How to Make Log Cabin Blocks with Vilene Quickscreen Square
Sometimes in life there is an easier way to do something. I’m not saying that it’s a better way, just that it’s different and that it can offer up fantastic results and reduce that feeling of stress when things don’t go quite the way you want them to. Using Vilene Quickscreen square as a grid on which to form log cabin patchwork blocks is just one of those things!
When it comes to this classic quilting block is it so important that the seams are straight, that the angles where the fabrics meet is exact, being even just a few millimeters out on any of the seams can result in the whole block ending up wonky…which is going to make it tricky (and look a bit shabby) when you come to piece them all together.
I’m not trying to put you off making projects using Log Cabin blocks, far from it, I think they are one of the most striking patterns and can be worked in prints or solid shades to create some really striking modern designs. So, basically what I’m saying to you is let’s give it a go!
So, here’s my step-by-step guide for Making Log Cabin Blocks with Vilene Quickscreen Square…
Grab your supplies…
You will need a selection of fabrics – I like to work with two light, two dark and a contrast for the centre.
Vilene Quickscreen Square
Begin by snipping out a square from the Vilene Quickscreen Square. The block I have made has two rounds and the finished block is 6.5in, so I began by cutting 8.25in block, which left enough excess around the block to use the grid to accurate add neat borders and shashing – you can make your blocks larger by scaling up, cutting a bigger piece of Vilene Quickscreen Square to work on and continue adding the fabrics as set out in this guide, until you reach your desired size.
Start out by cutting your fabrics into 2in strips.
Working on the wrong side of the square of Vilene Quickscreen Square, so that the printed grid is on the underside, trim the fabric for the centre into a 2in square and position into the centre of the Vilene Quickscreen Square using the grid for accuracy. Even though the printed grid in facing away from the fabric, it is still clear enough to use to align the fabrics.
With the first of the light 2in strips of fabric, position along the right-hand side of the centre block. This is going to be the first piece that is sewn into start the Log Cabin design.
Align the strip onto the centre block, with the right sides of the fabrics facing and carefully pin into place.
Turn the block over and working with the right side of the Vilene Quickscreen uppermost (so the printed grid is clear) join the two pieces together with a straight machine stitch, working along the markers for one grid box – 1cm square – from the edge of the fabrics, and finish the line of stitching at the end of the centre square.
Using the scissors, carefully cut away the unstitched fabric at the base of the seam. Try to cut the strip as neat and even as possible – using the grid as a guide – as this makes adding in the next pieces of fabric easier.
Turn the block to the right side, remove the pins and finger press the fabrics flat. The first piece has been neatly joined in. Place the remaining strip of the same light fabric below the two joined pieces, this is where the next seam will be made.
Place the strip over the two joined pieces, with the right sides facing and pin neatly in place.
Again, working on the right side of the Vilene Quickscreen Square, stitch the strip in place along the length of the previously joined pieces using a straight machine stitch and working along the grid lines one box in from the edge of the fabric.
Once stitched, turn to the wrong side, remove the pins, cut away the excess fabric and press the pieces flat.
The first section has been complete! The remaining elements of the Log Cabin are worked in the same manner.
With the first of the dark fabric strips, position along the left hand side of the block and pin neatly in place. Working on the right side, join in along the length of the two previously joined strips using the grid as a guide, keeping the stitching one grid box from the edge of the fabric.
On the wrong side, cut away the excess of the strip and remove the pins and press open. Place the remaining strip of fabric along the upper section of the block, this will be the position of the next seam. Position this fabric, with right sides facing, over the joined strips and pin in position.
On the right side, stitch in place with a straight seam along the grid line. Always ensuring that you stitching on the first grid line in from the raw edges will ensure that all your seams throughout the block are even and neat.
Once this section has been stitched the first round of the Log Cabin design is complete! Woop! From here on out, you’re going to be working in exactly the same manner to add in the remaining light, then dark strips of fabric.
Next position, pin and stitch a strip from the second light fabric along the right and side of the block.
In the same manner, add in the second strip in this fabric along the lower edge of the block.
Working up the left hand side, and using a strip of the second dark fabric, add in the next strip to the block.
All that is left to do to complete the block is to add in the final dark strip in exactly the same way along the upper section of the block, flip it over to the right side, snip away the excess fabric, remove the pins, press and then bask in the glory of your Log Cabin block!
Now, how neat is that? And, I mean neat in both senses of the word! Because you are working with the grids all the stitching lines are super straight and the different pieces all match up neatly at the corners – no wonk here! You can work either clockwise or anti-clockwise around from the centre square, the principle for joining in the pieces will be exactly the same, just remember which direction you are working if you want to have all the blocks appear the same!
This is my go-to way to make super quick log cabin blocks, that I know will all come together neatly into a finished project. Now, if anyone needs me I’ll be transforming this pile of blocks into a mini quilt.