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Log Cabin

Although it is now associated with North American quilting, Log Cabin quilts were being made in England, Ireland and The Isle of Man in the first half of the 19th Century. It has been debated whether the pattern is inspired by the wrappings found on ancient Egyptian mummified remains!

The block can be made of scraps and used to be stitched onto a foundation fabric to stabilise the scraps. This meant that Log Cabin Quilts used to be tied rather than quilted - it would have been tough to hand quilt through an extra layer. With quilting weight cotton, the block can be stitched without the need for a stabilising layer.

The block has a central square which is traditionally red to represent the hearth of the home or yellow representing light shining through a window or, although this maybe a myth, black to identify safe houses along the Underground Railway when hung on the washing line. Strips are then pieced around the centre, dark on one side and light on the other.

A graphic of a quilt block
Half Log Cabin block

There are many different ways to layout Log Cabin blocks and they have been given different names such as Sunshine and Shadows, Barn Rising, and Straight Furrows. There are also different styles of Log Cabin block including Half Log Cabins, Off Centre Log Cabins, Court House Steps, and Pineapples.

Log Cabin Quilts are still popular today and can be made into the most stunning quilts. Have you made a Log Cabin Quilt? Let us know about it in the comments.

Happy Stitching!

Make your own

An image of a quilt spread over a sofa
The Half Log Cabin Bed Quilt



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