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Faux Log Cabin

(original block design by Billie Lauder)

Fabric Requirements:

This quilt requires a clear contrast between the lights and the darks.  The lights need to be really light, and the darks should be really dark. I give cutting directions for two different colorways -- planned and scrappy. The scrappy fabric requirements are based on fat quarters, but there's nothing to keep anyone out of her/his scrap basket or her/his stash.

  • Light A --  3/4 yard
  • Light B --  5/8 yard
  • Light C --  1/2 yard
  • Light D --  1/3 yard

  • Dark A --  1/3 yard
  • Dark B --  1/4 yard
  • Dark C --  5/8 yard
  • Dark D --  3/4 yard
  • Dark E --  1 yard

  • 8 light colored fat quarters
  • 10 dark colored fat quarters


Planned Color Scheme:

All strips are cut on the crosswise grain,from selvage to selvage.  Pair up the Light A strips and the Dark A strips, the Light B strips with the Dark B strips, etc as they are cut. 

  • Light A -- cut 2  8.5" strips
  • Light B -- cut 2  6.5" strips
  • Light C -- cut 2  4.5" strips
  • Light D -- cut 2  2.5" strips
  • Dark A -- cut 2  2.5" strips
  • Dark B -- cut 2  4.5" strips
  • Dark C -- cut 2  6.5" strips
  • Dark D -- cut 2  8.5" strips
  • Dark E -- cut 2  10.5" strips

Scrappy Color Scheme:

Fabrics will repeat throughout the blocks because the strips are cut from four (4) fat quarters at a time.  Simply choose any four (4) fat quarters for each set of strips.  Some can be used more than once. For instance one fat quarter will generally yield at least 15" of length, so it's possible to cut a 4.5" strip and a 6.5" strip and a 2.5" strip from the same fat quarter. Or, cut a 2.5" strip and an 8.5" strip from the same fat quarter.  Just mix things around.  Cut on the crosswise grain, beginning at the selvage edge.

  • Set A 4 light 8.5" strips and 4 dark 2.5" strips
  • Set B 4 light 6.5" strips and 4 dark 4.5" strips
  • Set C 4 light 4.5" strips and 4 dark 6.5" strips
  • Set D 4 light 2.5" strips and 4 dark 8.5" strips
  • Set E 4 dark 10.5" strips

Strip Sets:

{All seam allowances are ".}

Wind two or three bobbins before beginning to piece--saves time and aggravation.)  Begin with the A set of strips.  Pair up each light strip with a dark strip, matching the edges at the beginning of the seam, and sew together.  Repeat with the B, C and D sets.  Using a dry iron and Granny's Lift and Thump Method, press each strip set so that the seam lies under the dark fabric.  (Tip: Place the strip set on the ironing board with the dark strip on top.  Press the seam as it lies, then pick up the dark fabric and smooth the set open.  Press again.  As long as the dark is on top at the beginning, the seam allowances will lie where they should.)

Now, trim one end of each strip set so that it is square, then slice each set into 2.5" sections.  Each set should yield about 30 sections.

A Strips and Sections

Light A - 8.5" strips; Dark A - 2.5" strips

B Strips and Sections

Light B - 6.5" strips; Dark B - 4.5" strips

C Strips and Sections

Light C - 4.5" strips; Dark C - 6.5" strips

D Strips and Sections

Light D - 2.5" strips; Dark D - 8.5" strips

Cut the Dark E (10.5") strips into 2.5" sections also.

Block Construction:

Piece the blocks beginning with the A and B sections. Place the two sections right sides together, carefully lining up all edges, and sew with a " seam allowance.  Keep feeding sections through the machine until all the pairs are sewn together.  Don't clip between each pair.  This little trick saves time and thread.  (Tip: Begin the seam so that the lights are at the top and the darks are at the bottom.  This way, the presser foot doesn't push the seam allowances out of position.) Take the resulting string of sections to the ironing board and press each pair open.  Continue adding sections according to the picture.

Setting Together:

Now comes the fun part--deciding on a setting for these blocks.  It's possible to use almost any setting which might be used for a regular Log Cabin quilt.  Consider any of the settings below.  It's also possible to set the top together as if the blocks were big triangle-squares.  Do whatever looks best.  There are no Quilt Police!

Delectable Mountains

Number of Blocks: 24 (or any even number)

Set: 4 blocks, 6 rows

Ridge and Furrow

Number of Blocks: 24 (can use an odd number)

Set: 4 blocks; 6 rows

Barn Raising

Number of Blocks: 24 (or any even number)

Set: 4 blocks; 6 rows

Flying Geese

Number of Blocks: 24 (or any even number)

Set: 4 blocks; 6 rows

backgrounds this page generously provided by Big Nose Bird