fabric for center block.
- Sewing machine
- Rotary cutter or fabric scissors
- Cutting mat
- Quilting ruler
Choose Your Fabrics: Select fabrics for the center square (commonly called the “hearth” or “chimney”) and the strips. Traditional log cabin blocks often have a light side and a dark side, so choose contrasting fabrics for visual interest. Or make it scrappy and add fabrics in any order you wish.
Cutting: Start by cutting a 3″ x 3″ square for the center of your block. Take the fabric for the log cabin strips and cut into 1.5″ x WOF strips. Again, strips must be at least 12.5″ in length.
First Round: Place the center square right side up. Take a strip of fabric (traditionally a light color) and align it with one side of the center square. Sew the strip to the square with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Press and Trim: Press the seam toward the strip. Trim any excess fabric extending beyond the center square.
Second Round: Rotate the block 90 degrees. Take another strip of fabric and align it with the newly added edge of the block. Sew the strip, press, and trim as before.
Repeat: Continue rotating the block, adding strips and pressing after each round. Alternate your fabric colors. The block will grow with each round.
Finishing: Keep adding rounds until your block has five logs on each side. Your block should be 12.5″ x 12.5″ when done.
Squaring Up: Once your block is complete, use a square quilting ruler to square it up to the desired size of 12″. Trim any excess fabric to ensure your block is perfectly square.
Repeat: Repeat these steps to create additional log cabin blocks, and you’ll be ready to assemble them into a quilt. Play with color placement and strip widths to create different visual effects and enjoy the timeless beauty of the log cabin block! Here’s another post with step by step instructions along with pictures for each step, click here.
Pro Tip: Cut your log cabin fabrics into 1.5″ by WOF strips. If you have a lot of different fabrics, I found that the best way to work with all the fabric is to lay those fabric strips over your ironing board and place it next to you within arms reach to sewing machine. Lay the lighter fabrics together and the darker fabrics together. Don’t cut the strips until you are ready to sew, especially if you are doing a more scrappy look like mine. Cut your two fabric strips when it’s time to sew them onto the block. You will cut two fabrics strips for each fabric.
Log Cabin Quilt Pattern – Shop The Sample
This on point log cabin quilt pattern was made with 12.5″ log cabin quilt blocks trimmed to 12″ finished. Finished full size quilt measures 64″ x 81.5″, this is the perfect size for a twin size bed.
The fabrics pictured in this great quilt project are as follows: Log cabin block fabrics were in the discounted fabric section at my local fabric store. The colorful prints in dark fabrics and low volume fabrics were mostly older prints by Riley Blake Design and Robert Kaufman.
Setting triangles, Gingham Cottage Green by Heather Peterson for Riley Blake Designs. Cornerstones, Bee Plaids Bushel Green by Lori Holt for Riley Blake Design. Sashing, Kone Cotton White. Border and binding, Joyful Gatherings Candy Apple Red by Primitive Gatherings for Moda Fabrics. Large print backing fabric, Calico Cottage Days white with green writing by Lori Holt for Riley Blake Designs.
Log Cabin Quilt Pattern On Point – Cutting Instructions
SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED
- Fabric: Choose fabric for setting triangles/quilt corners (2 to 3 yards), sashing (1/2 yard) and cornerstones (fat quarter).
- Backing Fabric: 6 yards of 54″ wide fabric. Cut in half and sew together to make backing. Or use 3 yards of wide 108″ backing fabric.
- Border and Binding Fabric: 2 yards 44″ WOF.
- Sewing Machine: A standard sewing machine will work perfectly.
- Thread: Select a thread color that complements your fabric.
- Rotary Cutter and Mat: These tools are essential for precise cutting.
- Straight Quilting Ruler: Make sure your ruler has clear measurements for accurate cuts.
- Iron and Ironing Board: Necessary for pressing seams.
- Quilt Batting: This provides warmth and thickness to your quilt.
CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS (Full Size Quilt):
18 – 12″ square blocks (log cabin blocks finished)
48 – 2″ x 12″ sashing (Kona White)
31 – 2″ x 2″ cornerstones (Bee Plaids Bushel Green)
3 – 23″ squares (Gingham Cottage Green, cut twice diagonally for ends)
2 – 16.25″ squares (Gingham Cottage Green, cut once diagonally for corners)
5 – 3″ x WOF (Joyful Gatherings Candy Apple Red – border) Note: Buy 2 yards of fabric for binding and border. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, then cut border pieces first and binding strips last.
6 yards (Calico Cottage Days (green writing) wide 58″ backing) Cut into 2 – 3 yard pieces, then sew together and trim away excess fabric.
6 – 2.5″ x WOF (Joyful Gatherings Candy Apple Red, binding)
If you are new to quilting and want to know how to cut fabric for quilting then check out this post. How to Cut Fabric For Quilting Easy and Accurate.
Finished full (twin) size log cabin on point quilt measures 64″ x 81.5″.
How To Cut Setting Triangles
Take the 3 – 23″ x 23″ squares (Gingham Cottage Green), cut twice diagonally to create twelve setting triangles for row ends. If you only have a small cutting mat (11″ x 17″) then cut smaller squares 6 – 16.5″ x 16.5″ and cut in half once diagonally to create twelve setting triangles.
The setting triangles are large right-angled triangles that fill in the gaps around your quilt blocks when they are turned diagonally. Here’s how to cut them (see photo below).
Log Cabin On Point – Free Pattern
Here are the steps for each row of the quilt. There are only 6 rows. The blocks increase up to the middle of the quilt and then decrease to the final row. Always begin working in the upper left hand corner of the quilt until you reach the bottom right hand of the quilt. That is your top and bottom points on quilts that are “on point”.
STEP 1: Layout Your Quilt
Lay out the log cabin quilt blocks with sashing in between each block starting diagonally at the upper left hand corner and building out the rows following the diagram. Add sashing strip to both ends of the row. Note: Only add the sashing strip, cornerstones go on later. When you sew a quilt row, the sashing strip will always start and end the row. A log cabin block will never start a row. The row list below tells you how many blocks and how many sashing strips go in each row. This is also the order you lay out the rows diagonally. Use a design wall, bed or floor to lay out everything before you start sewing. Please refer to the quilt diagram below as a reference.
Pro Tip: When you lay out the quilt blocks, make sure they are pointing in the right direction. You want the blocks log seams pointing towards the cornerstones or diagonally. It’s not a big deal if they end up like mine below but they should all point the same direction. (see examples in photo below)
Pay attention to color distribution if making a scrappy project. Grab your cell phone and go to camera. Put the filter on mono or black and white mode. Don’t take a picture but look through your camera to make sure the dark and lighter fabrics are evenly distributed. Try not to have the same fabric touch from block to block.
- One log cabin block, two sashing strips (R1)
- Three log cabin blocks, four sashing strips (R2)
- Five log cabin blocks, six sashing strips (R3)
- Five log cabin blocks, six sashing strips (R4)
- Three log cabin blocks, four sashing strips (R5)
- One log cabin block, two sashing strips (R6)
STEP 2: ATTACH SASHING AND SEW QUILT ROWS
Always start at the upper left hand corner of the quilt. Sew sashing strips to the quilt blocks, then sewing quilt blocks together until rows are complete. Always use a scant 1/4″ seam allowance, right sides of fabric touching each other. When you finish a row, lay it back down on your bed or design wall to keep everything in the correct position.
Pro tip: Place a sewing pin in the quilt block that begins the row. This helps keep rows in order and not accidentally flipped around. Just leave the pins on the first block in each row and remove when quilt top is all sewn together.
STEP 3: ADD SASHING STRIPS WITH CORNERSTONES & SETTING TRIANGLES
Now you will begin sewing sashing strips with cornerstones to the quilt rows. In this quilt, the sashing strips are sewn to the tops of the first three rows and to the bottom of the final three rows. You will notice that there is a sashing strip between rows 3 and 4 that doesn’t fit into place. That’s because those two rows have one end that is a quilt corner and will get a corner triangle at the very end.
Start building the quilt from the upper left corner to the middle, then from the other middle section to the bottom right hand corner. Start with R1 and add the sashing with cornerstone to the top of the block. Add the setting triangles to both ends of the block, attach with 1/4″ seam allowance. Repeat this process for R2. Now attach R1 to R2. Use sewing pins at each seam, use 1/4″ seam allowance.
Attach the setting triangles to each row (as shown below). Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Now add the sashing strip with cornerstones to the top of R3, add the setting triangle to the front of the row only, the end of the row will be a corner. Now you can go ahead and add that “extra” sashing piece with cornerstone to the bottom of the top half of the quilt. Set this part of the quilt aside for now.
Next, sew the bottom three rows together the same way you did the top three rows. For the bottom half of the quilt, the sashing strips with cornerstones are added to the bottom of the rows. R4 will not have a setting triangle at the beginning of the row because it’s a corner. R4 will only have a setting triangle at the end of the row.
STEP 4: SEW QUILT HALVES TOGETHER
After you have both of the quilt halves completed, sew them together. Use 1/4″ seam allowance. Press with iron before adding corner triangles.
STEP 5: ADD CORNER TRIANGLES
Last step is to cut the 2 – 16 1/4″ x 16 1/4″ squares for setting corners (Gingham Cottage Green) in half diagonally. Attach to all four corners with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
STEP 7: SQUARE UP CORNERS
Square up the quilt top corners after you have attached the setting corners. Use square ruler if you have one. Press with iron.
STEP 6: ADD BORDER
Add the 3″ border(Joyful Gatherings Candy Apple Red) to the sides of the quilt top, then add to the remaining two sides. For more info on adding borders and sashing to a quilt, click here.
Congratulations, your finished your quilt top. Baste, quilt and bind to complete. See my resource section for tutorials on these steps. I’ll cover these steps for this log cabin quilt in my next free tutorial coming soon.
LOG CABIN QUILT PATTERN – BEGINNER QUILTING SUPPLIES
Here are some quilting supplies that are great for quilters that I use and highly recommend. For more info, check out Quilting Supplies for Beginners (Best Tools To Start).
- Rotary Mat Cutting Mat (Self-Healing Mat)
- 28 mm Rotary Cutter
- 28 mm Rotary Cutter Replacement Blades
- 45 mm Rotary Cutter with Sharp Blade (start with this one)
- 45 mm Rotary Cutter Replacement Blades (start with this one)
- 60 mm Rotary Cutter
- 60 mm Rotary Cutter Replacement Blades
- 5″ x 20″ Quilting Straight Line Ruler
- 4.5″ Quilting Square Ruler for half square triangles
- 12.5″ Quilting Square Ruler for quilt blocks
- Cut Resistant Gloves
- Straight Pins
- Sewing Thread
- Universal Sewing Needles
- Cotton Batting
- Sewing Machine Beginner (see my about me page for more info on sewing machines for beginners to the one I use today)
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
Log Cabin Quilt Pattern – FAQ’s
What is a Log Cabin Quilt Pattern?
The Log Cabin quilt pattern is a classic and versatile design characterized by a central square (usually a different color) surrounded by strips of fabric. These strips represent “logs” and are added in a consecutive, spiraling manner to create a block. The pattern’s simplicity allows for endless variations and is popular among quilters of all skill levels.
How Do I Choose Fabrics for a Log Cabin Quilt?
Selecting fabrics for a Log Cabin quilt can be exciting. Consider a mix of light and dark fabrics for contrast. Traditional Log Cabin blocks often have a light center and dark surrounding strips, but you can experiment with colors, prints, and textures to achieve the desired look. Scrappy quilts with a variety of fabrics also work well for this pattern.
What Size Strips Should I Cut for a Log Cabin Quilt?
The strip width determines the block’s final size. For a standard 12.5″ finished block, cut strips 1.5″ wide. However, variations exist, and strip width can be adjusted based on personal preference. Some quilters prefer wider or narrower strips for different visual effects.
What’s the Best Technique for Sewing Log Cabin Blocks?
Consistent seam allowances are crucial for accurate Log Cabin blocks. A quarter-inch seam is standard in quilting. Press seams open or to the darker fabric to reduce bulk. Sew strips in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction to maintain a cohesive look. Chain piecing is an efficient method for assembly.
Can I Make a Log Cabin Quilt as a Beginner?
Absolutely! The Log Cabin pattern is beginner-friendly. It provides an excellent opportunity to practice accurate cutting, piecing, and pressing. Start with a small project, like a table runner or pillow, to build confidence before tackling a full-size quilt.
How Can I Achieve a Scrappy Look with Log Cabin Blocks?
Embrace the scrappy aesthetic by using a variety of fabrics. Collect scraps or fat quarters in different colors and prints. There’s no strict rule on color placement; trust your intuition and experiment with random or planned scrappiness.
What Log Cabin Variations Can I Explore?
Log Cabin blocks offer numerous variations, such as Courthouse Steps, Pineapple, and Wonky Log Cabin. Explore these variations by altering the placement of strips, playing with strip width, or introducing unique elements to create a personalized quilt design.
How Do I Assemble Log Cabin Blocks Into a Quilt Top?
Arrange your Log Cabin blocks into a pleasing layout. Pay attention to color distribution and balance. Sew the blocks into rows, then join the rows together. Sashing (strips of fabric between blocks) can be added for extra visual interest.
Can I Combine Log Cabin Blocks with Other Quilt Patterns?
Absolutely! Log Cabin blocks can be seamlessly integrated with other quilt patterns. Experiment with combining Log Cabin blocks with traditional blocks, or use them as elements in larger quilt designs to add complexity and visual appeal.
How Can I Quilt and Finish My Log Cabin Quilt?
Quilt as desired based on your skills and preferences. Common quilting techniques include straight-line quilting, free-motion quilting, or sending it to a long-arm quilter. Finish the quilt with binding, and voilà – your Log Cabin quilt is complete!
SEW NIKKI RESOURCES – HOW TO’S AND FREE PATTERNS
- Learn How To Quilt: Beginner Quilting Guide
- How to Make Pinwheel Quilt Block (Free Throw Quilt Pattern)
- Printable Pinwheel Quilt Pattern – Jolly Table Topper Tutorial
- 5 Yard Quilt Pattern Free – Chevron Throw Quilt
- How to Make Half Square Triangles – Easy Formula Chart
- Best Fabric for Quilting: How to Shop Like a Pro!
- Pieced Quilt Backing Ideas – Super Simple Backs
- Quilt As You Go Patterns: Table Runner Free Pattern
- Charm Square On Point Quilt Pattern & Tutorial
- Log Cabin Table Runner (Free Pattern)
- Table Runner DIY – Simple Quilted Table Runner
- How to Make Heat Proof Recycled Denim Potholders
- Chevron Quilt Pattern – Make Easy Placemats Two Ways
- How to Bind a Quilt – Easy Single Fold Binding
- The ABC Baby Quilt Sewing Pattern (Free, Easy)
- How to Sandwich A Quilt Step-By-Step Tutorial
- How Wide To Cut Quilt Binding & Make Easy Strips
- Easy Quilt Patterns – How To Make Charm Square Quilt
- How to Machine Quilt With Walking Foot For Beginners
- How to Sew a Quilt Together – Quilting for Beginners
- Mini Quilt Patterns, TQC “July” Postcard Pattern Review
- Quilting Supplies for Beginners (Best Tools to Start)
- How To Cut Fabric For Quilting (Easy and Accurate)
- How to Make Stunningly Beautiful Log Cabin Quilt Block
- Quilting Tips For Beginners (10 Essential Tips)
- How To Make Quilt With Sashing and Cornerstones
- Quilt Blocks, The Nonsense Table Topper Review
- How To Be Successful and Spend Less – New Quilter Tips
- Quilt Patterns, “Positive Effect” Pattern Review
- How To Join Quilt Binding Ends, Beginner Series
ABOUT SEW NIKKI
If this is your first time stopping by, welcome! My name is Nikki. I’m a weekend quilter, have a super small sewing space and taught myself how to sew and quilt by watching YouTube videos! My blog has How-To’s, Free Patterns and Pattern Reviews. Read more about me here.
I hope you will make this free log cabin quilt pattern using the on point layout with traditional log cabin quilt block. The basic log cabin quilt block will look different depending on the color palette you use. I will cover how to machine quilt on your domestic sewing machine using straight lines in the next post. Just take a little bit of time planning out how you want to machine quilt. There are lots of quilting lines you can follow if you study your quilt sandwich and plan it out. If quilting isn’t your thing, find a long arm quilter to do this part for you.
This quilt was gifted to my son’s girlfriend, her name is Darla and we love her! Darla has a YouTube channel, That VR Girl. Check it out here. She plays VR games and gives her reviews, they are fun to watch.
Want to learn how to crochet? Then check out this post, How to Learn How to Crochet – Guide for Beginners.
Sew, quilt, crochet and repeat!