The Log Cabin quilt is a classic.
This pattern has been embraced by people everywhere—from exquisite Amish examples, Gee’s Bend variations, and the humble and exotic from all over the globe, the Log Cabin has demonstrated its versatility, utility, and timelessness. Quilters embracing the Modern Quilt Movement have also dived deep into Log Cabins with incredible results.
I decided to ask my quilting colleagues about their favorite or most memorable Log Cabin quilts and to share the results with you. You’ll find our choices as unique as the individuals who chose them—which also says to me that the Log Cabin can make almost anyone happy!
“I love this quilt. With the center of the blocks all done in red and cream and the outside of the block being scrappy, it’s the best of both worlds—planned and scrappy. I’ll change the background to white, the stars to yellow, and the scrappy logs to blues—with a few greens and purples to use some of my Fabric Inventory.”
Acquisitions Editor for Quiltmaker, McCall’s Quilting, McCall’s Quick Quilts, Fons & Porter
“Oh, how I love this quilt. When I first saw Tara Faughnan’s Modern Log Cabin, I knew I had to make it. I’m still collecting solids, and it is on my to-do list for this year. What do I like about it? Not only are the colors appealing and the contrast within the blocks unpredictable, the entire piece vibrates with movement and power. This, to me, is what modern quilting is all about.”
Vivika Hansen DeNegre
Editorial Director for Quilting Arts, Modern Patchwork, and QuiltCon magazines and Quilting Arts TV
“My current favorite Log Cabin quilt—and actually the only quilt I’ve ever made featuring Log Cabin quilt blocks—is the Ripple Effect Quilt from Quilting Quickly magazine. Gray and yellow is a favorite color combination of mine, so I was initially drawn to this pattern for the way it showcases a range of values from white to black with a yellowish green fabric in the center. After closer inspection, I realized this pattern would be an easy-peasy way to utilize my stash of 5″ squares and 2-1/2″ strips. Of course, the original pattern didn’t call for those exact widths of fabric, but it wasn’t too difficult to make modifications to accommodate my fabric. Plus, a quilting challenge is (almost) never a bad thing—who wants to color inside the lines all of the time?”
Brenna Riley Gates
Web Producer for Quilting Arts, Modern Patchwork, and QuiltCon magazines and Quilting Arts TV
Brenna also wrote about this quilt for her Design Wall blog about quilting with precut fabrics. Check it out to see how she modified the pattern to suit her personal style and the fabric she had on hand.
“I thought this quilt by Malka Dubrawsky was insanely clever when I first saw it—and I still think so! Using Half-square Triangles and graduated fat quarters in two colorways, this quilt is stunning in the simplicity of its construction and the sophistication of the result. In Ombré Elegance, the basic Log Cabin block is anything but basic.”
Managing Editor for Quilting Arts, Modern Patchwork, and QuiltCon magazines
“This quilt was published in Quilters Newsletter’s Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts 2015, and the design by Vivian Ritter offers a couple of twists to the classic block. The most obvious is the insertion of narrow flaps between the logs to create the stained glass look; the other is that the blocks are joined with a partial-seam technique rather than the expected Log Cabin construction. The block layout combined with Vivian’s use of rich Kaffe Fassett stripes results in a glowing quilt that seems as if it’s backlit.”
Features Editor for Quiltmaker, McCall’s Quilting, McCall’s Quick Quilts, Fons & Porter
“The July/August 2018 issue of Quilty magazine features four log cabins, and two of them certainly caught my eye: Virginia Braid and Somewhere in Indiana. Virginia Braid has unusual colors, it’s true, but the design is even more compelling—it reminds me of a fishbone braid. I’ve never seen anything like it, and yet it’s definitely a log cabin, using the same principles. How could something that complex-looking be that easy?
“Somewhere in Indiana is a super-classic log cabin design, nothing unusual at all—except that it’s made from chambray! I wrote an article on chambray and became fascinated by it—the softness, the subtle, heathered effect from the twill weave, the slubs of color. I can’t wait to make the quilt!”
Content Director for Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting
“I am kinda a rainbow girl—I just love bright, happy colors. This quilt vibrates with happiness. I love the interesting twist on the Log Cabin design, I love that it uses pre-cuts (because I can’t resist them!), and I also love that as you are making this pattern, one extra seam makes a secondary block so nothing goes to waste! This quilt has made it onto my must-make quilting bucket list.”
Editor of Quilty and Quiltmaker magazines
“The color placement and innovative design of this Log Cabin quilt remind me of woven Navajo blankets. It’s fascinating how with a standard block, negative space, and keen design sense, you can create such stunning, diverse results. This pattern could be done in any colorway, but Kathy Sawyer’s use of varying tones creates intricate shadows that I love!”
Assistant Editor for Quilting Arts, Modern Patchwork, and QuiltCon magazines
“Call me biased but my favorite quilts are often the last ones I’ve made so my pick is my own King of the Cabin from Modern Patchwork, March/April 2018. The arrangement of Quarter Log Cabin blocks is unified by the gray background and coordinated strips of fabric from the Gleaned collection by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman fabrics. It was originally bigger—I pared the blocks down from 20″!—and at 108″ square it is an ample king-sized quilt. The design popped into my head in the middle of the night and I jumped out of bed to sketch it out so I wouldn’t forget by morning! My insomnia paid off and designing it was the most enjoyable lack of sleep I’ve had in a long time.”
Associate Editor for Quilting Arts, Modern Patchwork, and QuiltCon magazines
I hope you find at least one Log Cabin pattern from this ‘curated collection’ that will become your next project—and maybe your new favorite quilt!