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Wonky Log Cabin Quilt Block Pattern

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Finish Sewing the Wonky Log Cabin Quilt Block
Wonky Log Cabin Quilt Block Pattern

Another Wonky Log Cabin block step -- you can angle strips before sewing, but take care that fabrics underneath aren't dark enough to show through the top patch.

Janet Wickell
  1. Add two light strips using the same technique to sew the first two dark strips (see photo above). (For this version of the Wonky Log Cabin quilt block, you'll continue to switch back and forth, adding two darks, then two lights, and moving in a circular manner.)
  2. Position the first light strip right side down along the combined edge of the strip you just sewed and the original center. Sew a seam and trim tail if necessary. Flip up and press in place (left photo).
  3. Align the next light strip to match the lower edge made up of the strip added in Step 2 plus the center square and first dark strip (right photo). Notice that I've angled the strip, which helps give it a wonky appearance after sewing. When you want to create an angle, I've found that it's best to angle the strip itself, rather than trying to sew an angled seam. (Keep in mind that very dark fabrics could show through a very light angled upper strip.)
  4. Sew the seam and trim the tail if necessary. Flip new strip upright and press. Trim tail of strip if necessary. (Photo)
  5. Add two dark strips in the same manner, moving in the same circular motion. (Photo - right illustration shows dark strip sewn in place, but not flipped up)
  6. Add two more light strips, moving around the center as before. Next, add the last two dark strips. Finish by adding the last two light strips.
  7. Your block will no doubt look very uneven around its edges. Grab a large square ruler or other template. For this block we'll cut away the edges, squaring it up to measure exactly 8-1/2" x 8-1/2". The foundation should be under all edges, for best stability, but it's fine if some log edges do not have a foundation under them (if leaving them out is the best way to square up the block). (Photo)

Wonky Log Cabin Block Tips

  • Use narrower strips, adding more rows on each side of the center square.
  • Make the center square very small if you prefer, or make it a rectangle.
  • Remember that the outer strips of the block will be reduced by 1/4" when you sew blocks to each other -- super narrow strips might become invisible.
  • Don't use a dark/light scenario. Instead, sew four strips around the center with the same contrasting fabric (light or dark, depending on the center); sew the next four strips from another, contrasting fabric. Continue to create a series of contrasting squares.
  • Go very scrappy with all of your strips.
  • Don't blend fabrics on each side of the block -- some of mine contrast (photos on Page 1).
  • If you decide your strips are too wide as you add them to the block, move your next strip inward, aligning it midway over the previous strip, rather than along the previous strip's edge (you will cover some "tails" of other strips when you do this).
  • Make a Courthouse Steps style wonky log cabin by sewing the first two strips to opposite sides of the center, the second two strips to the top and bottom of the center (and across the first two strips), etc. (Courthouse Steps example)
You can assemble a wonky log cabin without a foundation by sewing patches to each other in the same manner, but I like the stability that a foundation provides for the stretchy bias edges that always result when you work with angled patches.

Once you begin making these blocks, you'll find all sorts of ways to improvise. Have fun with it. There are no rules.

 

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