Folded Log Cabin


  • Assorted fabrics at least 20cm long for strips
  • 40cm for back and borders
  • 25cm of foundation fabric (gridded Vilene or checks)
  • 35cm cushion pad

Finished Size

To fit 35cm cushion pad

Skill Level



The materials used in this project are available at all good quilt shops

The Blocks

  1. Cut an 8in square of backing fabric. Checked fabric or Vilene marked with squares are good for accurate stitching. Fold the square in half diagonally and press or mark the diagonal lines to find the centre.
  2. Cut light and dark fabric strips 2 1⁄2in wide and press in half lengthways. Cut a 4in square for the centre.
  3. To complete the first round, place the centre square on the centre of the foundation square and pin centrally to hold in place. Cut a light strip of folded fabric the length of one side of the centre square. Open out the folded strip and mark a line 1⁄2in from the raw edge.
  4. Place the folded strip on the centre square with raw edges to raw edges. Open out the folded strip and stitch, by hand or machine, along the drawn line start and finish two or three stitches either side of the strip. Fold back the strip along the fold line.
  5. Continue as a traditional log cabin block with one more light and then two dark strips to complete the square. Keep working in the same direction clockwise or anti-clockwise each time you add a strip or you won’t end up with a square.
  6. For the second round, again cut a folded light colour strip the width of the new centre square (with the first round added). Open out the strip, mark a line this time 3⁄4in from the raw edge again on the WS. Place the folded strip with the fold 1⁄2in below the first round folded strip. Open out the folded strip and stitch on the drawn line. Continue to complete the round as before.
  7. Work the third round in the same way as the second round. For the final round cut a 2 1⁄2in strip, but instead of folding this, press it flat. Mark the 3⁄4in line on the WS. Place this on the square, raw edge to raw edge. Stitch across the line and press the fabric without a fold to the outside of the block.
  8. Square up the finished block to 6 1⁄2in. Make three more using light and dark fabrics in the same positions.


  1. Take the four squares and lay them out. Try with all the light sides together in the middle and then with the dark to see which you prefer. If you have a digital camera, you may find it useful to take a photograph to refer to later.
  2. Sew into pairs and then into one piece and press well. There is no quilting needed with this technique.
  3. Cut 2 1⁄2in strips and sew to the block edges to create the border. Make a cushion back using your favourite method.
  4. A simple slip cover is quick and easy but adding a zip or Velcro fastenings makes a more professional finish.
  5. If you want your cushion to be a different size you can add more borders matching the fabric to the colours on the outside of the cushion edges. Alternatively you can cut larger foundation squares to start with and add more rounds or use wider folded strips

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 14 Number 4 - April 2006