Instructions for a Spring Chicken Log Cabin Quilt

Written by julia sherman
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Instructions for a Spring Chicken Log Cabin Quilt
This quilt pattern is called a Log Cabin Cathedral window Quilt. Notice teh dark on tehoutside and the inner looks like crosses. (Patchwork as a background 2 image by Lucy Cherniak from

The spring chicken log cabin quilt is a simple design that incorporates two different quilt blocks into one quilt block or square. The centre of the square is the chicken, and it can be any design of your choosing. The log cabin pattern goes around that to complete your square. Many easier versions are out there, and first-time designers often use chickens cut from pre-printed material as the centre. For those who have a hard time piecing a square, choosing a simple chicken design appliqued on top of a log cabin block works well too. Spring colours, fun designs, intermixed with other country-style materials can make your spring chicken log cabin quilt unique to you.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 ½ yards chicken design fabric
  • 1/2 yard each of 8 different fabrics
  • 2 yards backing fabric
  • 2 packages matt blanket binding
  • Hand sewing needles
  • Size 11 sewing machine needles
  • Twin size batting
  • Quilting foot
  • Scissors
  • Rolling cutter
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Ruler
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Set up your sewing machine with a size 11 sharp needle. Adjust the tension to match the fabric, and rethread with a full spool of thread. Change the foot to the quilting or quarter-inch presser foot.

  2. 2

    Open the chicken print fabric all the way, and find chickens that suit your design. Center the chicken in a 4 ¼-by-4 ¼ inch square. Using the roller cutter, cut out 24 of these centred chickens.

  3. 3

    Leave the other fabric folded as you received it, and cut the material into 2 half-yard pieces and then into strips 1 ½ inches wide by the width of the fabric (1 1/2-by-22 inches, which when opened would make it 45 inches wide). Now, we will make the log cabin around each chicken. Each square, when complete, will measure about a 9-by-9 inches.

  4. 4

    Start on the right-hand side of the chicken square, and with the right side of the strip and square facing each other, match the bottom of the strip with the bottom of the square, and pin the two together. Sew these two together, then open. Press the square with an iron to make it flat. Trim the strip so that it is even with the top of the square. It should look almost like a rectangle.

  5. 5

    Position the second strip so that it matches the bottom edge of the strip with the top side strip. With right sides together, bring the strip across the top. Pin it in place, then stitch it in place. Open the strip so that the right side faces you, trim the edge, then press it again with the iron.

  6. 6

    Match the top of the strip with the top of the square on the left side. Pin the right sides facing each other, then sew along the straight edge. Open and press flat, just like you did with the other two sides. Trim it even with the bottom now, then press it again.

  7. 7

    Match the bottom of the strip with the left edge of the square, and pin all along the edge. Sew along this long edge, then open and press it flat. Trim the edge to remove the excess, then press it again. You should have a larger square that will be the base for the log cabin.

    Continue doing this pattern on the right side, top, left side and bottom sequence until you reach a square approximately 9-by-9 inches.

  1. 1

    Cut a 2-inch wide strip of solid-colour material, and create a black border around the log cabin. Starting at the right side, then trim away excess. Then move to the top side, trim, then the left side, trim, then finally, the bottom, and then trim the excess. Press all of the squares flat and set aside. Repeat until all squares have been outlined.

  2. 2

    Pin then squares side by side, and stitch them together, creating a row of four log cabins. You should have six rows of squares ready to be sewn into a quilt top. Sew these strips, one row on top of another, until all of your rows are attached. This is your main quilt top centre. Use a hot iron to press all seams and the top flat.

  3. 3

    Spray the basting spray on a clean surface, and lay your backing sheet down. Spray the basting spray on top of the sheet, then lay your batting down. Spray the batting with basting spray, then lay your top wrong-side down. You should now have three layers stuck together and ready to be sewn together.

  4. 4

    Reset your sewing machine to four stitches to an inch, and insert the quilt top right 2 inches the from the edge, then slide it under the presser foot. Start stitching, even and easy, as this is your first channel. Stitch all the way to the bottom of the quilt. Stitch the next channel about 2 to 3 inches from the first channel stitched line. As you stitch channels, roll the quilt top on the inside of the machine neck to give you more room.

    After you stitch all the channels, it is time to bind the edge and finish the quilt.

  5. 5

    Open your package of blanket binding, and pin along the long sides first. Adjust how the binding folds and envelopes the edge so that both sides can be sewn easily in place. For the top binding, pin the binding in place as you did with the long sides. At the corners, fold the edges inward so that the corners look mitred and neat. Repeat this on the other side. Pin the mitring in place, and machine-stitch the straight edges. Use a needle and thread to hand sew using a catch stitch and sew the mitres in place.

    Go back over your quilt to find any skipped stitches and missed seams, then hand-stitch these into place.

    Wash your quilt to remove basting spray, dirt and dust and line or fluff dry. Your quilt is now ready to use.

Tips and warnings

  • For a table cloth pad, use nine to 12 squares.
  • For a wall hanging, use 12 squares and sew five tabs across the top to slide onto a dowel.
  • Use a chicken pattern fabric for a springtime chicken design.
  • Shake up the quilt by making square centres from different chicken types (pieced, applique, painted, etc).

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