This bright and cheerful quilt is made using the same
block, a spiral log cabin, in three different sizes.
You can make your version using a mixture of different
blocks or simply chose the size you like best.
Designed and made by Tricia Revest
In the original version all the blocks are
made from lots of different colours. Tricia
actually used a large selection of fat eightís
of Moda Marbles but you can use a more
limited selection of fabrics or even just two.
We have also given some ideas of other
block arrangements you can make at the
end. To give you an idea of the yardage
required you need the equivalent of about
a fat eighth of fabric for each 9in block.
107 x 92cm (42 x 36in)
Where to start
If you decide to make different sized
blocks then the easiest one to start with is
the largest one which is 9in finished size.
Then, by the time you get to the smaller
blocks you'll already be an expert.
Figure 1: Piecing the Blocks
Sewing the blocks
- Each block is made from three fabrics, a centre square (C) which can be the same throughout the quilt or, as in this quilt, made from one of two colours and the two colours of the spiral which are (A) and (B).
- Cut one 2in square from fabric C. If you are using fat quarters or fat
eighths, cut two strips across the widest part of the fabric (approx. 18in long), 2in wide from fabric A and three strips 2in wide from fabric B (if your fabric is long enough you may be able to use just two strips of B).
- Using the column headed 9in from the table cross cut patches A1-A5 from
fabric strips A, and B1-B5 from fabric strips B. In order not to waste fabric cut the longest patches first (one from each strip) and then cut the shorter ones from the bits left over.
For each block cut the following patches:
|Center square C
|Cut strip width
- Put the A patches in one pile with A1
on the top and A5 at the bottom. Do
the same for the B patches. That way
youíll sew them in the right order.
- Sewing the block. Take the centre
square C and sew A1 to one side of it.
Note: Press the seams open as you go
along. Tricia says she often just finger presses
but you may want to be more careful and
press each seam properly. Also, as long as
you don't get the fabrics muddled up, you
can usually make two or three blocks at the
same time so you can avoid having to cut
the thread on the machine.
- With C positioned above A1 sew B1
along the long edge (Figure 1). Sew A2 on
the opposite side to B1. Sew B2 to the bottom
and then A3 to the top. Continue sewing
patches to each side of the block as shown.
Be careful to follow the spiral of each colour.
If you follow these instructions all your
blocks will spiral in the same direction. If
you want to be more varied then you can
spiral the other way by following the
arrangement in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Opposite Spiral Block
Making other sizes
- Once you've got the hang of the larger
9in block then you can try the smaller
sizes. Look at the table and cut the centre
squares and the A and B fabric strips
according to the size required. Then cross
cut patches A1-A5 and B1-B5 according
to the sizes in each column.
- The original pattern for this quilt has
eight 9in blocks, twenty 6in blocks and
sixteen 3in blocks, made in a completely
random mixture of colours. Tricia made a
few extra blocks so that she could pick and
chose the final colour arrangement.
- Before sewing the blocks together lay
them out, either according to Fig 3 or
in your own pattern. You can put them on
a design wall and leave them there for a
few days, rearranging them from time to
time until you are happy with the colour
balance. There is no reason why you could
not have a collection of nine 3in blocks in
one corner replacing the 9in block shown.
Be adventurous as you have nothing to lose
if you are just moving the blocks around.
Small children and husbands are good at
this too: let them play with the arrangement
of the blocks. If you have a digital camera,
take photos and then compare, otherwise
there is a danger you will forget which
was your favourite arrangement!
Figure 3: Quilt Layout
Quilting and Finishing
- Layer the quilt with the wadding and
backing and tack or safety pin the
layers together.You can quilt this with
any pattern you like. Tricia did the
quilting in two parts.
First, she quilted each of the 9in and
6in blocks using a crazy square within
squares pattern. She used a walking foot
as all this quilting is in straight lines. So
that she didnít have to keep stopping and
starting, she started at the centre and
completed the first circuit. She then
reversed to the corner of the next round
and did a larger circuit, fitting it round
the centre and so on. She quilted a larger
version of the same motif over all the 3in
squares at once. After doing the straight
bits she filled in the gaps using free motion
quilting doing loops and curves.
Figure 4: Piecing the border strips
- You can use a plain binding for this
quilt, possibly using one of the colours
from the quilt. Tricia made a striped
binding from all the fabrics used in the
quilt and we think this really makes the
- From each of the fabrics cut a 2in strip
across the widest part of the fabric. You
can also use any leftover 2in strips from the
9in blocks. Sew these together offsetting the
end of each strip by just under 2in. See
Figure 4. This will give you a piece of stripy
fabric with all the colours of the quilt.
Turn the fabric round and cut across the
staggered end at an angle of 45 degrees.
You can then cut strips parallel to this
edge for your binding. Tricia made a
single fold binding by cutting 1 1⁄2in strips
which are then joined end to end to make
enough binding to go all the way around
the quilt. She put the binding on as a
single strip, mitring the corners.
- If you are a beginner you could make
this quilt using just one size block and
a limited colour range.
- One example which looks a bit like a
Greek key pattern is designed in red,
white and blue; we thought it looked
a bit nautical.
- Another variation has each spiral made
up of darkening shades of the same
colour all set on black. Each curl has
a yellow centre for this curly version.
Figure 5: Alternative Patterns
First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 13 Number 12 - November 2005