How to Sew a Log Cabin Quilt

A traditional log cabin quilt is made with a red square center and strips of fabric are sewn around the square. This creates a stacked, or log cabin effect to the squares. To create a log cabin quilt, you need to create the log cabin squares and stitch them together to make the quilt top.

Decide the size of your quilt. This will greatly affect the number of log cabin blocks you will need and amount of fabric you have to have. For a 12 inch by 12 inch pillow you'll only need one block and 2 yards of color 1 and 2 of fabric and a small scrap for the center. For a 48-by-48-inch quilt you'll need 16 blocks and roughly 21 yards of color 1 and 30 yards of color 2 with 2 yards for the center.

Cut the center squares out of the fabric you are using. The squares will need to be 3.5-by-3.5 inches.

Cut the two fabrics in color 1 and color 2 into 2-inch strips.

Take the center square and a color 1 strip of fabric and pin the two pieces right side facing.

Sew the two pieces together and cut the excess from the strip of color 1. Iron the seam flat.

Move to the next edge of the center square and the first strip of color 1. Pin and sew part of the strip in Color 1 to that edges. Cut the excess of the strip off. You can move in clockwise or counter clockwise direction.

Turn the center square again and pin and sew a strip of the color 2 fabric to the edge made up by the end of the color 1 strip and the square. Cut the excess from the strip of color 2 and iron the seam flat.

Pin and sew another strip of color 2 to the edge made up of the end of the strip in color 2, the center square and the end of the strip in color 1. Cut the excess even with the new edge and iron the seam flat.

Continue to rotate the square, pinning a strip to the whole edge, sewing it in place and cutting away the excess. Iron the seam flat again. You'll notice that half of the square is made up of color 1 and the other of the color 2 fabric and that the strips get long as you sew each new piece onto the square.

Repeat Step 9 until there are 3 layers of strips around the center square. Iron all the same one final time. This completes the log cabin square.

Repeat Steps 4 through 10 to create all the quilt blocks that you need for the quilt.

Sew all the quilt blocks together to create the final quilt top.

Attached the quilt top to the batting and backing with either stitching or knotting. Bind the edges and your log cabin quilt is complete.


You don't have to simply use two different colors of fabric for your strips. You can use as many different colors as you want to create a more colorful log cabin block.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 colors of fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
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