Learn how to make a log cabin quilt with Kate Owen

Published on 12 February 2020 3 min read

Want to learn how to make a log cabin quilt? We've got a fabulous video tutorial for you to follow with the talented Kate Owen. Based in South London, Kate is a fabric buyer, interiors obsessive and quilt maker who is a graduate of Textile Design at Central St Martins. Her work focuses on bold colours and geometry, with a love of traditional techniques and re-imagined patterns. If you're local, you might be lucky enough to find her teaching classes focusing on log cabin quilting, and you might even get to meet her beautiful cat and quilting supervisor, Lettice!

Choose your fabric!

Kate's beautiful log cabin quilt is the perfect candidate for using fabric from your stash - but if you're looking for a special colourway, take a look at some gorgeous fat quarter packs!

Browse Fat Quarters

Build the squares

First, follow Kate’s instructions to cut the strips and squares you need to build the log cabin pattern, using your rulers and rotary cutter, trimming your thread and pressing each seam as you go along.

Stitch the front pieces together

Using the same method, stitch your squares together in rows of four. When you have four rows of four-square strips, you are ready to sew them together to form the 16 square quilt front. Remember to press your seams and trim thread as you go!

Add the border

A border will help to preserve the shape and size of your log cabin squares, because when you add a backing to your quilt, the edge will eat up some of that precious fabric pattern! To add a border, cut four 3" long strips of fabric, and following the same principle as before, pin the first strip to one edge, right sides together. Sew the seam together, then trim thread and press. Repeat three more times, working your way around the sides of the quilt.

Quilting

To create the 'quilt sandwich', lie all three layers one on top of the other. First the back, then the wadding, and finally the top. Ensure that your back and wadding are both bigger than the quilt top, so that you have room to move around, and consider for this quilt, that the backing will also form the edging of the quilt, so you will need at least 3" spare around each side.

To quilt your layers together - the process of stitching through all three parts of your quilt sandwich, first secure the layers with either pins, or if the quilt is larger, basting.

For this quilt, Kate works diagonally through the squares in both directions. If you are able to sew by eye for smaller quilts, go ahead - but with larger quilts you may prefer to pin or draw a line and follow that.

Work one diagonal all the way across beginning from the centre to keep the quilt sandwich neatly secured, and when you have added each quilting line, change the diagonal and work in the other direction, and when you've finished, remove your basting stitches.

Kate's 'cheat' binding method

For this gorgeous Log Cabin quilt, Kate is using her 'cheat' method for binding, which means using the backing for the edge binding. Trim the wadding to size, but do not trim the back fabric.

With the backing lying flat, fold one side up to meet the edge, and once again over the edging. Pin to secure, and do the same for the next side, tucking and pinning the corner pieces as shown.

Stitch around the inside edge of the folded backing to secure.

You can do it!

Now that you've learned the log cabin technique, what will you try next? We've got some fabulous patterns for you to try!

Browse Quilting Patterns

Visit our international sites: North America | Australia