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Log Cabin Quilt

Log Cabin Quilt

Quilt patterns, as their name implies, are a type of a template to guide the quilter in making the quilt blocks, which are the smaller units that make up the quilt top. A log cabin quilt is perhaps the most recognized of all quilt patterns.

The pattern is made up of a center square with strips of fabric sewn around it. Each strip that is added goes the entire length or width of the square, so that the first strip added is the same width as the square. The next strip is the whole length of the center square and the new strip. The third strip is then the length of the last strip and the square. This is an ideal quilt pattern for a quilter seeking to make a beautiful quilt with leftover scrap fabric. Today, quilters are precise in their choice of fabric and color schemes to be used in their log cabin quilts.


The log cabin quilt pattern was created between 1810 and 1830, which coincides with the quilting boom that occurred in America. County Fairs began to appear where quilt makers could receive prizes for their valuable quilts and designs, and to compare and share different quilt patterns. Quilting Guilds and Quilting Bees were formed, again emphasizing the social structure of quilters and allowing for the trading and creation of quilt patterns. During this period, new quilt patterns were introduced; in fact, most patterns found in today's quilts were developed during this period.

The log cabin quilt has been a favorite ever since. Since its introduction, many variations have been made by changing the positions of the light and dark fabrics either within the block itself or by changing the arrangements of the blocks. Examples of these variations include "Court House Steps", "Straight Furrow", and "Barn Raising".


A log cabin quilt block traditionally has a yellow or red center square which is said to represent the warmth of the home. The red can symbolize the fireplace and the yellow a burning candle. A black center square was used in log cabin quilts that were hung outside of buildings which were safe havens for runaway slaves during the Civil War. The block of a log cabin quilt is sewn starting with the inside square, building outwards to the edges of the block. This symbolizes the process of building a home, starting with the warmth of the family's love in the center, which builds its way out, one brick at a time.

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RSS | September 18, 2019

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