Modern Log Cabin Quilt: Free Pattern

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Modern log cabin quilt pattern

Sew a log cabin quilt with a modern vibe with my free quilt pattern! This twin sized quilt uses 9 large traditional log cabin blocks with lots of negative space to really make the log cabins shine. If you sew this quilt in beautiful dark solid fabrics, it will make the perfect quilt for a man. This is a generous 70” x 84” twin size quilt. See standard quilt sizes.

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Modern Log Cabin Quilt Pattern is included in the blog post below and is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $2 is totally optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.

You can see all my free quilt patterns here.

This Log Cabin Quilt Pattern can use fat quarters for most of the fabrics, with more fabric needed for the background and for one of the strip colors.

All the surrounding space around the log cabins in this quilt is a great place for quilters to show off custom quilting. Basic straight line quilting or wavy line quilting would look fabulous too.

This Log Cabin Quilt tutorial:

  • Uses easy piecing with 1 1/2” strips – perfect for confident beginners
  • Would make a great housewarming or birthday gift (for a guy especially!)
  • Is a generously wide size for a twin bed or a big quilt to snuggle with on the couch

I used Jet Black fabric for my background because it is SOOO black. My other fabrics were hand dyed solids from Cherrywood. They give it a soft velvety look and feel. Other solids or small print blenders would work great too.

In case you were wondering, the other quilts in the photo above are free patterns too:

Take note that besides the striking black background, I used 3 different shades of red and 3 different shades of gray.

I used EQ8 quilt design software to show you what a light variation of this quilt with pink and blue floral strips would look like. Isn’t it lovely?

I also used my Accuquilt GO! and strip cutting die to make the log cabin blocks. That’s totally optional.

What is a Log Cabin Block?

Let’s break it down! The Log Cabin Block can have lots of different looks. The main features are a center piece and strips sewn around that block. In another post I show how to sew a log cabin block any size.

I have lots of different log cabin quilt patterns for you to try including a bag and potholders! Find them in these Free Classic and Modern Log Cabin Patterns.

After your 9 log cabin quilt blocks are sewn, we’ll put them together with some large background pieces and finish the quilt.

So let’s get started!

How to Sew a Modern Log Cabin Quilt

Finished quilt dimensions: 70’’ x 84’’. Finished block size: 16” x 16”.

You will need:

  • 1/8 yard of dark gray fabric
  • 1/8 yard medium gray fabric
  • 1/4 yard light gray fabric
  • 3/8 yard lightest gray fabric
  • 1/8 yard of light red fabric
  • 1/4 yard medium red fabric
  • 1/4 yard dark red fabric
  • 5 1/4 yards background fabric (1 3/4 yards for the blocks and 3 1/2 yards for the surrounding rectangles)
  • 5/8 yard binding fabric
  • 4 1/4 yards backing fabric, or enough to piece together a 74” x 88” rectangle
  • a 74” x 88” piece of quilt batting
  • a rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and mat
  • a light colored marking pencil for quilters or tailor’s chalk
  • sewing machine
  • thread (I suggest thread matching the background fabric)
  • a 16 1/2” square quilting ruler (or larger) is very helpful for squaring up your blocks, but not required
Here is a diagram with all of the strips numbered.

Cutting:

To stay organized, I suggest keeping pieces 1-26 in labeled envelopes or plastic bags, taking each one out as you need it.

From the dark gray fabric, cut:

  • 5 squares 4” x 4” (for the half square triangle in the centers of the modern log cabin blocks)

From the medium gray fabric, cut:

  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 5 1/2” (piece 5)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 6 1/2” (piece 6)

From the light gray fabric, cut:

  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 9 1/2” (piece 13)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 10 1/2” (piece 14)

From the lightest gray fabric, cut:

  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 13 1/2” (piece 21)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 14 1/2” (piece 22)

From the light red fabric, cut:

  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 4 1/2” (piece 3)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 5 1/2” (piece 4)

From the medium red fabric, cut:

  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 8 1/2” (piece 11)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 9 1/2” (piece 12)

From the dark red fabric, cut:

  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 12 1/2” (piece 19)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 13 1/2” (piece 20)

From the background fabric, cut:

  • 5 squares 4” x 4” (for the half square triangle in the centers of the blocks)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 3 1/2” (piece 1)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 4 1/2” (piece 2)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 6 1/2” (piece 7)
  • 18 strips 1 1/2” x 7 1/2” (pieces 8 and 9)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 8 1/2” (piece 10)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 10 1/2” (piece 15)
  • 18 strips 1 1/2” x 11 1/2” (pieces 16 and 17)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 12 1/2” (piece 18)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 14 1/2” (piece 23)
  • 18 strips 1 1/2” x 15 1/2” (pieces 24 and 25)
  • 9 strips 1 1/2” x 16 1/2” (piece 26)

For the large background areas, cut:

  • 1 rectangle 6 1/2” x 48 1/2” (left side)
  • 1 rectangle 16 1/2” x 48 1/2” (right side)
  • 1 rectangle 30 1/2′ x 70 1/2” (top)
  • 1 rectangle 6 1/2” x 70 1/2” (bottom)

Cutting tip:

If you have an Accuquilt cutter, you can quickly sew the half square triangles together without using the shortcut method in these instructions. You can also use a 1 1/2” strip die for cutting long fabric strips the width of your fabric. The following dies will work with this quilt pattern:

  • 3” finished HST 55006
  • 1 1/2” strip die 55024

How to Sew the Log Cabin Blocks

Make 9 Half Square Triangle Units

Use the 4” square fabric pieces to make one HST (half square triangle) unit for the center of each block. Use a scant 1/4’’ seam allowance and a regular stitch length such as 2.

1. Place a 4’’ x 4’’ background fabric square right sides together with a 4” x 4” dark gray fabric square. Use the light colored pencil or tailor’s chalk to draw a diagonal line across the top square. This is a cutting line. Pin the squares together.

2. Sew a scant 1/4’’ away from the cutting line on on both sides of the drawn line.

3. Cut the pieces in half diagonally along the line. 

4. Open and press the seams to one side or open, as preferred.

5. Repeat with the remaining 4” squares to make 10 half square triangle units. You will only need 9, so you’ll have one extra.

Sew a Log Cabin Block with a Half Square triangle at the Center

If you are a beginner quilter, then I suggest sewing each log cabin block one by one. If you have lots of quilting experience, then you may find it faster to chain piece these blocks all 9 at once. The instructions below are for 1 block.

Use a 1/4” seam allowance.

1. Sew a ‘piece 1’ strip to the right side of a HST unit, as shown above. Open and press.

2. Sew a ‘piece 2’ strip to the top of the piece, as shown above. Open and press.

3. Sew a ‘piece 3’ strip to the top, as shown above. Open and press.

4. Sew a ‘piece 4’ strip to the bottom, as shown above. Open and press.

5. Continue sewing strips to the block going counter clockwise and pressing the block as each new strip is added.

You may also wish to trim and square up the block to the correct size after each new strip is sewn and pressed. The block should grow by 1” in width or height after each new strip.

After sewing the 26th strip to the log cabin block, trim and square up the block to 16 1/2” x 16 1/2”.

Repeat to make nine 16 1/2” square blocks.

Sew the 9 Modern log Cabin blocks together

1. Lay out your quilt blocks on a quilt design wall, on a bed, or on the floor. Pay careful attention to the orientation of each block.

Sew the blocks into 3 rows, each row with 3 blocks.

2. Sew the three rows together.

Assemble the Quilt Top

1. Sew the 6 1/2” x 48 1/2” rectangle to the left side of the quilt and the 16 1/2” x 48 1/2” rectangle to the right side of the quilt.

Press.

2. Sew the 30 1/2” x 70 1/2” rectangle to the top of the quilt and the 6 1/2” x 70 1/2” rectangle to the bottom.

Press.

Finishing your Twin Size Log Cabin Quilt

1. Cut or piece together a 74” x 88” piece of backing fabric and make a quilt sandwich with the backing, batting, and top.

2. Baste together with fusible batting, pins or basting spray.

3. Quilt as desired. Straight line quilting or cross hatch quilting with your walking foot would be fast and easy.

4. Cut 8 binding strips and bind using your favorite method. This is my favorite quilt binding method.

Are you sewing this modern log cabin quilt pattern for a girl or a guy? There are lots of log cabin quilt designs out there, so if you make a quilt using my free pattern, I would love to see! Post a picture on Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe so I can take a look.

And check out all these Log Cabin Patterns too!

xoxo,

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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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