Two Tricks for Perfect Log Cabin Blocks

Hi! I’m Marti Michell. When Moda asked me to be part of the Rulers Rule blog hop I immediately said “Yes!” It was almost as easy to decide that, because Log Cabin quilts are popular with nearly everyone, the From Marti Michell Log Cabin Rulers would be the tools I’d want to talk about!

Just in case you haven’t made a Log Cabin quilt or even a block, Log Cabin starts with a center square and is completed by adding strips to the center unit in either a clockwise or counterclockwise order. I like my blocks to go clockwise:

If you want Log Cabin blocks that are both square and all the same size, there are two tricks you need to know:   

#1 –Cut fabric strips on the lengthwise grain. 
#2 –Cut the strips to length before sewing!   

The best part of this method is that, in addition to being accurate, it is faster than any other Log Cabin technique I have seen or you’ve ever tried. (We’ve done time studies – no, really, we have!)


Trick # 1 is to cut your Log Cabin strips on the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvage). Yet, most quilting instructions start with cutting fabric strips the width of the fabric from selvage to selvage. Why?

Before we answer that question, pick up a piece of fabric, grasp one selvage in each hand and pull. Do you feel how the crosswise grain stretches? Now pull on the same fabric in the opposite direction, parallel to the selvage. Can you feel the difference?


Because most pieces in a Log Cabin block are considerably longer than they are wide, most distortion in a block will be eliminated if you cut strips on the firm, non-stretchy, lengthwise grain.

So, back to the question, “Why don’t all Log Cabin instructions say that?” Probably because: 1. It is easier to write instructions and figure yardage using crosswise strips. 2. It is the way the author was taught and just hasn’t tried another way. 3. The author is not trained in textiles and so may not realize the importance of understanding the characteristics of lengthwise and crosswise grain.   

Trick #2 is cut the strips to length before sewing! If you have ever made Log Cabin blocks by sewing small pieces to a long strip and then cutting to size, you may be thinking you don’t want to give up the chain-piecing method you have been using. With the From Marti Michell method, you don’t give up chain-piecing. You give up aligning your ruler at both ends of the pieced section and cutting the long strip twice to get one piece in the block. Instead of aligning your ruler twice for each piece, you simply nip the threads separating the units. Which way is easier?

You don’t need a From Marti Michell Log Cabin Ruler to take advantage of these tricks—It is just easier with a Log Cabin Ruler.

If you are going to cut strips to length, you have to know what length that is. The length of each strip is the total of the width of the pieces to which it will be attached. So, first you have to decide how wide the strip will be. The sample we are using today has strips that finish 1-1/2 inches wide, but are cut 2 in. wide. So the first piece is 2 in. long, then 3-1/2, 5, 6-1/2 in., etc., all measurements you can find on a regular ruler.


BUT on the 1-1/2 in. finished width From Marti Michell Log Cabin Ruler #8037, we have eliminated all of the ruler marks except the lengths that you need to cut for that block. This ruler has white paper behind it so you can see the markings:

(In case you don’t want 1-1/2 in. finished strips, we also make 3 other Log Cabin Rulers that pair one-half and 1 in., 5/8 and 1-1/4 in., and 1 and 2 in. finished strips. You’ll find more information and videos on our website.)

It is very easy to use a From Marti Michell Log Cabin Ruler to measure and cut both the strip width and length.   

Measure Strip Width Using the Log Cabin Ruler 
Measure the strip width from one long edge of the ruler to the first vertical purple line. (For right handed cutters, the fabric is to the left.) For this example, there are just two fabrics representing the traditional light and dark halves of a Log Cabin block. There is also a pre-cut 2 in. center square. Use a regular ruler to true-up one edge or remove the selvage.

True-up an adjacent edge: align a line on the ruler with the just-cut edge and trim.

Without moving the fabric or yourself, use the Log Cabin Ruler to measure the strip width. 

Put your regular ruler against the edge of the Log Cabin Ruler. 

Remove the Log Cabin Ruler and cut against the regular ruler.

Cutting the Log Cabin Pieces  
Turn the strip and, with the Heart in Hand logo on the fabric and the line marked A aligned on the squared-off end, cut the first piece A:

The first piece added to the center square is typically the same size as the center square and is the only other piece in the block that length – it can be either light or dark. When using the classic half light and half dark block arrangement, I like to start with light fabrics. By starting with a light fabric, the last piece in the classic block will be the opposite value of the first piece. When the block has an equal number of strips on all four sides of the center square, the last piece added is the only piece that long. This creates a pleasing jog when blocks are arranged in rows for most layouts. 

Next, cut the B pieces:

How you add this piece determines whether the block goes clockwise or counter-clockwise. It doesn’t matter, unless you want your blocks to match our illustrations, which all go clockwise. But you do want them to all go the same way. Sewing is detailed in Log Cabin ABCs (Product #8043).   

Then cut the C pieces and continue down the alphabet cutting and arranging.

Measuring and Cutting Many Blocks at One Time 

Of course if you are making more than one block, you want to cut more pieces more efficiently. I love to demo cutting the pieces for a “Snuggler” quilt. It is the first quilt in The Log Cabin ABCs and the quilt we recommend for your first Log Cabin quilt. It is a scrap quilt made with 16 blocks. 
I’m making a new version and all of the light fabric strips will be cut from the same fabric, but I’d like for the 6 dark strips to be scrappy… So I did a little math… I bet you don’t know that if you add the length of the shortest strip in a Log Cabin block to the length of the longest strip, it will be the same as the total of the length of the next shortest and next longest, etc. A cutting scheme began to percolate! There are 16 blocks, each with 6 dark pieces. I wanted more variety than 6 fabrics, so it worked out perfectly to cut all 6 lengths twice from 8 different fabrics. The exact size piece needed for each fabric would be 12 by 14 in., but we say 14-1/2 x 18 in. in the book – 14-1/2 in. allows for an extra strip if needed, and 18” gives a lot of wiggle room. We used that measurement in the book because many people would start with fat quarters 18 in. long on the lengthwise grain. First, true up and cut 6 stacks of strips just like we showed with 2 fabrics. (You will need a sharp blade in your cutter to cut 8 layers. If you just can’t cut 8 layers, do 4 at a time instead.)

Then, using this cutting chart and starting in the lower left corner for right handed cutters, move up the stacks of strips and cut in alphabetical order: B, B, C, C, D, D. Then move to the right and come down the strips: E, E, F, F, G, G. (If you are left handed, start in the lower right corner with B and cut in a counter-clockwise order.)

I can cut 96 pieces in 2 minutes using this method! You can watch a video demonstration on our website.

 What about the sewing? Well this blog is about cutting. The sewing is detailed on pages15-17 of The Log Cabin ABCs and in this video on our website. In a nutshell, I always sew Log Cabin units with the new piece on the bottom so I can control the seam allowances. I finger-press each new piece and “real” press after each 4-piece round. On the first 3 pieces, I lead with the center square, with the new piece on the bottom so that my strips go clockwise from the center out.

Other Fun Styles

You can cut center squares that are larger than the strip width when you use the From Marti Michell Log Cabin Rulers, as long as the cut square is also one of the dimensions on that ruler. For example, in this small batik Fat Quarter Log Cabin, the strips finish at 1” and the center square is 3” finished.

And in this Courthouse Steps Variation, there are actually 3 different size center blocks.

Sometimes Log Cabin blocks are combined with other blocks. I love Log Cabin blocks set on point. Look at this quilt called “Rachel’s Baskets.” Using the same fabrics for the light side of all the blocks created a wonderful “self border” when the blocks were set on point. 

The Rachel’s Basket pattern is in Log Cabin ABCs, and it is also available as a separate pattern that includes more detail and a crib quilt variation. You can also see several videos on our website that detail more cutting and sewing information about the quilt.

One More Thing About the Rulers  In case you were wondering why there are two strip widths on every ruler… One of the fun variations of Log Cabin quilts is off-center or round Log Cabins. These blocks need to have narrow and wide strips, as well as light and dark strips.

For the best circles, the wide strips should finish twice as wide as the narrow strips. The important phrase is “finish twice as wide” — strips are not cut twice as wide. 

So that you would not have to remember that until the day you want to make an off-center Log Cabin quilt, we paired them permanently on each ruler. You can cut both strips widths for this fun block with one ruler! It takes 4 blocks to make a circle, as you can see in the center unit below. Then, we like to add an additional strip all around to frame the circle and make it stand out. Rotate the blocks to create the shape on the right. In those blocks, we added a strip in the center to elongate the curve. There are more details in The Log Cabins ABCs.


There are 4 sizes of round or off-center blocks you can make with From Marti Michell Log Cabin Rulers. From smallest to largest, they are 12”, 15”, 18” and 24” square finished. You may have noticed that on each ruler, the letters on the wide strip are capitals and the letters on the narrow strip are lower case—that is so you can differentiate wide or narrow strip lengths when making the off-center or round Log Cabin blocks.


Did I mention that it is easy to make the Log Cabin variations called Chevron and Courthouse Steps with the Log Cabin Rulers? We made this darling Little Woolie Chevron quilt using cotton flannels from Maywood Studio.


And this is me with my favorite Courthouse Steps quilt!  It is made with some of our daughter’s hand-dyed fabrics. She is Stacy Michell of Shades Textiles fame. Thanks for reading this blog, and thanks, Moda, for the invitation to the Moda Cutting Table!

Happy Log Cabin quilting 
From Marti Michell! 

I will be giving away a Log Cabin Ruler #8037 (1-1/2 and 3/4 in. finished strip widths) and a copy of Log Cabin ABCs to one lucky winner! To enter please leave a comment about your favorite Log Cabin quilt or one that you are planning to make. You will have until September 30th at midnight to comment. All winners will be randomly selected and announced on Moda…The Cutting Table Blog on October 2nd. Be sure to visit the blog every day for the opportunity to win each giveaway!

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359 thoughts on “Two Tricks for Perfect Log Cabin Blocks

  1. When I first started to quilt and took a class that is what we first learned and it was during xmas. I love my first quilt with all xmas prints. I make many different kinds of quilts but i think the easiest without thinking is the log cabin quilt no matter what version-but help or an aide is always welcome. thanks for the chance to win

  2. Discovered recently that my hubby likes log cabin blocks and Civil War fabrics, so I have been collecting fabric for stars and log cabins blocks. Loe your rulers and templates!

  3. My first class as a novice quilter was making a log cabin and house block quilt. It was taught by Mary Ellen Von HOlt of Little Quilts and I loved it! I “borrowed” a piece of green fabric from someone as I felt it needed some green in it. I might just make another now that I’ve read your blog! Thnaks.

  4. Well, who knew about this? Many thanks for sharing this great tip about the cutting lengthwise for the strips. I have two log cabin quilts on the go right now but my next one will be done using your method.

  5. The first quilt I ever made was a log cabin….I took a Quilt-in-a-Day workshop with my sister and we completed the entire baby sized quilt in one day. This was 30+ years ago…had never heard of a rotary cutter then! I just found it a few months ago and when my daughter was visiting, one of her pugs fell in love with that quilt so it is now his..from “grandma”.

  6. I’ve made quite a few log cabin quilts, and your tutorial here has opened my eyes to better ways to cut. I’d love to own this set of rulers and book. My favorite log cabin? A twisted log cabin made with wizard of oz fabrics.

  7. Well done Marti. Teachers that say precision doesn’t matter, you can always trim the blocks later make my eyeballs itch.
    This is the first ruler of this series I’ve actually put on my shopping list.

  8. Love log cabin quilts. the very first quilt I ever made was a log cabin when I was expecting my first child. It is in all red and whites. still a favorite.

  9. The log cabin block was my mothers favorite block and she lived in a log cabin for many years. These rulers make the process look so much easier. Thanks for the give away.

  10. My favorite block by far is the one with the yellow logs in the center of the quilt! It looks like the sun is shining through. I have several of your rulers and templates and love them all!!

  11. I’ve only made one lag cabin quilt – it was a baby quilt with a starfish fussy cut as the center block, but would love to make one from batiks for my bed. The ruler would be a great help. Thanks for all the instructions.

  12. A newbie here who’s only made three quilts so far, so I haven’t made log cabin yet. Love the tip about cutting on the grain though!! Would love to add this ruler to my (very small) stash of tools/rulers!!

  13. I designed a breast cancer awareness quilt for donation a couple of years ago. This ruler would have made the log cabin blocks in the quilt a lot easier. I’ve been thinking of making another to donate, the ruler would be put to good use.

  14. Hi Marti!
    I am a HUGE fan! when I first started quilting more than 10 years ago, your book “Quilting for People Who Don’t Have Time to Quilt” was the first book I bought. It was fabulous and a tremendous resource for someone like me who had absolutely no sewing experience whatsoever but had a strong desire to make quilts. All these years and tons of quilts later, I still refer to it!

    A log cabin quilt has been on my quilting “bucket list” for a long time. Now, after 10 years of quilting I finally have enough stash to do a “scrppy version”, so here’s hoping I win the rulers!

    Fingers crossed,

  15. This is such an informative post, I never knew to cut from the other side! Many thanks for a great giveaway too.

  16. I love the log cabin circle blocks (and using them to make a border also looks really nice). This ruler looks like it would come in handy for so many different quilts!

  17. Great post, not just for log cabin blocks, but for general info on cutting strips. I’d love to try that log cabin border on a quilt. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Kathie L

  18. I have never made a log cabin quilt (gasp!) nor had I ever really thought of making one . . . until I saw this post! Thanks so much for such a great and informative lesson. Thanks also for a chance at the giveaway.

  19. I’ve never made a log cabin but it is on my list of quilts to make. I love them. They remind me of home and family and the South where I was born. I would love to have your book and ruler to make the perfect quick and to not lose my sanity in the process. LOL!

  20. My first quilts were log cabins – they’ve always been my favorite. One of the first I did from a pattern was on the cover of one of the first issues of American Patchwork and Quilting. It has a log cabin at the center of a star. It’s still my favorite quilt and hangs in my bedroom.

  21. I have made numerous log cabin quilts. The one I love the best is the curved looking one. I never could figure out why my strips were not straight when getting to the last few strips. WOW—Now I know why. The Grain-line of the fabric. Love these tips. Thank you.

  22. I am currently working on a traditional log cabin quilt. Your blog showed me some easier ways to make the next one! This one is for my son who passed away last year at the age of 38. He had picked out all the fabrics.

  23. I haven’t made a complete log cabin quilt yet. I have been blessed to hear Marti teach twice. She makes quilting seem so simple. Thanks for the chance to win.

  24. My first quilt was a log cabin. I took a class at the local walmart given by the fabric manager. That was in the late 1980’s. Thanks for the chance to win the ruler.

  25. I have always wanted to make a log cabin quilt but was intimidated by all the small strips to cut. Now that I know about your rulers and the great tutorial you shared, I am going to jump into deep water and make one. Thanks for the chance to win.

  26. I am so excited to see a new way to think about a log cabin quilt. I tried this quilt several years ago and was frustrated that none of the blocks squared up. Thanks for designing a new way…..Thanks so much for the chance to win a log cabin ruler…..:-)

  27. I have always loved log cabin quilts. I purchased a log cabin book several years ago with lots of pretty variations on the simple block. I don’t think I can pick a favorite!

    I really like your ruler – I think I need to get one!

  28. Many thanks for the great give away. You have some wonderful tips and ideals. I just love your stuff. You can never have to many tools.Thank you again for the chance to win. Good luck to all.

  29. I’ve only ever made a wonky log cabin out of scraps. This looks like the possibilities are endless from a more structured log cabin. Can’t wait to try. Thanks for the chance.

  30. Thank you for the chance to win . You have great ideals and tips on doing wonderful things with this block. You can never have to many tools. I do not have this as of yet, and would love to win. Good luck to everyone!!!

  31. Log cabin blocks were the second blocks I made! I love log cabin blocks! I have tried various methods to make them and this looks to be the best I have seen. Of course, Marti’s book (remember small little thing) was the first book I bought. It worked then and I have no doubt it would work now! I would love to give these rulers and book a try.

  32. I just finished my first quilt that incorporated log cabin blocks with sampler blocks – it was a bom. I am in love with the circular log cabin patterns so would love to win this ruler and book so I can work on these.

  33. Hi Marti! Thanks for that great information about creating log cabin quilts. In answer to your query, I don’t have a favorite log cabin quilt. But I would like to! That’s a design I’ve wanted to make for quite awhile, and now I feel more prepared to go ahead.

  34. I haven’t ever done one but would like to do one for my bed. Looks like the ruler would come in handy. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  35. I made one log cabin quilt – i did not follow your tips – the “squares” were not square and were all different sizes. In the end it looked somehwat okay.

  36. I included a log cabin in my sampler quilt – learning to quilt class. I enjoyed it but our instructor had us cutting after sewing each strip. Thanks for your great advice in this blog. I sew love the round log cabin! Maybe that should be my next project – at least it will be a definite addition to my “list”! kathleen dot lutz at doh dot state dot nj dot us

  37. I love log cabin quilts. Your ruler and method makes so much more sense than the way I’ve done them. I’m eager to try your method. Thank you.
    Jackie in WI

  38. A few years ago my husband asked me to make him a quilt in our college colors. I used an off center log cabin block and it turned out really nicely. What makes it my favorite though, is that he requested it!

  39. I haven’t made any log cabin blocks yet, so if I were lucky enough to win, I think I’d make the “Snuggler” quilt. Looks gorgeous, and hopefully not too advanced.

  40. My first quiltmaking experience was in 1969 or 1970 when my great-aunt thaught me how to make a log cabin block the old way–no pre-cuts there. The love of quilting didn’t latch onto me then as a teenager but did in 2002 when I took my first lesson for a sampler quilt.

  41. Do I dare say I haven’t make a log cabin quilt yet, but it’s certainly on my list. In fact, I do have some log cabin blocks I need to make that will be in a quilt mixed with sampler blocks. I would love the opportunity to try out these rulers. Thank you for the opportunity to win one.

  42. I have made a couple of Log Cabins. If I had know about these tips especially #1 things would have gone better. I always cut from salvage to salvage but I now will use your tip and cut length wise. These rulers will be a must buy.

  43. I love a off set, pastel flower log cabin that has been shown online the last week or two. It is so pretty. Really want to make one like it.

  44. The Log Cabin Quilt was actually what got me into quilting. I made a Christmas Wall hanging using log cabin blocks forming a wreath. I was so proud of that project. I am anxious to make another now!

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  45. I made a log cabin quilt when I was new to quilting -your ruler would have made the process much easier. ecently I havebeen thinking about an off centre log cabin done in blues.

  46. The only log cabin I have done is a miniature…1/2 inch logs. I have many Marti Michell templates but not the log cabin!
    I enjoy your tutorials.

  47. I have always loved log cabin quilts/blocks. I’ve made several and used log cabin blocks in some other quilts but have never made a round one – would love to try it.

  48. My favorite and most precious quilt is the Log Cabin Quilt my grandmother made for me when I graduated from high school over 35 years ago. She quilted as she went. The quilt has been through many loved times. I have yet to make a log cabin quilt but this method/tool seems pretty exciting.

  49. My little brother is getting married and I’m just about to start working on a log cabin quilt for him. I haven’t ever made one, but I love how they look! The circles are amazing! Thanks so much for the chance.

  50. A log cabin quilt is on my bucket list, I thank you for the tips on cutting….this is inspiring me to get it done! The log cabin design is one of my favorites, I don’t know why I haven’t gotten one done before now thanks. Thanks

  51. My first major quilt attempt ever was a log cabin and I was making it for my king size bed. Needless to say, it never got finished. I was using the quilt in a day technique back when you were to tear all the strips. Oh my what a mess of strings. Your ruler is sooooo much easier.

  52. My second quilt that I made was a log cabin wall hanging quilt. I was still learning the ropes and didn’t feel extremely confident about the method. Yours seems very sensible to me and thank you for your great instructions and videos. I would love to win! Thanks!!

  53. My favorite log cabin that I’ve made is a curved log which made a wreath. Another favorite is an antique which has the dark and light in concentric circles. It is one of the most versatile patterns I know!

  54. The first bed sized quilt I made was a log cabin…wish I’d had your rulers and book way back then. Not all my blocks were square, but it all worked out okay.

  55. I have seen some amazing quilts in
    the log cabin style, and would like
    to make one for myself, these rulers
    would make those easier to assemble.
    The circle style are fabulous.

  56. Love the round log cabin. Thanks for the awesome cutting tip, I didn’t know about the direction I had been cut was wrong and it makes a lot of sense.

  57. I would LOVE to make a log cabin 3/4″ strip block…but have been putting it off because of the cutting! I will definitely be looking for this ruler…but in the mean time THANK YOU sew much for the chance to win it!
    Take care!

  58. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never made a log cabin quilt, but hope to someday. I love Judy Martin’s Snake River and the Streak of Lightening setting, as well as the Courthouse Steps. Those circle blocks are pretty cool too!

  59. I haven’t made a Log Cabin quilt yet. I am working on my first quilt ever, a disappearing nine patch! This ruler makes the Log Cabin look so easy I may have to do one next…. Thank you for the chance to win the ruler and book to make it possible!

  60. I haven’t made a log cabin quilt yet but I like the one you pictured here that is done in batiks with the 3″ centre square and the light strips in yellow.

  61. I have made one and it was a disaster! I was doing both of these things that you mentioned! Now I know I can try again. Humm which one do I want to make!!!

  62. I love all your templates. I have greater success with my blocks when I use templates. I am planning on making a round log cabin next. Thanks for all the tips and techniques.

  63. I love all of Marti’s ideas! I hope to make a log cabin quilt for my son and his bride. THis would really help! THanks for the chance to win.

  64. I have made several small log cabin quilts. Your method intrigues me because it would be more accurate and less cutting! I’d like to try the uneven log cabin and your ruler would make it go so much faster and accurate.

  65. The only log cabin I’ve made is a 12″ square mini log cabin. I have several log cabin patterns and would love to win a log cabin ruler to use with them. Thanks for the giveaway!

  66. I’ve made one Log Cabin quilt, not tryly accurate using the long strip and adding short pieces, but done. I’m impressed with these rulers after seeing them in action!

  67. Sus reglas y gobernantes, me parecen
    tan interesantes, que pienso como podíamos nantes trabajar si ellos
    son muy prácticos y maravillosos
    esta entrada es muy interesante

  68. Oh my look at those round log cabin blocks! I’d love to learn how to do those blocks :0) Wouldn’t t make a fun baby quilt?

    Thanks so much for the video and the chance to win the book and ruler….oh my goodness, I love all your great templates and use them all the time.

    Happy Sewing

  69. I have loved you since I first saw a video of you on Quilters TV. Haven’t been at this too long but have made a beautiful log cabin. Thank you so much for your instructions and help!!! Happy Quilting, Therese Hinson

  70. Hi! I’m a beginner quilter and have a Log Cabin quilt planned in the near future. I would so love to win your book and ruler. It would help me to prevent a diaster. I also loved all the information you posted on Moda’s blog. Very useful. Thank you for this chance.

  71. Please don’t enter me in the contest. I already own the Log Cabin ABCs book and all the Marti Michell log cabin rulers. Just want everyone to know they are fantastic! It’s the only thing that kept me from giving up on log cabins!

  72. I haven’t yet made a Log Cabin quilt. Have always planned on one, but the list is long! A Log Cabin quit feels like a right of passage to me. Marti is one of the reasons I got interested in quilting…

  73. I’m new to quilting and haven’t tried a log cabin quilt yet. I love the looks of the circle ones so that will be what I will start on the first of the year…I’ve got too many projects going for Christmas presents to even think about it any earlier. Thanks for the chance to win the ruler and for the tutorial.

  74. I’ve never made a log cabin quilt, but I did make a log cabin block in a sampler class that I took when I was first learning to quilt.
    I recently attended a quilt show and there was a gorgeous log cabin quilt in the sunshine and shadows setting. It is the first time my husband ever made a request for a quilt so I now have a log cabin quilt on my “to do” list.

  75. I made a log cabin years ago which was so loved, it finally wore out. These would really help to make another, which I wanted to do, but dreaded the work of trimming all the pieces, Helen

  76. I’m very glad M.M. created templates because it made my quilting so much more efficient and fun! Now it’s time for the log cabin ruler to try. I really like what I see and read here, it looks good! Thanks for the tutorial Marty!!!

  77. Thank you for the information of log cabin quilts. If I am fortunate enough to win, I hope to make a curved log cabin quilt. Your quilts are beautiful and I have a much better understanding of log cabins. The info makes me want to learn more, now! Thanks for the great giveaway.

  78. Wow! Thank you sew very much for taking some of the mystery out of Log Cabin blocks. Your rulers and book would be extremely helpful. How generous of you to offer a lucky winner this gift. I am off to visit your website. Creative Stitching Bliss…

  79. My very first quilt was log cabin hearts . Oh how I could have used this ruler. New to quilting I had very uneven hearts , but, that was
    17 years ago . I have not made a log cabin since , I tend to shy away from the idea. Love the looks of log cabins and need to make one soon. They are beautiful !

  80. I love the Log Cabin block. I am making a half square log cabin in scrap fabrics currently, and after that is finished my sister-in- law and I are going to make a log cabin from scraps for her son, my nephew. I am trying to use up my scraps.

  81. I have never thought about making a log cabin until I’ve seen this ruler!! It makes it look all so simple!! I’d love to win to try it out!! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  82. My first quilt was a log cabin. Thirty years later it is still one of my favorite blocks. I love how versatile it is. I have always cut my strips WOF but I will start using your tip and see if I notice the difference right away. Thank you.

  83. I have made a log cabin quilt and enjoyed making it. Would like to do more with a modern twist. Your rulers look like they would make easy work of the process. Thank you for this great giveaway.

    Have a super great sewing and stitching day!

  84. Log Cabin was the first quilt I ever made over 25 years ago. The strips were 2″. I have a feeling my favorite one will be the one I’ll make w/your fabulous ruler! This was the best post so far.

  85. I have always planned to make a barn raising log cabin with traditional country colours, but your post has me thinking about circles now! I had no idea you could make so many different log cabin designs, thank you!

  86. I have tried many different techniques for log cabin blocks, I have never had a great result with the trimming method but your method gave me perfect results. Thanks for this great blog topic.

  87. My first log cabin quilt I made was in 1995, it was courthouse steps and that was for a quilting guild challenge. I just made my second log cabin quilt this spring for a baby gift, it turned out beautiful. What a difference from my first log cabin. My favorite pattern is the Barn Raising. I can’t wait to try your log cabin rulers. I already use your templates and love them.

  88. Marti, I have followed you for years and between you and Eleanor, I have learned so many useful quilting tips. Once again you have come through with a lesson that will be easily learned and retained. I too hope I am the winner of your great new book. 🙂

  89. I took a class with you when I first started quilting, 4 years ago. I only made a table runner with the two blocks I made in your class, so maybe it s time or me to make a whole quilt. Thanks for the chance to win your ruler.

  90. I would love to learn how to make a Log Cabin quilt like those pictured. I tried it and it just didn’t come out right 🙁 Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win these amazing tools!!!

  91. I’m glad I read these tips before I get into log cabins. I’ve been meaning to give then a go for ages, but now I’ve seen the circles it’ll be next project on the cutting mat!

  92. My favorite is the first log cabin I made forty years ago – not perfect but well loved and still used today. It was such a fun project – not even quilted – just tied but it has a wealth of memories attached to it. Even the fabric I used screams 1970’s!!

  93. I’ve never seen these rulers before but they would sure make log cabin blocks a joy to make!!! I think I’d jump right in and make a traditional log cabin quilt… One with a red square in the middle, I love that!!!

  94. I love your circles log cabin quilt! I’ve always wanted to make a log cabin, but haven’t gotten around to it. I think I need to get that book and ruler 🙂

  95. I’ve made lots of log cabin blocks for samplers and pillows and smaller items. I’m sure your ruler would be very helpful if I decided to make a whole quilt.

  96. Any quilt I have ever produced using Marti Mitchell Rulers have always been so precisely pieced. I have made many log cabin quilts and would love to add your book and rulers to my quilter’s tool box.

  97. The first quilt I ever attempted was a Log Cabin wall hanging; it was a disaster. I think having this ruler would make the difference. Thanks for the chance to win one.

  98. I tried one of your Log Cabin rulers on a potholder. . it turned out perfect! Your methods are great and well thought out. Thank you for all your ideas and your wonderful rulers and templates.

  99. I have a log cabin quilt I made for a friend that just recently passed away from breast cancer. It was my favorite quilt I’ve made. It is from an old country quilt book that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. I would have loved to use the ruler! I love Log Cabin quilts and have fabric for another!

  100. I would love to make a Log Cabin Quilt using all the colors of the spectrum – one color per block in varying shades from light to dark. Sounds sweet, right? Thanks for the chance!

  101. I made a queen size log cabin quilt a couple years ago. It was way more tedious than I thought it would be. I can see where cutting the pieces to size first would have sped up the process. I may want to try another by using your method. I love the log cabin block because there is so many ways it can be arranged!

  102. I’ve got 2 kits to make a Log Cabin quilt with. Now to get it out of the UFO pile and completed. It is a red/black and white combo and set in a traditional block. Sure could use the ruler set!

  103. You were probably blinded by the light bulb that went off when I read the part about the sizes of the longest and shortest, etc. I cannot tell you how many strips I cut (on the WOF 🙁 ) and were the wrong sizes. can hardly wait to complete current project and start a log cabin. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  104. I took my first quilt class almost 30 years ago. Sampler blocks all finished, quilt not. Since that day, I have wanted to make a log cabin quilt. Cutting my fabric takes me forever, and am only now getting better at it. I have seen your new book and preordered it, but only to dream of what I someday may be able to do. Your ruler and methods sound like a godsend to this old beginner. Thank you for the chance to win one!

  105. I have made several ones but the one I did in all scraps was beautiful. It went to my daughter for Christmas.Thanks for all the tips and these rulers are on my wishlist now.

  106. I actually have a Marti Mitchell log cabin ruler but until I saw the circle log cabins (which I immediately put on Pinterest) I didn’t feel inspired. So if the circles are in Log Cabin ABCs I am all set!
    P.S. I listened to your APQ radio interview today which seems mighty coincidental! Those pod-casts are very long and I am way behind.

  107. Thanks for the tip about cutting the strips on the lengthwise grain. It makes sense. I have several log cabin books by various authors, but this is the first time I have heard this.

  108. WoW – thanks, Marti, for all the tips and information for making a successful log cabin quilt. Rachel’s Baskets is wonderful. Love the colorful log cabin border around all those lovely baskets. That’s going onto my “to do” list for sure.

  109. I have only made log cabin blocks using paper piecing, so these would be so much fun to try!

    My favorite log cabin quilt is the classic Lightening Streak pattern.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Sandy A

  110. My first experience with a log cabin block did not leave me wanting to try it again anytime soon. Your method sounds so much better. I love the round log cabin blocks.

  111. I bought one of these rulers in the summer along with a beautiful pattern/fabrics for a courthouse steps quilt. I’m going to make it slowly and carefully for myself, and I’d love to know how much more fabric it will take to cut these pieces on the lengthwise grain. I’m afraid I need more fat quarters of the colors I’m using. Great post, Marti: thanks!

  112. I love your templates Marti and would like to do a bright cheerful border as in Rachel’s quilt. it is great to be able to make great traditional blocks in modern quilts with accuracy.
    Thank you Marti – you put the satisfaction factor into quilting.

  113. Probably one of the beautiful quilts in the Log Cabin ABCs. I would love to win this great little ruler too. Thanks so much for all of your tips and information. 🙂

  114. I’ve never done a log cabin but have always admired them. This ruler would certainly help make the process easier….I love tools and I would love to win this ruler. Thanks for offering it as a give away

  115. I was in Puyallup, WA at the debut of Marti’s Log Cabin Rulers. I had them in my hot little hands right after she showed them and have made several quilt tops using them. I cut out three scrappy queen size quilt tops at the same time. I was sewing the blocks the same day. This method is so quick and easy. I have all four sizes and also love doing two color quilt tops with them
    Thank you Marti.
    Donna in Oregon

  116. This ruler looks awesome, thanks for the chance to win one.
    My first log cabin was a quilt in a day pattern and members of my family all got together to make one. I have always wanted to do another one, now here is my chance.

  117. I love the log cabin ruler. I’ve made a few of the fat quarter log cabin quilts and they have all turned out beautifully. The ruler is easy to use and the blocks turn out perfect!!!! A great ruler to add to your ruler collection that you’ll actually use!!!

  118. I’ve made several log cabin quilts in a watercolor style and still have a lot more floral fabric for more. This ruler would definitely speed up the cutting process! Thanks for the chance to win.

  119. Wow!! to think I’ve made several log cabins, and all the wrong way!! LOL
    Would be great to actually make one the right way – with the right tools and instructions.
    Having your tools would be an awesome promotion for you here in Australia, with my quilting group.
    And now my 10 year-old daughter, who has been reading over my shoulder, wants to make a Log Cabin quilt for her nephew! sheesh, I’m going to be busy if I win!! 🙂
    Thank you for the great information.

  120. I have a log cabin quilt made with Christmas fabrics waiting to be quilted. It’s been waiting a couple of years for me to get more confident with FMQ. Thanks for the chance to win.

  121. I am planning a log cabin quilt made from the pattern called LOG CABIN STAR by Kansas Troubles,using her newest fabric line. I am so excited…I ordered the fabric two days ago, so I will soon be ready for that ruler. soardkgatfusedotnet

  122. These rulers are just what I need! I LOVE Log Cabins and have been wanting to make some “non-traditional” Log Cabin quilts with the narrow and wide curves appearances! Thanks for the blog! Wonderful inspiration!!

  123. I want to make a log cabin quilt and with your ruler and book the process would be so much easier and faster. You’ve made the ruler so easy to use how could we go wrong with cutting the pieces! Thank You for giving us the chance to win them. Good luck to everyone hope I’m the luckiest. LOL

  124. I made a lovely log cabin in reds and blues for a friend a year ago using Marti’s effortless and accurate method. I just LOVE all her templates and her wise advice on making it happen fast! Moda was so smart to give her space on their blog…..THANKS MARTI! Right on gal!

  125. I made Carrie Nelson’s ‘Double Duty’ for one of my son’s 21st Birthday. It turned out beautifully but I did find using a normal ruler difficult cutting the strips. My husband loves the quilt so much I now have the fabric to make one for him but am timid with starting it due to all the cutting again with the normal ruler and trying to keep track as it is so easy to cut the wrong length with all the markings. Thank you for the giveaway. Log Cabin quilts are timeless.

  126. I tried making a log cabin quilt several years ago out of beautiful 1930s reproduction fabrics. It was a disaster, and after reading your article, I now know why! I’ve been collecting fabric to try again, and now I feel confident with your instructions & ruler, I can make a log cabin quilt that I’ll be proud of.

  127. I’ve been collecting flannels that remind me of my sister, and am planning to make a cozy log cabin to snuggle up with when I’m missing her.

  128. Thank you Marti for this excellent instructions. I did a Log Cabin quilt long ago, the “wrong” way I learned today. Will practise your method for shure, sounds so clever!

  129. Your rulers are awesome – they make me want to try log cabins again. My previous attempts got all wonky – it’s the width of fabric myth we’ve all be conditioned to use. Thanks for the tips and the give away!

  130. Amazing serendipity of this article! I am starting a log cabin piece and would love the inspiration as well as instruction. Thank you for the opportunity! Christina in Cleveland

  131. Thank you for all the rulers and information you share so that our quilts are so much better than they might be. Thank you again especially for this information as now I know why some of my log cabin blocks come out so wonky. Thank you again.

  132. I am a big fan of your templates. I have asked for them as gifts and have started a good selection. I have one of your log cabin rulers but have never used it. I didn’t realize the rulers are set up to give the round block. I have always admired it but have never sat down to figure it out. Now I don’t have to. I think I will try it today. I would love another rule and the book. I have picked it up many time but not bought. Thanks for a very informative column.

  133. What a great giveaway. I would love to make a log cabin quilt using batiks which I have been collecting for some time now. Your ruler and book would make my life easier to do this. Thanks for the chance to win.


  134. I actually have stayed away from log cabins because they are so hard to keep accurate! I can see that I am going to have to look for a Marti ruler…love all the information! Shopping is in the forecast:)

  135. Marti,

    Last Spring, our local quilting shop shared the process in making log cabin quilts with your rulers…

    Your time management plan pushes me forward to complete my project using a center fuzzy cut square.

  136. I think my favorite log cabin quilt is made with the Courthouse Steps layout… so very pretty! it always catches my eye! I would love to make one of them.. I have made a little log cabin chair pad.. but would really love to make a full quilt! thanks for the chance!


  137. I love the look of log cabin blocks and that you can arrange them so many ways. I’ve only made one log cabin quilt and it took me forever to make. I’m excited about your cutting instructions. Thanks for the chance to win your gift.

  138. My favorite log cabin quilt is one that’s on my bed right now – it’s made with 30’s reproduction fabrics and white muslin – I really love this quilt!

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  139. One of my earliest quilts and the only log cabin variation I’ve ever made is a mini Courthouse Steps variation quilt. The whole quilt is only 12″ square and was made to display on the bed of featherweight machine but now resides on a “wall of minis” behind the machine.

    I loved the information provided about doing the circular log cabin blocks—maybe that could be my next log cabin project!

  140. I have made 1 quilt and 1 wall hanging log cabins, but way before you came out with these rulers and yes I did experience trouble with wonky blocks! Am really excited to try your method and would love to win your book and ruler. Thanks for the chance to win this great giveaway!

  141. Thank you Marti for the log cabin lesson. I learned a great deal. I made a small log cabin wall hanging which was my first attempt at quilting. Needless to say it is hidden in a box because it looks so bad. Maybe with this new knowledge I will try again.

  142. My favorite log cabin quilt was a pastel rainbow baby quilt in a barn raising layout that I made for my daughter. — soparkaveataoldotcom

  143. Wow! I’ve been wanting to make a log cabin quilt and your ruler sure makes it a lot easier when it comes to figuring out/cutting the strips. And the circle log cabins are very tempting!!!

  144. i haven’t made a log cabin quilt yet, but i have the fabric, black and tan and coral batik, i have one of your rulers, but i have no book so this would be great. just having these 2 tips i’m further ahead than i was. when i’m going to use one of your products for the first time i always check the website for your video tutorials.

  145. I have never made a log cabin quilt before but it looks like it would not be to hard with that ruler and book.
    smjohns63 at yahoo dot com

  146. The first quilt I ever made was a log cabin quilt. It was made in the “traditional colors”. The logs were tan and brown and orange was for the “fire in the fireplace”. My mother criticized me for liking brown which prompted me to give it to Goodwill. Oh, how I wish I still had the first quilt I made over 30 years ago.

  147. My first block was a self-taught log cabin with 1/2″ finished center which was made into a chicken pin cushion. I would dearly love to make more log cabins and do so much quicker with your rulers! Love your easy instructions and quicker piecing methods!

  148. Thanks for all of the great tips for making log cabin blocks that are not all wonky! I have a bag full of small blocks that were made a long time ago when I first tried this block and very few of them are square so they never made it into a finished quilt. I love log cabin because it can be made in so many options – you have inspired me to try again 🙂

  149. Marti, Your rulers are wonderful tools. I need the “log cabin” ruler to make a curved cabin to frame for our “western room”. It might cause a whole quilt to be made. A man named Richard sent us some of your books and rulers a few years back and they are a joy to use.


  150. I’ve never made a log cabin quilt but have used other of your templates and loved them for I Spy quilts. Would love to win rulers and book.

  151. This explains so much.
    My second quilt was made in the barn raining setting. Nothing was square. Ended up stitching it together with an overlocker/serger. Perfect 1/4 inch seams. I turned it into a doona cover.

  152. I have never made a Log Cabin Quilt but I am extremely excited to start one! This is just what I need to take the plunge! Thanks for the chance to win!

  153. I made 3 log cabin quilts from the Quilt in a Day method years ago, before rotary cutters were available. It would be fun to make a new log cabin quilt with this technique. I would never have thought of cutting the strips lengthwise!

  154. I’ve only made two log cabin blocks in my beginning quilting class. I am very intrigued by them but I was turned off by how time consuming the whole process seemed. I would love to make curving log cabin blocks. I like the starburst effect. Thank you for the chance!

  155. I like the log cabin block to use up scrap strips either using all the same width or varying the width of the strips especially if I want to end up with a rectangle like a placemat.

  156. Thank you so much for these tips and your awesome Log Cabin Rulers! I’m new to quilting and want to make Log Cabin and Courthouse Steps blocks. They are very traditional yet can look quite contemporary. I’d love to win your Giveaway so I can get started right away… If I’m not the lucky winner this week, I’ll just have to go out and buy your book & a ruler or two! Thanks again. Kathleen

  157. Marti – I have your Winding Ways and apple core templates, which are great, and I happened upon this post on log cabins, which sent me right to your website to order two of the rulers (and a few other things as well). I LOVE the circular log cabin block, and after a little practice, will plan this as my first log cabin project with my new ruler! By the way, the videos on your site are just great!

  158. I love log cabin quilts. I’m making a scrappy log cabin quilt as my “leader & ender” project.

    My favorite log cabin is the circle or curved version. One of those two will be my next project.

    Thanks for the giveaway chance!!!

  159. Wow — I can’t believe you can cut so many pieces so quickly. That is a great idea. Love how easy this seems to be and I can’t wait to try some of these beautiful variations.

    Susan.stitch@sbcglobal (dot) net

  160. I am planning to make a log cabin quilt using some fall colored prints I have been collecting. Since I have never made a log cabin quilt before, I was happy to read your instructions and learn of this helpful tool.

  161. I would love to try to make a log cabin quilt.. I especially like Rachel’s Baskets and with videos available, sounds like a “can do” project! Thanks for the tutorial.

  162. I am looking forward to trying your technique with your rulers. I have a pattern that uses traditional blocks but is put together to look like light and dark diamonds… barn raising type of log cabin pattern. Looking forward to using your rulers. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  163. My very first quilt was a blue & white log cabin; made over 20 years
    ago. I wish I would have had those
    rulers then!! Thanks for the chance
    to win!


  164. Marti is so correct about lengthwise grainline. Your blocks will be so much more accurate if you cut your pieces along the lengthwise grainline. Log cabins are so flexible in use. They can be regular or uneven. You can use triangles, squares, rectangle, or hexagons as bases for a great deal of variety. I have many of Marti’s books and tools. So far, I don’t have Marti’s log cabin book or rulers.

  165. Love your rulers! Your cutting and sewing method is the only way to make a log cabin quilt! I’ve been telling all my sewing friends how much faster and accurate this method is!

  166. Just purchased the Log Cabin book and ruler #8038. I plan to make a quilt using this ruler and 2″ finished strips. This is larger than other log cabin strips I’ve used but I need to finish this quilt asap and I’ll quilt down the middle of each strip so that will fool the eye a little. Love log cabin quilts.

  167. My favorite log cabin quilt is one that I never made. ??? That sounds odd, I know, but it made a huge impact on my stash and quilting adventures.

    Back when I first started quilting, I signed up for a folded log cabin wallhanging class. Though I can’t remember the exact size, I do know that it was a very small piece. The supply list said we should bring 20 different fabrics. So, I went to a LQS and bought 3 yards of 20 different fabrics! :-O That’s right, 60 yards for a small wallhanging! The lady cutting my fabrics asked me if I realized just how much I was buying and she refused to sell me any more that day! LOL

    Long story short, the class was cancelled, I never made that wallhanging, and I surely did have a really nice start on building my now overflowing stash. Friends still remind me of those 60 yards and we all have a really good laugh about it. 😀

    Thanks a bunch for the chance to win your awesome giveaway! I think I just might have enough fabric to make something wonderful. 😛

  168. I have never sewn a log cabin quilt or block, but look with great longing at the courthouse steps quilt on display at the quilt shop where I work. I think I’m afraid of lining up all those small pieces and getting the lights and darks in the right place! Maybe Marti’s ruler and book would help get me going!

  169. I have taught classes and this is the way I have taught.
    Alas, someone always has an easier(?) way. Thanks for the good tutorial. I would love to win these rulers, thanks for the chance.

  170. One of the first quilts I ever made was a log cabin…..big pieces about 40 years ago! I would love to win your ruler and book! I would love to make the round log cabin block!

  171. I have made 3 log cabin quilts and one more in the planning stages. My first and favorite was a log cabin Christmas wall hanging made with emerald greens/burgundy tones with an appliqued cherub reaching up for a bright gold lame’ Christmas star on it. I also own 8 Marti Michell template sets, but none of the Log Cabin Rulers nor the Log Cabin ABCs booklet. I hope to obtain them soon.

  172. I LOVE Courthouse Steps…everything about it! I have always been a fan of log cabin quilts but haven’t made one. I attended the Asheville, NC Quilt Show this weekend and met the president of Moda…he gave an inspiring lecture and fired me up! I am going to purchase your ruler! Thanks so much!

  173. I simply adore log cabin patterns and had great fun attending a class in Italy on Marti’s tecnique. I would love to have a chance to meet her someday now that I moved to the States! Winning her book would be a great start.

  174. I made a king size log cabin, with 14″ block, and it did become a chore to keep those large blocks square and accurate. I will definitely do the next one by cutting my strips lengthwise, and cutting them the right length to start with. Looks like I need a couple of different sizes of these rulers. There goes the account – again!

  175. Love your rulers and your daughter’s hand-dyes,her patterns, and Soft Fuse too. Want to make a Courthouse Steps log cabin quilt in red, white, & blue for my son who became an Eagle Scout in March.
    Happy Quilting, Amy Cofer

  176. My daughter has wanted me to make her a log cabin for 30 years. After seeing Marti’s demonstration and seeing the book and ruler. I’m going to make one. Thanks Marti, my daughter will be thrilled. Marti to the rescue yet again!

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