Log Cabin Quilts: Reimagined

Three Log Cabin Quilts featured in the book Beyond the Block

Historic Roots

When it comes to quilt blocks, few are as widely known as the Log Cabin. Popular in the United States since the late 1800s, this iconic design was a symbol of home, love, and security for pioneers traveling west across the American frontier. The blocks were traditionally hand-pieced using strips of fabric around a central square with dark fabrics on one side and light on the other. According to lore, a red center square symbolized the hearth and heart of a home, while a yellow block represented a welcoming light in a window. This arrangement of simple shapes made Log Cabin blocks easy to piece and incredibly versatile, allowing quilters to use the materials they had on hand yet leaving room for infinite possibilities.

“Fractured Housetop” • Tina Lewis

“Fractured Housetop” • Tina Lewis

A Classic Block Reimagined

In Beyond the Block, edited by Jodi Butler, today’s top designers reimagine the classic Log Cabin, creating one-of-a-kind quilts that range from scrappy and minimalist to modern and improvisational. Blocks are turned sideways and upside down, pieced on a grand scale and set on point, made with Half-Square Triangles and Wonky Log Cabin blocks to create fresh and inspired designs that pay homage to the classic while simultaneously adding something new.

“Checkerboard” • Lisa Swenson Ruble

“Checkerboard” • Lisa Swenson Ruble

In the pages of Beyond the Block, you’ll find twenty Log Cabin quilts geared toward a variety of skill levels—from beginner-friendly patterns, including “Log Cabin Quilt” by Liz Evans and Elizabeth Evans and “Checkerboard” by Lisa Swenson Ruble, to more complex designs, such as “Half-Square Grande” by Malka Dubrawksy  and “Fractured Housetop” by Tina Lewis—that offer a contemporary twist on a traditional favorite. Are you new to quilting, or new to Log Cabin quilts? An amazing introductory section will familiarize you not only with quilting basics but to some of the most common Log Cabin block variations, like Courthouse Step blocks and how to improv piece within a Log Cabin style. This information sets you up for immediate quilting success!

“Melting Candy” • Gina Tell

“Melting Candy” • Gina Tell

Additionally, each inspiring design encourages you to take chances with your fabric choices and arrangements. Essentially, this book invites you to leave your mark on one of quilting’s most storied designs.

Are you a Log Cabin enthusiast?

Grab a copy of Beyond the Block and get making! Post your Log Cabin quilts in the comments below, we love to see your work!

Happy Quilting!


Explore inspiration for your next Log Cabin quilt!

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