Today let's sew up an Uneven Log Cabin quilt block! This variation (also known as an Off-Center Log Cabin) of the ever-popular log cabin adds a curve by using different width strips. The design adds more interest to quilt layouts and is just as easy as the original.
First a word about accuracy - Accurate cutting and 1/4" seam allowances make all the difference in successfully sewing any Log Cabin block. While the piecing is easy, those long strips want to stretch and that can distort your block. Some quilters recommend cutting the strips so the length of the strips runs parallel to the selvage edges of the fabric (lengthwise grain). However, if you are cutting from your stash or scraps, that isn't always possible.
Secondly - fabric colors. In this example I've used five lights and five darks from several Kim Diehl collections to make the block. You could certainly make it even more scrappy-looking by using ten lights and ten darks - your choice. You could use two contrasting colorways (say red and blue for an example) instead of lights and darks. Or make each round lighter or darker for another effect. There are lots of possibilities with this Uneven Log Cabin!
Let's get sewing!
Fabric Requirements for a 14" Finished Uneven Log Cabin Quilt Block:
- Light 1: 1 - 1.5" square, and 1 - 1.5" x 2.5" rectangle
- Light 2: 1 - 1.5" x 4.5" rectangle, and 1 - 1.5" x 5.5" rectangle
- Light 3: 1 - 1.5" x 7.5" rectangle, and 1 - 1.5" x 8.5" rectangle
- Light 4: 1 - 1.5" x 10.5" rectangle, and 1 - 1.5" x 11.5" rectangle
- Light 5: 1 - 1.5" x 13.5" rectangle, and 1 - 1.5" x 14.5" rectangle
- Dark 1: 1 - 1.5" square
- Dark 2: 1 - 2.5" square, and 1 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle
- Dark 3: 1 - 2.5" x 5.5" rectangle, and 1 - 2.5" x 7.5" rectangle
- Dark 4: 1 - 2.5" x 8.5" rectangle, and 1 - 2.5" x 10.5" rectangle
- Dark 5: 1 - 2.5" x 11.5" rectangle, and 1 - 2.5" x 13.5" rectangle
We are starting in the center of block and will be adding strips in a counter-clockwise direction.
Sew together the Light 1 and Dark 1 - 1.5" squares as shown in the picture below.
Press the seam allowance away from the center square (Dark 1) as shown below.
Sew the Light 1 - 1.5" x 2.5" rectangle to the left side of the Step 2 unit as shown below.
And press the seam allowance away from the center as shown in the picture below. You have completed the first round. This unit should measure 2.5" square.
Next you will sew the Dark 2 - 2.5" square to the bottom of the Step 6 unit.
And press the seam allowance away from the center of the block. You will need to continue to press the seam allowances away from the center.
Next sew the Dark 2 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle to the right side of the Step 6 unit.
Continue adding strips to the previous units, and pressing seam allowances away from the center. This second round should measure 5.5" square.
And this third round should measure 8.5" square
Fourth round should measure 11.5" square.
Here's the final (fifth) round. This round should measure 14.5" square.
Here you can see that I've pressed all the seam allowances away from the center.
I love how the Uneven Log Cabin looks in a quilt. While choosing fabrics and cutting takes some time, the piecing is quick and easy. It's also important to press every seam allowance before sewing on the next strip.
Here's where the block really shines! There are so many different ways to arrange the blocks to get different looks.
1. Here's your basic diagonal stripe layout. The uneven block makes the stripes wavy.
2. You kind of get a shadow box effect with this plain layout.
3. When you bring four blocks together with the dark corners meeting in the center, you get really big circles with this layout.
4. If you reverse it and bring the light corners together, a diamond shape comes into focus. Granted with a bigger quilt, this layout and the previous one will look virtually the same.
5. I thought this was an interesting way to put the blocks together.
6. Here I've arranged the blocks in a pinwheel fashion. This would be an easy layout because you could put four blocks together at a time and not get messed up.
7. Here's another interesting layout.
A 14" block is a pretty big block. If you didn't want to work with that big of a block, you could eliminate the last round and have a block that finishes at 11" square.
You can find other tutorials for Log Cabin block variations at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/tagged/log-cabin-variations
I hope you've enjoyed the Uneven Log Cabin quilt block and layouts. If you liked this post and want to see more quilting tutorials like this, simply click here to sign up for my newsletter and also receive a free PDF quilt pattern called Chained Weathervane.
P.S. To print a PDF of this tutorial, check out the free app at https://www.printfriendly.com/.
P.P.S. To figure out yardage for a quilt, check out this post: https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-much-fabric-do-i-need