Tips for Sewing Log Cabin Blocks
Beth shares tips for piecing the popular, versatile Log Cabin block. Get instructions for an 11" Log Cabin block here.
Hi, I’m Beth and this video is brought to you by Baby Lock. Log Cabin blocks are a classic - simple enough for a beginner, but with endless variations that appeal to more experienced quilters! Today, I’m sharing tips for sewing log cabin blocks so they turn out perfectly!
The success of this design depends on a strong contrast between the fabrics on either side of the diagonal that forms when the “logs” are pieced. Consider this when selecting your fabrics and make sure you’re choosing fabrics that are different enough from each other that you’ll see the design.
A Log Cabin block is assembled in a numerical sequence, beginning at the center of the block and working in a clockwise direction around the center. If you’re cutting your pieces in advance, keep them organized by size so you don’t grab the wrong piece!
An accurate quarter inch seam is extremely important when sewing log cabin blocks together. If your seam allowance is off, your block will distort as you add pieces.
Always test your seam allowance before you start. Sew 3 – 1.5” strips together and measure the center strip. It should measure exactly 1”. If not, make adjustments until your seam is accurate.
Use a 1/4" Presser Foot. Many sewing machines have the option of attaching a 1/4" presser foot. Use the guide of the foot to stitch accurate seams every time. You can also create your own fabric guide by layering strips of masking tape or moleskin and adhering the layered strips to your machine bed in front of the throat plate.
If you find your machine isn’t feeding your strips at the same rate and they are becoming uneven at the end, consider using a walking foot. A walking foot feeds both the top and bottom layer through your machine evenly. Here’s the Baby Lock walking foot. For perfect piecing, we’ve added this optional accessory foot that has a ¼” guide attached.
As you add strips or “logs”, press after each one. And be sure to press, not iron, as it’s easy to warp the longer strips if you pull on them.
As you add the last few strips, be sure to pin. This will prevent pieces from shifting and keep the block square.
If you’ve tried all of the previous tips and you’re still struggling, you can foundation piece the blocks. Foundation piecing is one of the easiest ways to make sure your seams are consistent, accurate, and they form perfect 90 degree angles. You can find these in a variety of sizes.
Log cabin blocks are found in many quilt patterns, from traditional to modern! Master these techniques and you’ll be stitching perfect log cabin blocks every time!