Make a Log Cabin Patterned Quilt

  • 01 of 02

    Sew a Log Cabin Christmas Tree Quilt

    Log Cabin Christmas Tree Quilt
    Janet Wickell

    Use this Christmas Tree quilt pattern to sew a small quilt from thirty-six 3"x 3" log cabin quilt blocks. The miniature quilt blocks are paper pieced and the quilt finishes at 22-1/2" square.

    Sew the quilt with one or more borders to increase its size. You could even place the project at the center of a larger medallion quilt layout, adding a series of quilt blocks or borders around it.

    Paper Piecing Is a Cinch

    Foundation piecing, often called paper piecing, is a technique that's accomplished by sewing fabric onto a pre-marked foundation, either temporary or permanent. If foundation piecing is a new to you, read Paper Piecing Basics before you begin.

    Use either temporary foundations (which are removed after blocks are assembled) or opt for permanent versions (which are never removed).

    Plan to machine quilt the quilt, since log cabin designs (even without an extra foundation layer) have lots of bulk from closely spaced seam allowances.

    Download the 3" Log Cabin Template

    Quilting Fabrics and Other Materials


    • 2-1/2 yards
    • One mottled fabric or a wide variety of green prints.


    • 2-5/8 yards
    • One print fabric or a wide variety of neutral prints. Includes enough for a border.

    Dark brown

    • 1/8 yard


    Backing & Batting

    • About 30" square each

    How To Sew Larger Log Cabin Quilt Blocks

    Remove the outermost line from the templates and scale them to any size you wish. Replace by drawing lines around the new template, each 1/4" from an edge.

    Adjust yardages and strip size to suit the new template (add about 1/2" to the finished log with and center square size).

    Continue to 2 of 2 below.
  • 02 of 02

    Assemble the Log Cabin Christmas Tree Quilt

    Log Cabin Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern
    Janet Wickell

    Make the Log Cabin Quilt Blocks

    The blocks for the log cabin Christmas Tree quilt are assembled in the same way as the 6" practice log cabin quilt blocks. Refer to that log cabin pattern for a block assembly guide.

    There are a couple of differences:

    The blocks for the Christmas tree quilt are sewn in the four different variations illustrated on this page:

    • 10 have greens in logs 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13 and neutrals in remaining logs (mark logs before sewing)
    • 12 are made from only background fabrics
    • 12 are made from only green fabrics
    • 2 have brown in logs 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13 and neutrals in remaining logs (mark logs before sewing)

    The symmetry of the brown/background block will be just a bit better if you reverse one template to make a mirror-image block.That step allows you to piece exact opposites, with same-length logs in each.

    Make a total of 36 foundations.

    Log Sizes

    • Cut center squares to measure about 1-1/4" x 1-1/4"
    • Cut a few long 7/8" strips (approx.) of each color. Lengths vary -- trim away excess after sewing. Use narrower strips if you like and sew with a seam allowance that's slightly less than 1/4" (you'll need to trim back the seams a bit anyway to reduce bulk). Cut additional strips once you're comfortable with the width.

    Christmas Tree Quilt Layout

    1. Refer to the illustration on page 1 for block layout (six rows, six blocks in each). Sew quilt blocks side by side in rows and then sew rows together. Press seam allowances in adjoining rows in opposite directions before joining the rows.
    2. Sew 2-1/2" wide border strips to opposite sides of the quilt and then repeat on the remaining sides. (The quilt should be in square since foundations are still in place. Use the straight border instructions to check its dimensions.)
    3. Remove temporary foundations.
    4. Mark for quilting if necessary. Sandwich with batting and backing. Baste the layers together and quilt. This project would be a perfect candidate for adhesive basting.
    5. Finish the Christmas Tree Log Cabin quilt by sewing doublefold binding around its edges or use another binding method of your choice.