Quilt Patterns Through Time

Free Crib & Doll Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

log cabin doll quilt This page gives the instructions for a log cabin doll and crib quilt. Be sure to read the information at Log Cabin Quilts for Children before beginning. There you will find the history of the Log cabin quilt, the foundation piecing method and the fabrics used. This way you can do more than just follow the log cabin quilt patterns. You will be able to imagine yourself making your quilt during the late ninteenth century.

Scrappy or Not?

I've planned these quilts to be scrappy reflecting a mother or grandmother making the quilts from left over shirt and dress fabric. Quilts varied then as the do now so feel to either make the quilt scrappier than I have done with the doll quilt or to choose fewer fabrics and make it less scrappy. If your local quilt shop doesn't carry reproduction fabrics a good place to look for fabrics from this period is 1865-1900, Late 19th Century Fabrics and Indigos -- Late 19th Century Reproductions.

The doll quilt is made with just 4 log cabin blocks and measures about 17" square when finished. The crib quilt has 5 blocks in each direction resulting in a total of 25 blocks. With the sawtooth border is is about 35" square when done.

Cutting Your Fabric

Estimated yardage for the logcabin crib quilt.
For the doll quilt get a fat quarter of each fabric.
estimated yardage

1) Cut an 8" square of muslin for each block you will be making.

2) Cut a 2" square of the fabric you want to use for the center, one for each block.

3) Cut a variety of 1" wide strips of light and dark fabric. If you are using scraps the smaller lengths can be used for the middle logs. Long strips can be used for more than one log. If you find you need more as you go just cut more.

4) You will cut the fabric for your borders later.

Making the Log Cabin Blocks

1) Place the 2" square right side up in the middle of a muslin square.

2) Place a 1" wide dark strip wrong side up along the right hand edge of the center square.

3) Sew a " seam along the right side.

4) Carefully cut the end of the strip off even with the square block.

5) Press the strip away from the center square.

6) Turn the block left 90 degrees and place another strip of the same fabric along the right.

7) Sew the seam and press the strip outward.

8) Turn the block and this time place a light strip of fabric along the right.

9) Sew and press. the repeat with another light strip.

10) Continue to add strips alternating two light and two dark until you have three strips in each direction.


basic Log Cabin

Straight Furrows

Barn Raising

Barn Raising variation Log Cabin

Light & Dark variation Log Cabin
Planning Your Log Cabin Block Arrangement

1) Trim the excess muslin. Blocks should now be close to 6" square.

2) Look at the variations above to see some possible arrangements. To do the two larger arrangements you will need to add a row of blocks in each direction as they require an even number of blocks.

3) Arrange the blocks in different ways and decide which variation you will use.

4) Lay out the blocks the way you want them on a design board, table or other surface.

5) Sew together in rows then sew the rows together. Your basic log cabin is done.

Making a Sawtooth Border

1) Decide how many sawtooth squares you will need. You will need 84 for the crib quilt and 36 for the doll quilt if you use my plans.

2) Cut four 2 3/8 " squares, two with dark and two with light fabric..

3) Carefully cut the blocks in half corner to corner making triangles.

4) Sew together one light and one dark along the long edge making a new square.

5) Sew these four squares together and see if they are the same length as one Log Cabin block.

6) If it is way off check your measurements and adjust if needed. If the squares are just a little large you may be able to trim the squares to size.

7) Once you are sure of the size cut and sew enough sawtooth blocks to go around the quilt.

8) Sew sawtooth blocks in 2 strips long enough to go along each side then 2 to go across the top and bottom.

9) Next sew them along each side of the quilt. Try to have the seam line hit the end of each point. It won't be perfect but that adds to the charm.

10) Cut a 1 " strips for each side of the quilt then sew them on. Your quilt top is now done.

Finishing Your Quilt

1) Cut your backing a little larger than your quilt. For an added old time touch you can piece the backing with larger scraps you might have. Many doll and crib quilts were pieced like this.

2) Pin your quilt top and backing either with a thin batting in between or if you prefer no batting at all. Log cabin quilts were made both ways.

3) Log Cabin quilts were usually tied. Women tied quilts both on the front or the back. I decided to tie my doll quilt to the back as the front was already quite busy but either way would be typical of the times.

4) You can tie your quilt with square knots or if you want something a little stronger do a surgeon's knot. It is done just like a square knot but you wind the string or yarn around an extra time as shown above. See another example at "How to Tie a Quilt".

5)To bind the quilt cut your binding 1" wide. Sew to the front then turn and slip stitch it down in the back. Try to make the binding narrow. A ninteenth century woman would have prided on her narrow bindings.

(If you have any questions about this Log Cabin quilt pattern go to "Write to Judy Anne" where you can write to me with questions and comments. Be sure to mention which quilt pattern you are referring to.)

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