Welcome to the fourth week, and the fourth project, of How to Quilt: A Beginner’s Guide. This week we’re learning how to make a Log Cabin quilt block. From there, we’ll turn the block into an envelope-style pillow.

To get started, we’ve made a playlist of uquilt videos that show you pre-sewing skills, strip cutting, accurate quarter inch seams and more. Take a moment to watch and review. Be sure to refer to your sewing machine’s manual for specific threading and setup guidance.

Now that we’re caught up on our skills, let’s make a Log Cabin Pillow!

Follow along with the written instructions below.

Log Cabin Pillow

The fabrics to make the Log Cabin Pillow pictured above are part of the How To Quilt Fabric Bundle, which includes all the fabrics for the series. There’s also a starter kit with sewing and quilting supplies.

Fabric/Supply Requirements

1/4 yard of Light Value fabric
1/4 yard of the Dark Value fabric
1/8 yard of the Center fabric
3/8 yard of the Pillow Back fabric
1 pre-made 14″ x 14″ pillow form
Coordinating color thread for topstitching
Wonder Clips or pins

Cutting Instructions

From the Light Value fabric, cut:
(1) 2 3/4″ x Width of Fabric (WOF) strip, subcut into:
(1) 2 3/4″ x 13″
(1) 2 3/4″ x 10 1/2″

(1) 2 1/2″ x WOF strip, subcut into:
(1) 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″
(1) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″
(1) 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
(1) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″

From the Dark Value fabric, cut:
(1) 2 3/4″ x WOF strip, subcut into:
(1) 2 3/4″ x 15″
(1) 2 3/4″ x 13″

(1) 2 1/2″ x WOF strip, subcut into:
(1) 2 1/2″ x 10 1/2″
(1) 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″
(1) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″
(1) 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″

From the Center fabric, cut:
(1) 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″

From the Pillow Back fabric, cut:
(1) 11″ x 15″
(1) 10″ x 15″

Note: We recommend using a 1/4″ foot to assemble this project, but if you don’t have one try marking your 1/4″ seams on the wrong side of the fabric with a ruler and pencil.

Block Guide

It’s handy when making Log Cabin blocks to lay out the rectangles ahead of sewing to keep track of where you are in the process. To help with this, we’ve made a Block Guide that has the block laid out so you can color it, the order of sewing, and unfinished sizes of each fabric piece.

Download the guide here.

Round 1

Lay the center and light value 2 1/2″ squares right sides together and sew a quarter inch seam. Measure your seam allowance for 1/4″ and correct large deviations now, because each round of a log cabin block amplified sizing errors and it’s easier to correct them before pressing. Press towards the light value square.

Lay a light value 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangle right sides together with the pair of squares and sew a quarter inch seam. Press towards the light value rectangle. The block measures 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ at this round. Measure from the seam to ensure accuracy.

log cabin quilt block     log cabin quilt block

Rounds 2-4

To the left side of the previous round, lay a dark value 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangle right sides together and sew a quarter inch seam. Press towards the dark rectangle.

log cabin quilt block

Sew a dark value 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle to the bottom of the block. Press towards the dark rectangle. Block measures 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ at this round.

log cabin quilt block

Repeat this process to complete round 3 using light value 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ and 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles. Block measures 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ at this round.

log cabin quilt block

Repeat this process to complete round 4 using dark value 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and 2 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ rectangles. Block measures 10 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ at this round.

log cabin quilt block

Round 5 & 6

To the right side of the previous round, lay a light value 2 3/4″ x 10 1/2″ rectangle right sides together and sew a quarter inch seam. Press towards the light rectangle.

Sew a light value 2 3/4″ x 13″ rectangle to the top of the block. Press towards the light rectangle. Block measures 13″ x 13″ at this round.

log cabin quilt block

Repeat this process to complete round 6 using dark value 2 3/4″ x 13″ and 2 3/4″ x 15″ rectangles. Block measures 15″ x 15″ at this round.

log cabin quilt block

Pillow Back

Along one of the 15″ edges of the pillow back 11″ x 15″ rectangle, fold over a quarter inch and press a crisp fold. Then fold the edge over once more and press a crisp fold. Top stitch along the inside edge of the fold to finish the edge. Repeat with the 10″ x 15″ rectangle.

Pillow Assembly

On the wrong side of the Log Cabin block, measure 2″ from the sewn line and mark to create a 1/2″ seam allowance that’s accurate to the block. Repeat the remaining sides of the block.

Working on a hard surface, lay the Log Cabin block right side up. Layer the right side (the side that doesn’t show the inner fold) of the 10″ x 15″ rectangle to the right side of the Log Cabin block with the folded edge in the center, match the edges and clip or pin. Lay the right side of the 11″ x 15″ rectangle over the other side of the Log Cabin block with the folded edge in the center, match the edges and clip or pin.

With the Log Cabin block facing up, sew on the marked line, pivoting at the corners where the marked seam lines meet. Sew a few stitches past where you began stitching.

Trim the corners off at a 45 degree angle and turn the pillow right sides out. Place a 14″ square pillow form into the Log Cabin Pillow to complete.

Want more practice with Log Cabin Blocks?

Check out the Spring Baby Log Cabin quilt made from 2 1/2″ pre-cut strips, a free pattern from AQSblog.

Ready to join a community of beginners, share your progress and get exclusives?

Join the How To Quilt AQS Facebook group. We can’t wait to see what you make!

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