Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Log Cabin Puzzler - Vintage Inspiration

Made by Clara Bentley Wooster
c. 1920

I saw this vintage quilt recently and it really intrigued me. It's a log cabin but wait a minute...something is different! How did she do that?

I studied it closely then went to work on EQ (Electric Quilt) and drafted it.  You know, how some things are 'simple' but not 'easy' ? This was the case for me with this project.

(I contacted the owner after making mine and found out that the original quilt is 45" x 54"  and the blocks are 3".

There are two block variations which are set straight, but off-set, to achieve the strong diagonal. Typical log cabin blocks are constructed from the center out. This one, however, starts at the corner of the block and not with a plain square, but with a  triangle square. 

Block A - Dark
Block B - Light

The placement of dark and light values and the orientation of the blocks is crucial.  A design wall really helps but... I still used my ripper quite a bit!

Once I had it drafted, I made the triangle squares  (2" finished ) using Triangles on a Roll...a very easy way to do 72 identical units. I chose a pink and a dusty blue small print.

Pin to secure

Stitch in the direction indicated

p.s. I love my Bendable Bright-Lite

Remove paper
Cut apart

Press open and trim 'dog ears'

Then I pulled out those 1.5" strips I've been trying to use up...did I post previously  about a rail fence quilt I started ?..... anyway...I didn't allow myself to go to my stash and cut more strips...the 'use it up', 'make-do' philosophy.

Here's my completed baby quilt top using 4" blocks

32" x 36" 
and a closer look...

I like to mix a few 'lights' in with the dark and vice versa

You'll see it again when it's quilted and bound. I still want to play with the block size, fabric choices and setting possibilities on another example - probably miniaturized for a doll quilt. 


I sure do love finding fun ways to use up my scraps!

Who says I never throw anything away!


  1. This is a great quilt. I like log cabin block designs very much. This one is definitely different in construction than the usual type. Oh so interesting.

  2. I love this. What a great log cabin variation with a very cool secondary pattern. I need to file this one. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  3. Love the quilt and your version. Very effective little blocks using color. I'd love to dig in your stash/scraps ;-) FUN!!

  4. So interesting! I don't think I've ever seen a quilt quite like this one. Thanks so much for figuring out how to make it. A great way to use up scraps!

  5. Dawn,
    C'mon over - I have plenty to share!

  6. I played with the quarter log cabin a bit after seeing that post too! Mine looks quite different from the post though. Also, I used the easy angle ruler for the hst...really works well! Love how yours came out!

  7. How funny - I saw this quilt, too & thought, "what the heck?!" Happy to see what you have done with it; it's a dandy scrappy project.

  8. Looks great. I like the triangle squares myself. Thanks for sharing how to make it. It had me looking

  9. Wow, I love it that you are curious enough to figure that quilt pattern! Thank you, and just might make one myself with the many scraps, I bet you could put a pattern out on this quilt. Thank you so much for the tutorial!!! I Love scrappy and Log Cabin, and this variation!

    1. Thank you so much for figuring out how to make the diagonal quilt, I was completely stumped. I love that pattern. Your baby quilt turned out wonderfully.



Thanks for adding your comments!