Log Cabin Stars

Materials

Based on fabric at least 1m wide

  • One fat quarter each of light gold, light red, light blue and light green for star centres
  • One fat eighth of pale purple for the centre star
  • 30cm of each gold, red, blue, and green for star points
  • One fat quarter of purple for the centre star
  • 1m of cream background
  • 110cm of beige background
  • 175cm of royal blue background, border and binding
  • 1m of midnight blue sparkling fabric for the outer border
  • 2m square of wadding
  • 2m of sheeting for backing or piece a backing

Notes:

  • All fabric should be washed before use.
  • All strips are 1 1⁄4in cut width to give a finished size of 3⁄4in.
  • It is best to only cut the strips required to make one star block at a time; remember it takes nine log cabin blocks to make one star block.

Finished Size

72in (182cm) square

Skill Level

Intermediate

Log Cabin

If you are not familiar with this traditional block, here are a few useful tips.

  • Start with the centre square and add a strip of the second colour, sew together. Press the seam open. Trim strip to same size as the square.
  • Add the next strip to the right hand side having rotated the piece clockwise, press, trim, and ensure finished piece is square.
  • Add further strips, always turning the piece clockwise. See Figure 1.
  • After every second strip is added check the piece is square.
  1. Construct the log cabin blocks as shown in Figure 1.
    • When assembling the block with a star point always start with the star colour
    • When assembling light yellow and royal blue blocks, start with royal blue
    • When assembling dark yellow and royal blue blocks start with dark yellow

    All blocks are constructed by rotating the work clockwise and joining the next strip to the right hand side.

    Each star block has nine log cabin blocks.

    • Two with star point colour and light yellow background.
    • Two with star point colour and dark yellow background.
    • Two with royal blue and light yellow background.
    • Two with royal blue and dark yellow background.
    • One of single colour slightly lighter shade than star point. See Figure 2.
Log Cabin Star
  1. Make nine log cabin blocks in the required colours. Lay them out following Figure 2.
  2. Join the top three blocks into one strip and press the seams in one direction. Repeat for the other two rows. Press the middle row seams in the opposite direction, this helps the seams meet neatly.
  3. Join the three strips to form a star block. Ensure that the royal blue colour is on the corners as shown in Figure 2. A finished star block should have; centre star, four blue corners, two light yellow diagonal strips, two dark yellow strips on opposite diagonals.
  4. Make nine blocks in the required colours, one purple and two each of the four other colours.

Quilt Assembly

  1. The nine blocks should be joined in strips of three, ensuring the background colours match, see Figure 3. The star colours should be arranged so that no two stars of the same colour are in a straight line, not even diagonally. The three strips are then joined to make the centre of the quilt top.
  2. Cut strips 2 1⁄2in wide from the royal blue for the inner border. Measure across the quilt top and add to the two sides. Press towards the border. Measure as before including the border just added and cut two strips to this measurement. Add to the remaining two sides.
Figure 1: Constructing the log cabin blocks
Figure 1: Constructing the log cabin blocks
  1. Cut strips 4in wide from the dark blue for the outer border. Measure and sew in place as above.
    Figure 2: Star block construction and completed block
    Figure 2: Star block construction and completed block
  2. Sandwich the quilt top, wadding and backing and quilt as desired. This was only the fourth full sized quilt Ray had made and was at the stage when he was learning by his mistakes, one of which came to light when he started to quilt. He had planned to quilt ‘in the ditch’ but after ironing all the seams open found it impossible. Consequently, it was quilted either side of the ditch, thereby doubling the work, but the result was very pleasing and rather unusual.
  3. Use the royal blue fabric to make a binding and sew in place. The quilt was Ray’s final piece for the City & Guilds Part 1 and was cut and pieced during a three-month stay in hospital. Many thanks to family, friends and his local quilt shop for their assistance and support during this time.

Other Ideas

  • Try three shades of one colour – one star to have the darkest and the mid shade and the other star to have the mid and lightest shades.
  • Each star could be a different colour, or maybe three stars of three colours.
  • Ray chose two shades of yellow as background colours, but any two shades of a pale colour would suit.
  • Try making the log cabin blocks off centre by making the strips on one (or more) side a different width. This would give a wonderful skewed effect.
Figure 3: Quilt top layout
Figure 3: Quilt top layout

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 11 Number 10 - October 2003