Time for Class: A Wonky Log Cabin Tutorial in 6 weeks

Today was the first day of my Wonky Log Cabin class - I am teaching some friends the improvisational techniques used for piecing wonky log cabin squares, and then we're going to go through the process of finishing and binding the quilt!  It felt OFFICIAL, in a really cool way ... I even drew illustrations on the chart paper in the room.  We all agreed that the Women's Center on campus that is letting us use their conference room is awesome.  The room is ideal and the space is perfect!  Woohoo, Women's Center!

For just in case you're interested in doing the project with us, I am going to post after each class what we do and hopefully include some pictures.
Here's the supply list:
-2 yards of coordinating fabric (in ¼ yd. or more sections – so, 4-6 different fabrics to make a total of 2 yards.)

-1 ½ yards fabric for backing
-1/3 yard fabric for binding (backing and binding fabric can be the same, in which case you could get 1 yd 28 inches fabric to make the backing and binding. Or, you can piece together fabric for the binding. Depends on if you want a “scrappy” look or a whole, seamless look)
-¾ yd. of the 90” wide Warm & Natural batting (or Warm & White), off the big bolt, or batting scraps that you can piece together.
-coordinating thread (I’d say go for at least 250 yards. I usually get “coats and clark all purpose thread” but you can get whatever you want.)
-sewing machine, bobbin, spare needles, pins, good scissors, rotary cutter, mat, and ruler.  Oh, and a good seam ripper.

Today's steps:
-Talk about the basics of making a log cabin block.  It's actually really simple, and you do the same step over and over until the block is as big as you want it.  You start with a middle square, and then add strips around it in the following order: Top, Right, Bottom, Left.  More on this later.
-Iron all fabrics.
-Re-fold fabrics so that they look like they did on the bolt.  This means that the selvedge (already finished) ends match up.  You may want to fold it again (matching the first fold with the selvedge ends), depending on how big your mat and ruler are.
-Now you want to "square off" the fabric.  This means cut off the frayed, uneven edges at a 90-degree angle to the fold, so that your fabric is square.
-Cut the fabric into strips of varying widths - I suggest anywhere from 1.5" to 3.5".  Cut straight strips (we'll make them wonky later).
-Repeat for each fabric.
-Come back next week!


  1. I love this! do you have a pattern for it? I'm new to quilting, so not really secure in 'improvising" yet LOL

  2. Hi Barbe - since this one is improvisational, there's no pattern! But it is based on the traditional "Log Cabin" quilt block, and you could find any number of tutorials online or in quilting books. It may be helpful to try your hand at the traditional block before experimenting with a wonky one! Good luck!