Eleven-year fever breaks: Log Cabin is back! (+ giveaway)

Posted by on May 28, 2013, in quilting & sewing

Log Cabin FeverThe beloved Log Cabin patchwork quilt has been around since the dawn of, well, log cabins! Just as beloved is designer Evelyn Sloppy—and her sought-after, hard-to-get, coveted homage to the timeless Log Cabin block is now back in print.

Log Cabin Fever was first published in 2002, and continued requests for its rerelease are a testament to the staying power of Evelyn’s gorgeous traditional quilts. In the book, Evelyn explores 11 imaginative Log Cabin quilt-layout variations, mingling scrappy Log Cabin blocks with stars, hearts, baskets, and more. The results are spectacular, as you’ll see below.

A love for Log Cabin quilts is alive and well in our office, as evidenced by our own staffers. Three of our own have chosen Log Cabin designs for their 10-year anniversary quilts (learn more about our anniversary tradition here).

Shelley's anniversary quilt
Shelley, our sales manager, requested a white, red, gray, and black Log Cabin quilt based on a blend of three patterns from her favorite Martingale book, Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles. She’d been saving fabrics to make her own quilt, but then her anniversary came along. What luck!

Tom's anniversary quilt
Tom, our president and CEO, chose the “Bears Need Homes, Too” quilt from Log Cabin Fever for his tenth-anniversary quilt. He wanted his quilt to look just like the picture in the book—and it does.

Mary's anniversary quilt
Mary, our editor in chief, requested a design called “Love Entangled,” another quilt from Log Cabin Fever. Isn’t the unusual color palette of greens, yellows, and grays striking? Nice color-scheming, Mary!

As other employees reach the 10-year mark, we’re certain more Log Cabin quilt requests will come down the pike.

Where were we? Oh yes—back to Evelyn! Her interest in Log Cabin started with just one quilt border; that curiosity quickly escalated into an all-out love affair. She says: “In some quilts Log Cabin blocks play a starring role; in others, you can barely discern them in the background. Traditional Log Cabins, Off-Center Log Cabins, Courthouse Steps, and even Half Log Cabins have found their way into my quilts. The Log Cabin design has stolen my heart and complements the scrappy quilts that I love to make.”

If you love the cabin life like Evelyn, read on to hear more about her adventures in building the beautiful Log Cabins for her must-have classic. See for yourself why after more than 10 years, this book is still causing quite a fever!

Evelyn SloppyOne day several years ago, while attending a quilt show with friends, I spotted a quilt with a very interesting Basket block. I took a picture and in my memory I stored the decision to make a quilt with this block someday. I thought about that block during the next year or two. Then, one day, I saw a Log Cabin border that I knew would complement my Basket block. My Basket block had found its home.

Basket of Logs quilt
“Basket of Logs,” the quilt that inspired the idea for
Log Cabin Fever.

After completing the quilt, I was still so intrigued by the Log Cabin border that I found another block, a Heart Basket, to use with the border. Ideas started forming in my head about using the Log Cabin block with other traditional blocks to make traditional quilts with an unusual twist.

Projects from Log Cabin Fever
“Apple Crisp,” “Stars around the Galaxy,” and “Love Entangled”

Piecing sequence for Log Cabin blocksLog Cabin is one of the all-time-favorite quilt blocks, popular since the mid-1800s. The Log Cabin block appears in some form in every quilt in Log Cabin Fever. Narrow fabric strips, or “logs,” surround a center square, which represents the heart of a home. Usually the strips are divided so that one diagonal half of the block is light and the other dark. To construct the block, the pieces are added to the center square one at a time, from shortest to longest and in the numbered order shown.

Accurate cutting and seam allowances are necessary for accurate blocks. I like to precut all of my logs to the exact size. If you sew strips that are not the exact size to the center of the block and then trim them to fit, your final block may be quite different in size from what it is supposed to be if your seam allowances aren’t just right. On the other hand, if your precut log is too short or too long for the piece you are sewing it to, you will know that your seam allowance is off and you can correct it immediately. If your log is too long for the piece you are sewing it to, your seam allowance is too large. If your log is too short, your seam allowance is too small. As you sew the logs on, press the seams toward the outside and be careful not to stretch the fabric. Chain piecing works very well for Log Cabin blocks. I generally work with six to ten units at a time.

Projects from Log Cabin Fever 2
“Bears Need Homes, Too,” “Liberty Logs,” and “Delectable Log Cabins”

There are many variations on the Log Cabin block. In addition to the traditional form, the projects in Log Cabin Fever include Off-Center Log Cabin blocks, Courthouse Steps blocks, Thick and Thin Courthouse Steps blocks, Courthouse Steps with Cornerstones blocks, and even courthouse steps with cornerstones surrounding a pieced block.

Log Cabin blocks

Most of the quilts I make are scrappy, so my fabric stash consists of lots of fat quarters or smaller pieces of the many fabrics I love. I keep all of my fabrics organized. Pieces one-eighth of a yard or larger are out on open shelves, neatly folded and sorted by color. Smaller pieces are sorted into color-coded bins. Some days I just visit with my fabrics and let them know that they will eventually find their home in a quilt made just for them. I don’t feel guilty about my growing stash. After all, that is part of my hobby, too—collecting beautiful fabric.

Projects from Log Cabin Fever 3
“Peppermint Hearts,” “Cabin at Nine Patch Crossing,” and “Heartstrings” (You can download the free pattern for “Heartstrings” on our freebies page.)

I encourage you to take a journey through Log Cabin Fever, pick a pattern or two, dig into your fabric stash, and have fun quilting!

Are you in love with Log Cabin blocks? Tell us about your cabin fever in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the Log Cabin Fever eBook! We’ll choose a winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The randomly chosen winner is Faith, who writes:

“I have started a few Log Cabins and lost my nerve as I started sewing. This book makes them look fun and I am amazed at how many variations can be made to change the look, even curves!”

Faith, we’ll email you about your free eBook. Congratulations!

Purchase Log Cabin Fever today and instantly download the eBook for free.


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