How to Make Yellow and White Log Cabin Quilt

I call this quilt the Glass Veranda quilt. The model quilt uses about 50-60 different yellow fabrics. Up close, you can see that not all the yellows are in fact yellow. Some of them are actually pink and yellow on a white background. Others are orange. However, when we look at the quilt as a whole, it reads as a warm sunny yellow.

 

yellow and cream quilt

Inspiration and Fabric Selection

The inspiration for this quilt came from an early childhood memory of sitting in my grandfather’s little sunroom in his house in Birkerod, Denmark. The room was painted yellow. Not a shy and muted yellow, but bright sunny shade. The trim, frames, and doors were white. The morning sun shone through the greenery outside and beamed in through the windows, amplifying the brightness of the color scheme.  As is common in Scandinavia, I was served bread with jam and a soft boiled egg in a cute egg cup for breakfast. As I crack the egg open, I was struck by the fact that I was sitting in a room with the exact colors of the egg I was eating. This incredible experience of being inside a color has stayed with me my entire life and it was just a matter of time before I tried to capture it in a quilt.

I invite you to capture one of your own color memories as well. Maybe an intense experience of being on the beach, or of playing in damp grass with flowers nearby?

Yellow and White Quilt Pattern

If you would like to stay with my yellow and white color scheme, collect 50+ smaller cuts of various yellows to make your own version. Experiment with what happens to the overall color schemes as you add and subtract bright and muted yellows. If you are anything like me, this is not an analytical exercise, but a gut feeling of “right” when you have the right combinations of fabrics.

As you start to make your blocks, you may find that you will only use a little bit of some fabrics and more of others, in order to get the overall brightness of the quilt the level you want. I found that there were a handful of yellow fabrics that I used much more than the others in order to keep the overall impression bright enough. There were other fabrics that I only included a little of as I wanted them only to “disturb” quilt top a little. I often include fabrics that are intentional outliers from the rest of the scheme. This is important in order to keep an otherwise very cohesive color scheme interesting. In the yellow and white quilt in question, the darker ochre yellows found throughout are examples. Another example is the inclusion of fabrics that are really pink or orange.

 

 

I used solid bright white to create a contrast to the yellow, but you could also make a scrappy contrast side and showcase a variety of white tone-on-tones.

The quilt was digitally long arm quilted by Gina Perkes. I find that with log cabin quilts, especially the scrappy ones, it can be nice for the quilting to be an all-over design. There are so many different fabrics and so many seams in the quilt top that the digital all-over quilting provides a restful backdrop and doesn’t steal attention from the log cabin blocks and the intricate fabrics. If you are interested in hiring Gina to quilt for you, you can reach her at https://thecopperneedle.com/longarmservices/.

Quilt Size

The model quilt measures 56” x 70”.  80 blocks are organized into an 8 block wide and 10 blocks tall barn-raising pattern. I did not put a border on the model quilt, but you could easily add a border to make a larger bed quilt. If you are wanting to make a large log cabin quilt with the same block size, you can also check out the directions and requirements with the Red and Cream Log Cabin Quilt project that I did. 

Tools and Supplies Needed

1. Templates

The model quilt uses 2 books of the 7-inch Paper Piecing Template

 

log cabin block template

 

2. Fabric Yardage Requirements

Here are the fabric requirements for the model quilt: Creams: 

  • Yellows: 4 ¾ yard total. The model quilt uses abut 50 fabrics so exact yardage for each fabric varied but was always less than 1/4 yard. 
  • White: 4 ¾ yards. I used bright white from Michael Miller Cotton Couture. 
  • Yellow block center:  1/4 yard of a signature yellow. 
  • Binding: 18 inches of yellow fabric for binding assuming you cut strips for double-fold binding 2.75 inches wide WOF. 

Cutting Fabric for Log Cabin Quilt  

I don’t recommend that you cut all your strips right away. An enormous pile of strips is hard to keep organized. Rather, start off with cutting 2-3 strips in each fabric and cut additional fabric as you run low. Cut the strips 1 ¼-inch WOF. It can be really helpful to drape the fabric on cloth hangers or over a bar to keep them organized though in our experience they tend to end up next to the sewing machine and in your lap as you get into your project.

 

Yellow and white log cabin quilt

 

Piecing the Log Cabin Blocks 

If you are new to paper piecing, go over to our cabin tutorials section to get you going. To start, you will be making 80 traditional log cabin blocks with diagonal color contrast. Start each block by making 2 white logs followed by two yellow logs as you work your way around the block. 

Keep the paper on the back of the blocks until the blocks are assembled into a quilt top. Remember to keep your stitches tiny! 1.2 -1.5 is perfect for most machines. 

Assembling the Log Cabin Quilt Top

Sewing quilt top may be sound complicated to you but it should not be. To see how we put together our quilt tops and remove the paper from the back, you can refer to our previous video tutorials to get you equipped.

 

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