We are so excited to finally be releasing our new 5-inch log cabin template! Over the last couple of years, it has been so gratifying to hear from all of you who have loved the 4-inch and the 7-inch templates. It is incredibly fun to hear from different quilters who are discovering that their ability to make super accurate log cabin quilts have magically increased. Foundation paper piecing can be such a game-changer.
However, every few days I get an email or a comment on social media asking if I have a template with wider strips. For some of you, it may be because blocks with wider strips come together faster. And I will admit that the 4” block with its ¼ inch wide logs is more exquisite than speedy. I also know that for several of you, the requests for a block with wider strips are prompted by older hands that no longer want to fiddle with very narrow and small piecing. As somebody who has taught quilting workshops both locally and nationally to quilters of all ages, skill levels, and patience levels, I understand this need for a less detailed log cabin block template.
5-inch log cabin template
It is with great pleasure that we introduce the new 5” block. Though the block itself is not large, it only has 3 rounds of logs (rather than the 5-7 I have used in the past). The logs are ⅔ inches wide. I contemplated making them even wider, but I wanted to preserve some elegance in the block, so this was the compromise and I think it will make a difference to those of you who worry about hand dexterity while piecing. At this width, you will cut your fabric strips 1 ½ inch or so wide when piecing. This makes the strips nice and stable to work with.
I can also say that these blocks come together substantially faster than either the 4” or 7”. I timed myself one ambitious evening, and the 5-inch block takes only 60% of the time it takes to make a 4” block.
Rather than make a classic log cabin quilt as a sample for this template, I made a Folk Art – Americana inspired layout of 4 dark blue stars on a red/cream background. (I know you are going to ask: all the fabric was culled from vintage collections of French General for Moda and a few dark blue Civil War reproductions were added to get a bit more variety). My sample measures 55”x55” but it can easily get a bit bigger by adding a border to the quilt.
I also wrote an article with instructions on how to make this quilt and how to size it up for a queen size or king size if need be. Read our guide on how to make a log cabin star quilt to know the details of this project. I hope the sample quilt inspires you!
Log Cabin Quilt Ideas
In addition to my star quilt, here are some other ideas for how to use these new 5-inch templates:
- Traditional/Folk Art: Use plaids, flannels, or homespuns to make an incredibly cozy looking quilt. I can imagine blues and reds in contrast. Or maybe a really scrappy version that actually includes old flannel shirts…
- Minick and Simpson: If you are a fan of the red, white, and blue, in addition to the French General fabrics I am using, take a look at Minick and Simpson fabrics for Moda. They tend to include checks and stripes in their collections…and that always makes things cozy.
- Men’s shirt look: This would be an amazing block to showcase both vintage men’s shirts as well as other stripes and checks.
- Sweet: Minki Kim just came out with a new collection. You can see it on her website: Sewing Illustration. I think it would be amazing in a log cabin quilt with white on one side of the block. Also, look at her other collections for inspiration.
- Rich and Warm: Sharon Holland collection Kismet is an incredibly warm and very well designed collection. I don’t rush out and buy the latest and greatest fabric collection very often, but I did buy this one and it’s begging to be put into a simple log cabin quilt.
- Modern: Try solids! My teenage stepdaughter actually made a few blocks with pastel solids from Michael Miller. It looks very beautiful and sleek and would be perfect in a teen/tween bedroom.
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