QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin
Happy Monday and new Bitty Block day! QM Bitty Blocks are small quilt blocks that we’re presenting monthly during 2015. Each of these free quilt blocks is 3″ or 4″ finished and works up nicely in quilt scraps. We’ve had so much fun with them. You’ll want to check out all the past quilt block designs and patchwork ideas on our Bitty Blocks page.
The August Bitty Block is a versatile 4″ Log Cabin. It can be traditionally pieced or foundation pieced, your choice. The Log Cabin block is also a great scrap buster for precut strips. Log Cabin is traditionally made with lights on one side and darks on the other.
Getting Started: The fabrics used in my examples came from larger scraps. I chose light neutral batiks, a variety of warm and cool prints and a variety of focus fabrics for the center square. You can change color combinations as you see fit. Keep in mind the fabrics need to have enough contrast to stand apart from each other.
The block is simple to piece together. I found that marking the foundation with my color choices helped to keep me organized.
It is very important to watch your seam allowance when working with these small pieces. I found using a scant ¼” seam allowance worked best. I also recommend making at least one complete test block first, before you start chain piecing away. Getting a bit warmed up helps when working with so many small pieces.
I also tried foundation piecing the block because I’m not the best at getting small pieces together without being a bit wonky. The foundation worked wonders for me in keeping the block square. To foundation piece the block, it is best to cut your patches slightly larger than the dimensions below.
Determine the layout of your fabrics according to the foundation, and cut your fabrics accordingly.
- 1 (A) 1.5″ x 1.5″
- 1 (B) 1″ x 1.5″
- 2 (C) 1″ x 2″
- 2 (D) 1″ x 2.5″
- 2 (E) 1″ x 3″
- 2 (F) 1″ x 3.5″
- 2 (G) 1″ x 4″
- 1 (H) 1″ x 4.5″
I do not have very much quiet/alone/distraction-free time to sew, because my one-year-old is usually around, or actually ALL OVER EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME. Therefore I am all about using many quick tricks to get my prep and sewing completed.
Instead of sorting through small scraps to determine which are useable and which are not, I have used my larger scraps (precut strips work great too). It was much quicker and easier for me to layer a few large scraps together and cut 1″-wide strips, and then cut the necessary lengths.
To organize my pieces, I lay them out on a large piece of paper and label each group. Use any organization method you find works best. Once your strips are organized you are ready to sew!
This block is assembled in alphabetical order, following the above diagram. Start by aligning the edges of pieces A and B right sides together.
Sew B to A with a scant ¼” seam.
Add C to A/B
Add another C, then D, another D, then E, another E, and so on.
Check your piecing after joining A and B, it should measure 1.5″ x 2″. If you are off it is best to adjust the seam allowance now or the next pieces will not align correctly. Gently press the seam toward the B (the smaller piece).
Continue in alphabetical order. Note that two of the same letter are sewn consecutively. Measure as you go and adjust the seam allowance as needed.
Before you know it you will have a plethora of Bitty Log Cabins!
Have fun making your Bitty Blocks and remember to visit our Bitty Blocks homepage for all the patterns and more ideas. Use #qmbittyblocks to help us find your work on social media!