Curved Log Cabin

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Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):

Hi, I’m Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Take a look at this gorgeous quilt behind me.  This is a curved log cabin.  This…I just have to tell you about the log cabin block because, really, this was the first quilt I ever made, was a log cabin quilt.  This one is really special and fun because it has just a little bit of different pizazz on it and I’m going to show you just how to do it.

So, to make this quilt what you’re going to need is a jelly roll, which is a two and half inch strip, and a honey bun ,which is a one and half inch strip.  That’s what gives it the curve.  So, we’ve got this great square, here, and we’ve got the smaller pieces on one side and the larger pieces on the other side and it make this curvy look to it.  Now, the log cabin is so much fun because there are a zillion ways to set this and if you just look up log cabin blocks you’ll just be amazed at how many different blocks you can, or how many different looks you can get from this block.  I love the log cabin block.

So, let’s get started here.  The first thing we’re going to need is a two and half inch square for our center.  Now, the two and half inch square is traditionally, it’s going to be red for the heart of the home or yellow for the light of the home, and it’s going to be one of those colors.  Either red or yellow.  So, I’m going to do mine red.  Actually, you can do it any color you want.  That’s just the traditional, old way.  So then we’re going to have these little squares, like this, and we have to start building our logs around them.

So, the first thing we’re going to do is, we are going to take our one and half inch strip and we are going to add logs to two sides of this block and both sides are going to get the small, the small pieces on them and how I do this is, I take my little middles and, instead of cutting all the pieces, which, for me, takes a lot of time, I just take a strip and I sew, I sew all a quarter of an inch and I’m just going to add piece after piece after piece and sew all one side, like this, and then clip them apart.  So, it’s a really easy way to get a whole bunch done at once.

So, let’s go ahead, and I’m going to sew these on, over here.  Go to the sewing machine and we’re just going to lay this on here and sew a quarter of an inch and I’m just going to go ahead and sew and then, right before I get to the, to the end of this block, I’m going to put another one in there.  So, I just slide another one in there, like this, and, I’ll just do a couple of these so you see how to do this, but I would decide ahead of time how many blocks I wanted for this quilt and then I would go ahead and do all the centers at once.  So, this one happens to be thirty six blocks and so it makes a quilt that’s about seventy-two by seventy-two.  It makes a nice big square and so it’s, it’s, it’s a pretty good sized one.

So, what I do then is, I cut these apart.  When you cut them apart you can either use your scissor or your rotary cutter. I’m just going to use my rotary cutter, right here, and then you want to iron these open.  So, what I’m going to do is, I’m just going to press them back.  Let me scoot these to make sure you can see what I’m doing here.

For the log cabin you kind of come up with a cool color scheme because you’re going to kind of do lights to darks or you can do it all scrappy, or, or, you know, really, however you want it.  I kind of tend to do mine lights to dark and that’s just how I like to do it, but that really is personal preference.  So now, we have this one, this one little piece on, and we’re going to add another log to this side.  Now, a good way to remember which log is coming to next is, whichever piece is fully across, that’s the piece you’re going to sew to.  So, I put that piece on the top and this will make a little more sense to you as I sew a few more.

So, I’ve got this on the top, like this, and I’m going to lay my other one in there, just like this.  If you can get them in snug enough, you don’t even have to trim both sides, you just have to make a cut between, but you have to be pretty careful if you’re doing that.

Alright, so let’s go ahead and cut these apart. And, again, I’m just going to use my rotary cutter and slide this along here.  Make a cut.  Make a cut.  Make a cut.  And then we’re going to iron this back again.  So, this is the first side of our little log cabin, right here, and you can see we have two logs on here.  You can also see how this log goes all the way across the top.

So now we know we’re ready to add our logs to the second side and we’re going to start and go from light to dark.  So, I’m going to take this lighter, and a really good way to tell whether your strips are light or dark is to use your red glasses.  So, I’m going to take this lighter one, this is the strip that goes all the way across the top, and I’m going to lay it right side down on the edge of this strip and, again, I can go ahead and do the same thing with all of my pieces and it doesn’t matter if they’re all the same or if you just want to choose light strips and mix them all up.  That’s kind of what I’ve done here; I’ve just kind of mixed it all up.  So, we’re going to sew some of these together, like this, and I’m just going to lift up that foot and slide that one in and then slide this one in, and I do really love the scrappy look.

That’s one of the reasons I love the jellyrolls is because even though they’re all coordinating, they’re all a little different.  So they’re, they’re, they come across scrappy.  So, we’re going to trim these off this strip and, remember, if I was making all my blocks, I would just sew down and put as many on a strip as I could. And then we’re going to iron this piece open, here.  And then I’m going to grab another, a different light for the next block.

Now, again, when you look at this, this piece right here is the piece you see that goes all the way across the top.  All of these have a seam that goes in someplace else, so this one goes all the way across the top.  I’m going to grab this light one and I’m going to put these so that this, this seam that goes all the way across is the one we’re going to lay down on a strip and, for me, it falls at the top.  You know, obviously, it’s going to be at the top or the bottom, but I put it at the top, sew it down, like this, and add another and one more.

And I just want to take you through a few of these rounds because it’ll be real easy for you to see how it goes together once you just get the hang of it and for me the key is remembering that the last strip that I sewed on is the one that goes all the way across the block without any interruption and I hope that’s making sense to you.  So, let me trim these off.  There we go.  Now we’re going to press them open, right here.  Alright, so now you can see, let me move these out of the way here.  Now you can see that I have one side with the two and half inch strip and one side with the one and half inch strip.

Ok, again, just to make sure that you’ve got this, I want recap this, ‘cause this is a really fun block and it’s, really, relatively easy.  You just have to get the hang of it.  So, what you’re going to do is you’re going to take your little two and a half inch square and you’re going to add a strip to one side.  Then you’re going to add a strip to the other side.

So, the next thing you’re going to do then is add your strips, your fatter strips, your wider strips, to the opposite side of your block.  So, here’s your small block, which is this part right here.  Then you’re going to add you wider strips.  Then you’re going to go back and add these smaller strips and I have one of these right here so you can see.  So, now I have two here and two here.  So you’re going to add this one and you’re adding this one.

Now, it’s time to go back and add these wide ones, which is what we’ve done here.  Now, we have two small strips, two wide strips, then you’re going to go back and add your last wide, your last small strip and your last two wide strips.  And so then you get these awesome blocks that are just about this size.  Now, you can make this, you can go on and make them as big or as small as you like.  It’s going to depend on your, your center, but with what we’re doing here, all your blocks are going to come out right about this size, which is going to be just about, oh, I would say ten and half inches square.  So, just about that size. And then what you’re going to do is, you’re going to lay them out.

Now, we have laid these out so that they make this kind of curvy thing that goes around and I would suggest that you go online and look at Curved Log Cabin images so that you can see all the different ways that are there to lay them out because this is one of those blocks… this is really what got me hooked on quilting was because, when I made a log cabin, I realized that if you just turn that block, you know, a quarter of a turn, a whole new something would appear and I was so smitten by that.  I mean, I literally just, that’s really what got me hooked.

So, this is a great block.  All it took was one jelly roll, one honey bun, and about a yard and half of fabric for your border and you’re going to get this great quilt that’s about seventy-two by seventy-two.  So, we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Curved Log Cabin block, one of my favorites, from the Missouri Star Quilting Company.

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  • Bee

    This look great–and easy! Is there a book with complete directions for the Curved Log Cabin?

  • Kathie Cavanagh

    Had to buy a second jelly roll as did not use all the colors and made it with 24 squares for a twin bed with only 2 color designs. Found if you do not use all color variations it takes 3 strips of one color on last 2 colored rows. Therefore needed 2nd jelly roll as not all fabric in jelly roll available in yardage and only couple have 3 strips of one color. Looked at all variation of curved log cabin and I think Jenny’s is the prettiest version. Love to use her tutorials and great buys on material. I tell my friends remember there are 42 strips and better quality fabric than large fabric stores and chain stores. I have not been displeased with any fabric or template I have bought from MSQC unlike other vendors. Go Jenny!

    • JenniferMSQC

      Thank you so much, Kathie! We are so lucky to have you in our community! Go Kathie!!

      • Gi gi

        Hey Jenny I’m just finishing up my log cabin. I used the Noting Hill . I love the colors with a yellow center.
        Now my ? I live the Cleopatra Fan quilt I wish you did also I’m really having a difficult time with it.

  • Char

    Hi Jenny, I love this quilt and the colors used. Do you have these jelly rolls and honey buns in stock that you used to make this quilt. I would be very interested. These are the colors I use in my home. Thank you.

  • Petey’s Mom

    Just a note re: this quilt. If you are making a scrappy version, then probably any one jelly roll will do. However, if you choose to work lights to darks as Jenny does, you will need a jelly roll that has a pretty even distribution of values (even numbers of light, medium and dark strips), otherwise you will find yourself short. It is a fun and beautiful quilt to make, though, and is definitely worth the time to piece. It’s beautiful in Christmas fabrics. Have fun!

  • Lea K Morris

    I love this curved log cabin quilt and want to make it, where do I purchase the required Jelly rolls for this quilt, please le me know.

  • Katharine

    Hi! I think I want to make this quilt for our bed ! How many jelly rolls and honeybuns do you think I will need for a king-sized bed ?

  • Sally Ryan

    I will be making king size quilt. How many jelly rolls and honey buns?

  • Linda B

    I ordered the Incardine jelly roll and 1.5 yds of a coordinating fabric for the border as per the instructions given. I was very short of being able to complete the 36 blocks and had to order more fabric. Also noticed that even though I used the same fabric as the tutorial some of the fabrics used in the tutorial were not in the jelly roll. Now I wait for my order to arrive to finish this project. Disappointed. :0(

  • Nina

    Hello, I have to say that yesterday I came across one of your video’s and ended up watching your tutorials all day.. I just love how you teach. I went and looked up Curved Log Cabins like you suggested but I just love yours by far, is there any chance you will do a start to finish tutorial on how you put it all together? I really, really would love to make one like yours. <3 Thank you again for sharing your knowledge with all of us.

    • Lorraine

      I agree with Nina! I was watching your quilt as you go tutorial and then found myself watching all of the yesterday, which was okay as I was in bed sick anyhow…what a wonderful instructor you are and I just love how you make the process much easier with all your tricks. I want to make everything. I also just love your color options you select for all the quilts. I just started a quilt group in my community and I can’t wait to try your quilts and share with the group. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  • Pam Ahlvers

    would you please put out printed instructions for this one?

  • jersey girl

    Would like to know how to get the written pattern so it looks like the one in the background in the video? HELP PLEASE

    • Missouri Star Quilt Co

      That pattern is the Curved Log Cabin and Jenny used Incarnadine Jelly Roll and a French Vanilla Honey Bun the pattern can be found in the Summer issue of the Block.

  • Alice

    What is the summer issue of the Block?

  • Petey’s mom

    I used Through the Winter Woods by Holly Taylor. And I couldn’t resist. That’s

  • Petey’s mom

    Oddly my pictures were removed

  • Auntiepatch

    Where is the Cleopatra Fan quilt tutorial? I’d like to see that one

    • Jan Ochs

      Hi Auntie I too LOVE the Cleopatra Fan design! Unfortunately, the only pattern I’ve found was in an upscale fabric shop & is PAPER PIECED! I’ve quilted several simple designs, but would need an angel (or a Jenny video) instructing on my shoulder to paper piece. HaHa

      • Auntiepatch

        You can buy a template set at but it has 10 pieces to cut and costs $40.00. I agree; we need Jenny to do a video on this!

        • Jan Ochs

          Thanks for input but couldn’t locate this product
          Cleopatra fan is paper pieced so I would need more
          instruction/class for sure.

  • Debbie Shannon

    I’m confused, I started making the blocks using a Moda Jelly Roll and a Kona Honey Bun. I’ve made thirty six 2 1/2″ blocks and I’ve made two rounds. Now I’ve run out of the Jelly Roll. I don’t understand what happened. I still have the plenty of the honey bun. What do I do now?

  • Susan

    How would this quilt look in Richmond Reds by Moda ??? Is there enough lights and darks ??? Thanks !

  • Karen from Pa.

    Hi all, I made this quilt and just LOVE it. I followed Jenny’s directions using lights to dark AND if you do this……… make sure when buying your jelly roll that there are 42 strips in it OR you will be short. I had to buy a small amt. of additional fabric to finish it. Other than that, it is sooooo easy and turned out beautiful.

  • Cindy

    Good evening everyone @ MSQC

    As soon as i finish with my sons quilt i’m going to start this Log cabin quilt. I will most likely make a queen size for my sister. How many rolls will i need for this size? (approx. 90×90)

  • Ron Bouchard

    First quilt I ever made was from this tutorial.

  • Cindy

    Good evening everyone at MSQC
    I have a question. I had someone ask me if i would make them a quilt. The only thing is i have know idea how much to charge them. They wanted a full-queen size. (around that) so, how much should i charge? (Curved Log Cabin) Thank you!

  • Karen from Pa.

    Well my curved log cabin quilt top went to my quilter tonight. I made this for my daughter and her husband’s 30th. wedding anniversary. I used Ashley by Whistler Studios and a French Vanilla honey bun. This quilt was so much fun to make AND easy. Thank you Jenny for the great tutorial.

    • Deborah Keeling Young

      This is a beautiful quilt. I’ll have to keep this design in mind for my next quilt. Lovely!

  • Sonya

    Could I cut my own strips from a fat quarter bundle

  • Gayle Hall

    Thank you for yet another awesome and very informative video, Jenny! Are you ready for the shock of your life?!?! I’m 65 years young and have NEVER made a log cabin quilt because I thought I’d be bored senseless with the repetition. I love landscape quilting and thread painting, but have avoided doing the more geometric or structured quilts after doing a couple of strip quilt tops that are still UFOs. Thanks to you, I’m definitely changing my thinking and seeing the adventure that lies ahead by embarking on the structured quilt journey – thank you so much!

  • Joy Saarela

    I would like to know what fabrics were used in this tutorial i just love that combination???

    • Wendi

      Hi Joy the Incarnadine Jelly roll was used and unfortunately we are sold out and not able to get any more back in stock. I apologize about that. I hope you have a great day.

  • Hazel Cooper

    Just finished putting this together today… very easy pattern to follow. Love the tutorials. I will put borders on after Christmas but thought y’all could see a photo of it.

  • Laralee Nelson

    Made my first one of these. Made the centers from 2 plus a little of a third of the jelly roll strips. Needed to use all left-over parts of strips that were long enough to have enough to do all the rows. However, the Block magazine says the squares will be 11.5 but they are 10.5 like Jenny says. 🙂 Lots of the honey bun left over, probably enough for the inner border. Am squaring up the blocks currently then comes the fun of deciding on a layout.