Scrap shrinker! How to make a Log Cabin quilt block (video)

The Log Cabin block is on the favorites list of so many quilters—is it among your faves? The variations are virtually endless. Plus, Log Cabin blocks are super scrap-friendly!

Scrappy Courthouse Steps quilt
Scrappy Courthouse Steps by Lissa Alexander

We wondered where Log Cabin blocks originated, and we found a little history about the design via the American Quilter’s Society blog:

Log Cabin quilt detail“While it’s natural to assume that this traditional block originated in the United States during the pioneer days, the origins of the block seem to go back much further in time and location. Similar designs have been found on ancient Egyptian mummies and in an English quilt predating 1830.

Log Cabin quilts first made a widespread appearance in the United States in the 1860s during the time of the Civil War. The block name may very well have had a connection to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. The Log Cabin quilt became wildly popular and was identified with the pioneer spirit and values of America.”

From ancient Egyptian mummies to Abraham Lincoln—now that’s a block design with some staying power!

Whether you’re new to making Log Cabin blocks or just haven’t sewn them in a while, perhaps our latest video on how to make a Log Cabin quilt block will inspire you to start something new. In this video we focused on the classic half-light, half-dark version:


Reading this post in email? Click here to view the video.

Round and round and round you go—Log Cabins are so fast and fun to sew!

Once you get the hang of sewing traditional Log Cabin blocks, you’ll be ready to mix things up with clever variations on the design. And that’s exactly what the 16 designers in Block-Buster Quilts: I Love Log Cabins challenged themselves to do:

Quilts from I Love Log Cabins
Clockwise from top left: Mi Casa by Carrie Nelson; Seeing Stars by Kimberly Jolly; Twilight by Amy Ellis; Blaze by Amy Smart

If you’re ready for your own Log Cabin quilt challenge, pick up Block-Buster Quilts: I Love Log Cabins, where you’ll find 16 ways to create the Log Cabin of your dreams!

What’s your favorite fun-to-sew block: Log Cabin, Churn Dash, Flying Geese, Four Patch? Tell us your pick for best block in the comments!

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