Log Cabin Conundrum

I’m taking the Easy Log Cabin Class with Nancy this month. If you’re local, I highly recommend this class. Again I’ll say, Nancy is a great teacher and the method she’s teaching really is easy. The next quarterly newsletter will be out in April, watch it for dates and times.  If you can’t come to class, you can stil use the terrific tool we’re using.  It’s the Log Cabin Trim Tool.  There are two sizes.  One makes 8″ blocks (A16764) and the other makes 6″ or 12″ blocks (A19020). 

I’ve finished my blocks, so now I’m ready to decide how to arrange them. This is where the conundrum comes in. There are literally hundreds of different ways to arrange log cabin blocks to make different designs.

Log Cabin Block

The block doesn’t look scary, does it? But the sheer number of choices has me a little stumped. I’m going to share the start of some designs with you and see what you think. In the interests of time, I’ve not set up the entire quilt, but just a few rows on a table in the office.

First, we have the traditional Barn Raising set.

Barn Raising

Second is one I really like, Streak of Lightning. Of course, if I use this pattern I’ll have to decide which direction my lightening is striking, since we’ve made enough blocks for a rectangle quilt and not a square. I guess I could make more …

Streak of Lightning And, as you can see, I’ve got one of my blocks turned the wrong way at the bottom of that picture. I highly recommend taking photos of your quilts after arranging your blocks. It is quite often so much easier to see the design that emerges. It also is essential in a situation like this when you have several choices as to block arrangement.

Third, we have Sunshine and Shadows.

Sunshine and Shadows

I’m liking that one, too. If I use that one I’m thinking I would like for red to end up all around the outside edge of the quilt. Or maybe let the lighter color end up around the edge and bind it in red?

Fourth is Straight Furrows. Again, a simple pattern, and honestly it took the least amount of time for me to arrange. Some of these patterns can get really confusing.

Straight Furrows

Fifth and finally, we have an unnamed pattern.

UnnamedIt’s very similar to the Barn Raising but starts off just a little differently in the center.

If you’ve made a log cabin quilt before, which block setting did you use? I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to make more log cabin quilts so I can use different settings. We have some great books with log cabin instruction and design ideas, such as Judy Martin’s Log Cabin Quilt Book (30692), Log Cabin Quilts (A19751), and one with a little more contemporary feel, Log Cabins Today (A14585).

I’m really hoping you’ll let me know which setting you like the best out of the five above. If you prefer another I’ve not mentioned, by all means, let me know, too.

Until next time (hopefully with a finished quilt top),


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9 thoughts on “Log Cabin Conundrum

  1. I love the traditional Barn Raising, but my second choice would be Sunshine and Shadows. The fabrics are my favorite colors together!

  2. I love barn raising, you could look at doing it with a dark centre to start instead of the light one you have showm. Have also done one with a sort of ohio star middle (about 16 blocks I think) and then barn raising for the outer part. Would love to see what you end up with.

  3. I agree with Denise, Barn Raising and Sunshine and Shadows. Love the colors! I have a log cabin waiting on borders and I did ….dang, can’t remember! Ok, so it has been waiting on borders a while. I couldn’t decide how to border it. Finally figured it out and then had other things to finish. HURM…now I want to finish!

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