Getting Started with Paper PiecingThe best way to learn foundation piecing, often called paper piecing, is to make a quilt block. Log cabin blocks are excellent paper piecing projects, because their rectangular patches are a bit easier for beginners to position than the triangles found in some patterns.
Read paper piecing basics first if you aren't familiar with the technique, then gather your supplies and start sewing.
Paper Pieced Log Cabin TemplateDownload the log cabin template. The instructions are for the 6-inch finished log cabin block on page 1, but you'll find an extra 3-inch block on page 2. Print the template onto lightweight paper or another foundation material, and then cut it out, but leave a little excess around the outermost edges.
Log Cabin Block FabricsTraditional log cabin blocks are assembled with a split color value arrangement, lights on one side and darks on the other. A few traditional log cabin layout options on page 8 show you a preview of the dramatic arrangements that can be created with these blocks.
Choose a scrappy assortment of light fabrics and another assortment of darks. Fabrics can vary within each assortment, but try to keep values consistent for each group.
Log cabin blocks sometimes have a red center to represent the "heart" of the cabin. Choose red or any other color you wish to use for centers.
Cutting instructions allow a 1/4" seam allowance around each piece, but it's fine to use slightly larger pieces from your fabric stash.
Mark the the template so that you'll remember which block half is dark and which half is light.
- Cut a 1-1/2" square for the block center.
- Cut several 1-inch wide strips from dark and light fabrics. Strips that are at least 7-inches long will work in any position, but shorter strips will work for short logs.