Today quilter and blogger Nicole Neblett of Mama Love Quilts visits the Spoonflower blog to share a modern log cabin quilt block tutorial from her series of modern quilting workshops this fall in the Greenhouse, our classroom and community space here in Durham. Learn to update the traditional log cabin block by making a modern version of the log cabin block in a rectangular shape. Using improvisational piecing to make this block is a great way to create a log cabin block without templates. Plus, making these blocks can help to use up that endless stash of scraps leftover from other projects!
Finished block size:
8 ½” x 12 ½”
• Scraps of print and solid fabrics
The amount of fabric you'll need depends on the
size of your strips. The narrower your strips, the more of them you will need.
Likewise, the wider your strips, the less fabric you’ll need.
• Cut fabric into strips ranging from 1 ½” to 4” wide. Varying the width of the
strips will add interest to the block. The strips should be at least 13” in length.
You will cut the strips to the length needed as you sew.
• Cut the center of the block into a rectangle measuring about 1 ½” by 3” in size.
Things to keep in mind when piecing the block:
• When sewing the logs together, add logs one at a time in a clockwise or
• To form the rectangular shape, add wider logs to the top and bottom of the center
and narrower logs to the left and right of the center.
• Press seams open and trim to straighten the sides after adding each log.
• When trimming the block, try trimming some logs at an angle to add interest.
Assembling a block:
1. Start with the center rectangular piece of fabric.
2. Sew a strip of fabric to the center rectangle. Press and trim.
3. Sew a second log. Press and trim.
5. Sew a fourth log. Press and trim.
6. You have now completed one complete round of logs. Continue adding logs until
the block is at least 9” by 13”.
7. Trim to 8 ½” by 12 ½”.
8. Repeat steps 1-5 to make as many blocks as you’d like for your modern log cabin
If you make this block or a quilt from this tutorial, feel free to upload a photo to the
Mama Love Quilts Flickr group. I’d love to see what you stitch up!