Free Quilt Patterns from Equilters.com
Half Log Cabin Block in two styles
Cutting the strips for a 9 inch block

 These measurements are for sewing a finished block size 9 inches (9.5" unsewn). You may, of course, make your blocks any size you wish. Use some graph paper to plan your strips so they will fit into the size block you wish to make. Or, if you have a quilt design program, play on your computer to change the widths.

This is a good block for practicing sewing even 1/4" seams, too!

Style One - logs all the same width
This block has a starting square (here in red) which is 3" in the sewn block. All the logs are 2" in the sewn block. This means that the starting square is cut to 3.5" with a seam allowance added. The strips for logs are all cut to 2.5 inches.

 Quilt sample top layouts using Style One are HERE

Style Two - logs in two widths
This block has a starting square (here in green) which is 3", the same as in Style One. But one side of the block has logs which are 2" in the sewn block and the other side has narrower strips which are 1.5". This means that the starting square is cut to 3.5" with a seam allowance added. The strips for logs are cut to 2.5 inches for the wider logs and 2 inches for the narrower logs.

You will see, in Style Two, that the last narrow log can be used to form a border around 2 edges of the block (shown in black on the sample color block above) by matching it to the last log on the other side. This can allow some interesting design effects when you assemble the blocks which you will see in the sample quilt top layouts. Or, leave it in the sequence which is used on that side for a 2-sided look.

 Quilt sample top layouts using Style Two are HERE

Note: If you are a beginner to log cabins and sewing blocks from strips, I'd recommend you do Style One first. It is a little easier to sew slightly wider logs and there is one less log per block to sew.

As a reminder in black and white without the distraction of color, here are the two block outlines:
   

 

     

 

 

 

How to plan (or how NOT to plan) your strips
If you like a scrap quilt look, or if you have a lot of unused fabric pieces in your stash - just use it up and have fun making a great looking scrap half log cabin quilt or wall hanging. Pull out fabric, iron it and start cutting strips. Sort them into light and dark, or perhaps into two color families, or warm and cool colors. Take a look at the variety of sample quilt top layouts I show HERE for ideas.

But, perhaps you want to have a color scheme in particular? I still recommend that you use at least 6-8 different fabrics for strips for each side of the block. A quilt made with 6 different teal fabrics is much more interesting than one made with one teal fabric throughout! And, you really need some variety from log to log for your blocks. Ask quilter friends to trade you some fabric or donate some scraps, too.

How to plan your Starting Center Squares

You may want to make your Starting Squares all one color to unify the blocks - or all in one color family (hot reds and oranges? bold black tones? or your choice).

Or, find a bold print with an image (perhaps a flower?) that will fill that 3" and "fussy cut" it (this means to cut deliberately to place an image in the center of the square). Remember to leave a seam allowance around the image.

A half log cabin quilt for a child could have a fun conversation print image in that center square: animals, a series of toys, alphabet letters, vehicles, dinosaurs, etc.

How to Start?
Cut some strips and starting squares and have some fun and just make a few blocks from your strips. If you make 4 you can assemble them into a nice 18" x 18" pillow and you will have practiced the blocks and your seam widths will show if you need to adjust them before launching into a larger project. You'll be able to see how much fabric and strip quantity you'll need for a larger project, too.

Half Log Cabin block assembly sequence animated gif

Here are larger views of each of the two styles of Half Log Cabin blocks:

 

Reviewing Log Cabin sewing and rotary strip cutting:
Rather than repeat the cutting and sewing instructions in this article, I'm recommending that you read the first 2-3 parts of the Easy Log Cabin block article I wrote last year for understanding how to rotary cut and sew the block. The instructions are for standard log cabin blocks, 12" sewn size, but the basic technique will be similar to what we'll use here for the Half Log Cabin blocks. Click HERE to read this previous article. One thing to point out, you will NOT be cutting the logs into short lengths in this method. You merely sew from long strips and cut after sewing. This makes for much better accuracy and keeps the blocks from "shrinking" in size.

 Back to Part One of this Article Here

Here are some Sample Quilt top layouts 
using the half log cabin blocks in many different arrangements
 

Quilt blocks images were prepared with Electric Quilt 4.0 and PhotoImpact graphics program.


2001 Susan C. Druding - please don't reproduce this Half Log Cabin project in print or electronic media without permission.

Susan

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