Log Cabin Quilt Pattern with Easy Applique Pitcher Blocks

  • 01 of 06

    Pitchers for Tildy's Cabin Quilt Pattern

    Pitchers and Bowl Quilt Pattern
    Pitchers and Bowl Quilt. Janet Wickell

    Many years ago, my sister Donna made a king size applique quilt for me, a pitchers and bowl design inspired by my collection of vintage spongeware. I reduced the scale of the pitchers for this small quilt and combined them with Courthouse Steps quilt blocks, a variation of traditional Log Cabin quilt blocks.

    The blocks are sewn together on point. Half Courthouse Steps blocks replace setting triangles around the quilt's edge and quarter blocks complete the corners.

    Finished Quilt: about 28" square

    Block Size: 6-1/2" finished

    More Log Cabin Patterns: Easy Template-Free Log Cabin Quilt Blocks | Template-Tree Courthouse Steps Blocks | Wonky Log Cabin Blocks, Purely Freehand |

    Quilt Pattern Fabric & Materials

    Pitcher Quilt Blocks

    • 1/2 yard creamy solid or tone on tone for backgrounds; I used my own hand marbled fabric for four of the background squares
    • Pitchers: nine scraps, at least 4" square each
    • Bowls: nine scraps, at least 3" x 6" each

    Courthouse Steps Quilt Blocks

    • Light logs, 1 yard
    • Medium logs, 1 yard
    • Dark center logs, 1/8 yard
    • Foundation materials of your choice (see Foundation Piecing Basics)


    Cutting for Pitcher Quilt Blocks

    Background squares: cut nine 8" x 8" squares

    Pitchers: cut nine pieces using Template A-1 (cut a reverse of the image if you want some pitchers to face in opposite directions)

    Bowls: cut nine using Template A-2

    Courthouse Steps Block Cutting Chart

    Centers for whole blocks: cut four 2" x 2" squares

    Center triangles for half blocks: cut two 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares 

    For Logs: Light and medium strips, about 1-1/4" wide, lengths cut as you go (cut a few to start and adjust width if necessary) Paper or other printable material for foundations

    Download the PDF file for applique and foundation templates

    When you print, be sure to choose "none" for page scaling.

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Make Applique Pitcher and Bowls Quilt Blocks

    Applique Quilt Pattern
    Pitchers and Bowls for the Tildy's Cabin Quilt Pattern. © Janet Wickell

    Applique Pitchers and Bowls Pattern

    1. Choose an applique method for your quilt blocks, such as needleturn, fusible web, machine applique or another technique (Learn How to Applique).
    2. Using the pitcher and bowl templates, cut nine of each shape from scrappy fabrics. The template does not include a seam allowance. Add an allowance if your method calls for one.
    3. Center a pitcher and a bowl on a background square, arranging it on-point, and applique both to the square. When on-point, the images will be positioned a corner of the square above and below the pitcher and bowl.

      The scrappy strips shown in the photo are from adjacent Courthouse Steps quilt blocks and are not part of the applique blocks.

    4. Square up each block to measure 7" x 7".
    5. Repeat to make a total of nine pitcher and bowl blocks.
    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    How to Make Courthouse Steps Quilt Blocks

    courthouse steps quilt block pattern
    Make the Courthouse Steps Quilt Blocks. © Janet Wickell

    Courthouse Steps Quilt Blocks

    If this is your first foundation pieced quilt, read foundation piecing basics before you begin. Reading the paper pieced log cabin quilt block pattern will also help familiarize you with the technique.

    Make four foundation templates from the complete Courthouse Steps block that's in the PDF file.

    Illustrations follow assembly instructions, starting in the top row from left to right, then continuing left to right in remaining rows.

    1. Position a dark center square right side up on the reverse (unprinted) side of a block template, centering it within the area for log 1. Pin to secure or use a dab of glue stick to keep it from shifting.
    2. Grab a medium fabric for log 2. Use a long strip or cut a segment about 1/2" longer than the length of the log. Place the strip right side down on top of the center square, aligning its left edge with the left edge of the square.
    3. Turn the foundation over and sew directly on the line that separates the center square from log 2, beginning and ending a few stitches on either side of the line.
    4. Flip log 2 right side up and make sure all of its unsewn edges extend past the printed lines that define that log (enough for a stable seam when lines become seams). If not, you'll need to rip the seam and reposition, but if all's well, trim any bulk from seam allowance and press.
    5. Select a medium fabric for log 3, aligning its right edge with the right side of the square. Sew, check placement, trim seam and press.
    6. Log 4 is added in the same way but covers the bottom edge of the previous pieces. Log 5 is added to the top of previous pieces.
    7. Continue to add logs in order around the center square, lights next to lights and mediums next to mediums. Press the block and trim through all layers on the outermost foundation line.
    8. Make four Courthouse Steps quilt blocks.
    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Make Setting Triangles from Courthouse Steps Quilt Blocks

    Make Patchwork Setting Triangles
    Make Patchwork Setting Triangles. © Janet Wickell

    Make the Half Courthouse Steps Quilt Blocks

    1. Make four foundations of the half block image and four foundations of the mirror image of that foundation. Both are in the PDF file. Numbers are backward on the mirror image, but recognizable.
    2. Cut squares reserved for center logs of half blocks in half twice diagonally.
    3. Center the triangle for log 1 right side up on the reverse side of a template, making sure its short edges overlap marked seam lines and that the long edge overlaps the outer perimeter of the foundation a bit.
    4. Add logs in numerical order as for the full block. Logs 3, 5, 7 and 9 are light strips; remaining logs are medium strips. Allow extra length at the ends of each strip to compensate for the diagonal edges.
    5. Press the block and trim on the outermost foundation line. Make a total of eight half-blocks, four from each image.

    Make Quarter Courthouse Steps Quilt Blocks

    1. Use the corner block template to make four foundations.
    2. Cut each square reserved for quarter block "centers" in half once diagonally.
    3. Center a triangle for log 1 right side up on the reverse side of a template, making sure its short edges overlap marked seam lines and that the long edge overlaps the outer perimeter of the foundation a bit.
    4. Use light strips to complete the foundation as you did others. Press and trim on the outermost line. Make three more corner block segments.
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Assemble the Log Cabin and Applique Quilt

    Paper Pieced Quilt Patterns
    Arrange the Courthouse Steps and Pitcher and Bowl quilt blocks in diagonal rows. © Janet Wickell

    Assemble the Quilt

    Refer to the illustration. Arrange all blocks into diagonal rows.

    1. Sew the quilt blocks in each row together. Remove temporary foundations from the sewn seam allowances of foundation blocks. Press seam allowances toward the applique blocks.
    2. Pin and sew rows together, matching seam intersections carefully. Sew the four corners to the quilt.
    3. Remove all remaining temporary foundations, taking care not to stretch the outer edges. Press the quilt.
    4. Mark the top for quilting if necessary (mine was machine quilted using straight stitches along logs and meander quilting around pitchers and bows).
    5. Sandwich, quilt, and bind.
    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Beverly's Straight Set Variation of the Log Cabin Quilt

    log cabin quilt
    Beverly's version of Pitchers for Tildy's Cabin. Beverly I. Long

    I love it when quilting community members take a pattern I've written and changed it to suit their needs. Beverly Long did just that with the Pitchers for Tildy's Cabin quilt.

    Take a look at the photo. All blocks are straight set, but light logs of the Courthouse Steps blocks are aligned against the light background of some neighboring pitcher blocks, making the pitchers appear to be on point. The value arrangement makes the other pitchers pop out, too -- the straight set is obvious and gives the pitchers nice visual movement.

    Dark Courthouse Steps logs form (Ohio-like) stars throughout the quilt.

    There's no need for the pieced setting triangles when this method is used.

    Beverly did a great job transforming this little quilt.