A rectangle log cabin quilt pattern tutorial.
Earlier this year, on instagram, I noticed there was a #scrappylogcabinQAL and a movement to #sewmystash2015. I had been stashing sunny yellow fabrics for almost a year to make my daughter some sort of quilt. Why not combine the two hashtags and sew my daughter a log cabin quilt from stash? Yes!
I was contemplating using square log cabin blocks, but found that they didn’t give me the twin sized quilt I wanted or they ended up with an odd number of blocks along the side, which didn’t suit the layout I wanted to use. I realised that a rectangular block would work much better, so that’s what I went with. My blocks are 10″ x 11″ finished (sewn together).
My final layout was 6 blocks by 8 blocks, and they are arranged in the configuration commonly known as Sunshine and Shadows. Boy, there are some configurations out there – this was the hardest part of this quilt, deciding which to go with. And then deciding which way to gradate the colours. Dark against light, light against light, phew. I finally settled on my version as I felt it made the ‘stars’ pop the most.
Light to dark vs dark to light in the grey fabrics. I was also contemplating using a HRT instead of a plain centre rectangle in these mock ups:
I’ve put together a tutorial should you wish to make this 60″ x 88″ twin rectangle log cabin quilt pattern. But before I get to that, here’s an outline of a few things that made it really quick to put this quilt together.
Tips to Sew A Log Cabin Quilt Fast
Normally when chain piecing I like to leave about a half inch between blocks in the ‘chain’ and then cut them apart with my ruler as a guide, lined up along the length of my block. This is painful.
With this quilt, when I chain pieced I butted my blocks up right next to each other, like this:
Then when I cut them apart it only took one cut instead of two, and many times I just used scissors and eyeballed it.
I did NOT trim the blocks back with each round, I just trimmed the final blocks to 10.5″ x 11.5″
I only ironed after each round, not after each individual log. Finger pressing the seams within each round worked fine for me. When I did iron, I pressed all my seams to the side. It was super quick to iron them like that.
These blocks came together so quickly using this method – it was so gratifying.
It would be remiss of me not to point out that this method will lead to some inconsistencies in your blocks – you can see below that my greys aren’t lining up from block to block. I don’t mind and I know my daughter doesn’t care, so I was happy with the trade off.
Once the top was finished I basted and did some fairly quick quilting.
I used a decorative straight stitch to sew anchoring lines between all the ‘stars’ (along the light grey grid) and around the edges. Then I decided to tie the quilt within these lines, using a decorative star pattern dotted around various spots within. The star stitches work in nicely with the starburst pattern and the quilt is very soft and cuddly given the low density quilting.
The binding was scrappy and I used a zig zag stitch to machine sew it to the quilt – my first time ever. Again, not perfect, but super functional and I don’t believe it takes anything away from the busy design.
So there you have it! A twin sized, rectangular log cabin quilt pattern, whipped up in a jiffy.
Rectangle Log Cabin Quilt Pattern Tutorial
- This pattern is for a twin sized quilt which finishes at approximately 60″ x 88″
- Individual log cabin blocks are 10″ x 11″ finished (sewn together). They measure 10½” x 11½” unfinished
- You’ll need 48 blocks to create the quilt, laid out in a 6 x 8 block formation
Rectangle Log Cabin Quilt Fabric Requirements
All the pieces required to sew the 48 blocks are listed below for the yellow and grey fabrics. There are two logs for each colour, one short, one long.
For those cutting from scraps, log sizes are immediately to the right of the log, along with the number of logs required in brackets. For those cutting from yardage, fabric requirements for each colour are to the right of the scrap requirements. The yardage measurement/strip instructions gives you enough to cut both the short and long logs for that colour.
Grey Fabric Requirements
Yellow Fabric Requirements
As these log cabin blocks are rectangular, rather than square, they are directional. The one block cannot be turned through 360° to form the pattern. Two different forms need to be sewn. This is very simple – the placement of the second log will determine the direction of the block. From there, it’s just a matter of continuing to sew yellow to yellow and grey to grey. Too easy!
Chain piecing the blocks will make your block production very quick. If you want super-accurate blocks, sew with a scant quarter inch seam and trim after every round of logs.
Here are the measurements to trim your blocks to if you’d like to spend the time doing this.
First log round:
Second log round:
Third log round:
Fourth log (final block):
As I mentioned at the start of this post, I did NOT spend time on this. I finger pressed each round outwards and then continued on sewing. I only pressed once I had finished the blocks. Chain piecing combined with no pressing in between saw these blocks sew up very fast. So satisfying!
Of course, you should sew how you prefer and in line with what you intend to do with the final product (enter in a quilt show vs. give to the dog :)
Either way, I hope you enjoy sewing up this twin size rectangle log cabin quilt as much as I did!
All the best and happy sewing,
If you liked this pattern make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter. Don’t miss any of my new tutorial or pattern releases. It’s as easy as pie to unsubscribe as well, just click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email. I don’t want to send you anything you don’t enjoy.