How to Make Scrappy Yellow Log Cabin Quilt

I don’t know what it is with this scrappy yellow log cabin quilt top that I just finished, but it has been a while since I completed a quilt top that I am this pleased with. Something about collecting all these different shades of yellow and then getting the overall voice of the quilt to read “Sun-shine on an egg yolk!”



Read on to learn more about how to make this scrappy log cabin quilt pattern.

Use Paper Log Cabin Template

The finished quilt top measures 56 inches wide and 70 inches long without borders. I used the 7″ Log Cabin paper templates to complete the quilt. It is 8 blocks wide and 10 blocks long for a total of 80 blocks. If you would like to make your version of this quilt, you need two booklets of the 7-inch Log Cabin paper templates. I organized the blocks into a barn raising pattern which is one of the traditional log cabin layouts and one of my favorite layouts (along with the straight setting).

yellow log cabin

Log Cabin Quilt Inspiration

What inspired this log cabin quilt pattern was a childhood memory of my grandfather’s house. He lived in the little town of Birkerod outside Copenhagen, Denmark. On one end of the house was a glass veranda and it was painted a bright yellow on the inside with white trim. As a kid, I remember sitting in the glass veranda for Sunday breakfast and cutting the top of a soft-boiled egg. The morning sun is streaming in the windows and amplifying the colors. In my mind, the inside of the glass veranda was the exact color of the inside of the egg and this color impression has been with me ever since. It is my grandfather’s glass veranda that 40 years later led me to this quilt.

Select Fabric for Log Cabin Quilt

Having a big stash of fabrics to choose from can be a huge advantage when making a scrappy log cabin quilt like this one, so it is essential that you build a stash fabric for quilting. This will help you to have a  wide variety of options when you do this type of quilt project. I used about 60 different yellow fabrics entirely from my stash. Some were relatively recent purchases from Heather Ross and Art Gallery, but many were old fabrics I have had for many years. The oldest one being a yellow Provencal cotton I bought as a kid. I also made sure to select fabrics from many genres, 30’s reproductions, Kaffe Fassett, batiks, traditional, contemporary, civil war reproductions…it all went into the quilt without discrimination.

scrappy log cabin fabric

When selecting fabrics, I stayed away from too many murky and mustard shades but I sought still to include a wide variety of yellows so that the overall effect of the quilt is interesting and nuanced but bright. It was a balancing act. There were fabrics that I cut several strips of but ended up including in only one or two blocks. Other yellows I used much more of because they kept the quilt looking sunny yellow.

I also think it is interesting to note that several fabrics in the completed quilt are actually orange and pink. However, since the logs in the blocks are only 1/2″ wide they end up blending really nicely at a distance so that the quilt appears yellow. Up close, these out-layer fabrics add a lot of interest to the finished quilt.

I am a happy quilter today!

(This article was written on March 31, 2016, and updated on Sep 6, 2020.)




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