Paper Pieced Log Cabin Free Tutorial

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Last Updated October 11, 2018

paper pieced log cabinA paper pieced log cabin quilt is simple to make. This simplified version of Lumbered Jack's Log Cabin is like the quilt featured in the book, Redesigned in Red, White and Black by Quiltworx. the Quiltworx pattern is Osprey's Nest at the Lake Cabin.

Variations on Pinterest

Here are some variations of this pattern on Pinterest.

The original Lumbered Jack's Log Cabin uses 3 fabrics for the light side of the log cabin block, requiring special sorting, stacking and cutting techniques. This simplified version uses fewer fabrics and does not require any special cutting, sorting or staking.

For the best workshop experience:

  • I suggest you progress through the lessons in numerical order.
  • When you start a lesson, read through the entire lesson and watch the videos in order and then start from the beginning of the lesson and complete the steps in that lesson.
  • The workshop is suitable for beginners to advanced quilters, so advanced quilters may find some of the videos a little tedious. Use the slider on the video to advance to the parts that interest you.
  • Most videos have a Video Index displayed after the video. Use that index to quickly advance to the segment you want to watch.

Includes 10 lessons and more than 13 videos with instructions for piecing the pattern, Osprey's Nest at the Lake Cabin by Quiltworx. Permission has been obtained from Quiltworx to produce and distribute this educational material.

You must purchase the pattern, Osprey's Nest at the Lake Cabin by Quiltworx in addition to these instructional materials if you wish to make the quilt.

Paper Pieced Log Cabin Playlist on YouTube

Fabric Chart

Important: The chart below to choose your fabrics for this workshop. Do Not use the fabric chart on the back of the pattern. The fabrics are from the Forever collection by Timeless Treasures.

Paper Pieced Log Cabin Fabric Chart

Supply List

  • Osprey's Nest at the Lake Cabin Pattern by Quiltworx (required)
  • Permanent marker or ink pen
  • 45mm and/or 60 mm rotary cutter with fresh blade
  • 6-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ ruler or larger
  • Cutting mat at least 18″ x 24″
  • Quality 50wt cotton thread
  • Sewing machine with open toe foot and 1/4″ foot
  • Small scissors to use at the sewing machine
  • Larger scissors for cutting paper
  • Add-A-Quarter ruler, 12″
  • Template plastic about 3″ x 12″
  • Wash out glue such as Elmer's or UHU used to glue fabric to paper
  • Glue Pen such as Sew Line, Fons & Porter used to glue fabric to fabric
  • That Purple Thang for curved piecing
  • Jumbo paper clips
  • Ziploc™ or store brand plastic bags:
    • 1 @ jumbo size (use a pen or marker to label this bag #1)
    • 4 @ gallon size (use a pen or marker to label these bags #2, #3, #4 and #5)

Lesson 1 – Introduction

Instructions

Normally in this part of my classes I show you how to put the instructions in a binder and check for corrections. That is not needed here but keep your instructions handy as you go through the lessons. Occasionally we might reference some diagrams but, for the most part, the instructions are not needed in this workshop.

If you want to see how I set up instructions in binders you can view that here.

This next video shows how to trace the dashed lines onto the backside of the paper. This is optional but many new students find it helpful.

Understanding Quiltworx Papers

If you are new to Quiltworx patterns or need a better understanding of the different papers they publish, take some time to read the lesson in the link below. It will save you hours of frustration as you complete this project.

Understanding Quiltworx Papers

Papers and Bags

Before you choose and purchase your fabric, you should cut apart all the papers and put them in the proper bags. The newsprint sheets are large, so you'll need plenty of space to open them up. If you're using a rotary cutter to cut the papers, you should have the largest mat you can find. If using scissors to cut the papers, a table or other large surface works well. The next video shows how to cut the papers from the newsprint sheets.

Using the table below, cut out the papers and place them in bags.

Bag # Papers
1 Units:

  • LC (36)
  • HLC-A (3)
  • HLC-B (3)

Unit LC, HLC-A HLC-B Template Layout Sheet – Dark Fabric (6)
Unit LC, HLC-A HLC-B Template Layout Sheet – Light Fabric (6)

2 Unit A (18)
Template G Layout Sheet (3)
Unit A Template A1 Layout Sheet (3)
Unit A Template A2 Layout Sheet (3)
3 Unit A (18)
Template G Layout Sheet (3)
Unit A Template A1 Layout Sheet (3)
Unit A Template A2 Layout Sheet (3)
4 Unit B (21)
Template G Layout Sheet (3)
Unit B Template B1 Layout Sheet (3)
Unit B Template B2 Layout Sheet (3)
5 Unit B (21)
Template G Layout Sheet (3)
Unit B Template B1 Layout Sheet (3)
Unit B Template B2 Layout Sheet (3)

Lesson 2: Fabric

This lesson is all about fabric. In the video I show you how I chose my fabric, how to make and glue swatches and how to pre-cut your fabric.

Note For Choosing Fabric:

Fabric C5 (light arc background) and C7 (Geese #1) are paired together to make geese units. These geese units are later sewn into fabric C2-C3-C4 (light side of the log cabin unit). Be sure you are happy with the look of these three fabrics together.

Likewise, fabric C6 (dark arc background) and C8 (Geese #2) are paired together to make geese units. These geese units are later sewn into fabric C1 (dark side of the log cabin unit). Be sure you are happy with the look of these three fabrics together.

Correction: In the video I say to cut 15 strips at 15″ each for the light fabric. This should be 14 strips at 15″. The table below shows the correct number of strips to cut from the light log cabin fabric.

Choosing and Preparing Fabric

To Do List:

  • Choose your fabric.
  • Cut a 1/2″ swatch strip from each fabric.
  • Glue swatches to the fabric chart you downloaded above.
  • Optional: If you prefer to wash your fabric before cutting and piecing, now is the time to do that.

Pre-Cutting Fabric

Fabric Number Fabric Location Number and Width of Strips Bag #
C1 Dark Log Cabin 14 @ 14″ Bag 1
C2-C4 Light Log Cabin 14 @ 15″ Bag 1
C5 Light arc background 6 @ 12″ 3 in Bag 2
3 in Bag 4
C6 Dark arc background 6 @ 112″ 3 in Bag 3
3 in Bag 5
C7 Geese #1 20 @ 2-1/2″ 9 in Bag 2
11 in Bag 4
C8 Geese #2 20 @ 2-1/2″ 9 in Bag 3
11 in Bag 5

Lesson 3 – Cutting Bag 1

In this lesson we will cut the fabric in Bag 1 which contains the fabric, template layout sheets and foundation papers to piece the log cabin units. Here is what you’ll see in the video:

  1. The dark fabric is divided into two stacks of 7 strips.
  2. The Dark Fabric Template Layout sheets (6) are used to cut the fabric into sections or “logs”.
  3. Steps 1 and 2 are repeated with the light fabric and Light Fabric Template Layout sheets (6).
  4. The fabric sections are stacked.

The next video shows how to stack large strips of fabric for cutting.

Lesson 4 – Cutting Bags 2 thru 5

In this lesson we will cut the fabric in Bags 2 through 5 which contain the fabric, template layout sheets and foundation papers to piece the geese units. There are two different geese units: Unit A has the geese flying to the left (when looking from the back) and Unit B has the geese flying to the right.

  • 36 Unit A geese are divided into two colorways, one in Bag 2 and one in Bag 3.
  • 42 Unit B geese are divided into two colorways, one in Bag 4 and one in Bag 5.

All 4 of these bags are cut using the same process but the fabrics are different and/or the number of cuts is different. The video below shows the process to use for each bag. Watch the video then follow the steps after the video to cut each bag, one at a time.

Bag 2

Fabric C5 (Light arc background)

3 @ 12″ x 42″

1.     Open strips and stack them right sides up.

2.     Sub-cut into twelve 3″ x 12″ stacks of 3 for a total of 36 pieces.

3.     Stack, right sides up, into 6 sets of 6.

4.     You have (3) Unit A, Template A1 Layout Sheets and (3) Unit A, Template A2 Layout Sheets. Place one sheet on top of each stack.

5.     Place one paper clip on each template section.

6.     Cut paper and fabric apart starting with Cut Line 1 and continuing to Cut Line 5.

7.     Set pieces aside.

Fabric C7 (Geese #1)

9 @ 2-1/2″ x 42″

1.     Sub-cut each of the 9 strips into two 2-1/2″ x 18″ pieces for a total of 18 pieces.

2.     Stack, right sides up, into 3 sets of 6.

3.     Place one Template G Layout Sheet on top of each stack.

4.     Place one paper clip on each template section.

5.     Cut paper and fabric apart starting with Cut Line 1 and continuing to Cut Line 5.

6.     Using the C5 and C7 pieces, stack the sections for piecing.

Bag 3

Fabric C6 (Dark arc background) – 3 @ 12″ x 42″

1.     Open strips and stack them with right sides up.

2.     Sub-cut into twelve 3″ x 12″ stacks of 3 for a total of 36 pieces.

3.     Stack, right sides up into 6 sets of 6.

4.     You have (3) Unit A, Template A1 Layout Sheets and (3) Unit A, Template A2 Layout Sheets. Place one sheet on top of each stack.

5.     Place one paper clip on each template section.

6.     Cut paper and fabric apart starting with Cut Line 1 and continuing to Cut Line 5.

7.     Set pieces aside.

Fabric C8 (Geese #2) – 9 @ 2-1/2″ x 42″

1.     Sub-cut each of the 9 strips into two 2-1/2″ x 18″ pieces for a total of 18 pieces.

2.     Stack, right sides up, into 3 sets of 6.

3.     Place one Template G Layout Sheet on top of each stack.

4.     Place one paper clip on each template section.

5.     Cut paper and fabric apart starting with Cut Line 1 and continuing to Cut Line 5.

6.     Using the C6 and C8 pieces, stack the sections for piecing.

Bag 4

Fabric C5 (Light arc background) – 3 @ 12″ x 42″

1.     Open strips and stack them with right sides up.

2.     Sub-cut into fourteen 3″ x 12″ stacks of 3 for a total of 42 pieces.

3.     Stack, right sides up, into 6 sets of 7.

4.     You have (3) Unit B, Template B1 Layout Sheets and (3) Unit B, Template B2 Layout Sheets. Place one sheet on top of each stack.

5.     Place one paper clip on each template section.

6.     Cut paper and fabric apart starting with Cut Line 1 and continuing to Cut Line 5.

7.     Set pieces aside.

Fabric C7 (Geese #1) – 11 @ 2-1/2″ x 42″

1.     Sub-cut each of the 11 strips into two 2-1/2″ x 18″ pieces for a total of 22 pieces. Discard 1 piece.

2.     Stack, right sides up, into 3 sets of 7.

3.     Place one Template G Layout Sheet on top of each stack.

4.     Place one paper clip on each template section.

5.     Cut paper and fabric apart starting with Cut Line 1 and continuing to Cut Line 5.

6.     Using the C5 and C7 pieces, stack the sections for piecing.

Bag 5

Fabric C6 (Dark arc background) – 3 @ 12″ x 42″

1.     Open strips and stack them with right sides up.

2.     Sub-cut into fourteen 3″ x 12″ stacks of 3 for a total of 42 pieces.

3.     Stack, right sides up, into 6 sets of 7.

4.     You have (3) Unit B, Template B1 Layout Sheets and (3) Unit B, Template B2 Layout Sheets. Place one sheet on top of each stack.

5.     Place one paper clip on each template section.

6.     Cut paper and fabric apart starting with Cut Line 1 and continuing to Cut Line 5.

7.     Set pieces aside.

Fabric C8 (Geese #2) – 11 @ 2-1/2″ x 42″

1.     Sub-cut each of the 11 strips into two 2-1/2″ x 18″ pieces for a total of 22 pieces. Discard 1 piece.

2.     Stack, right sides up, into 3 sets of 7.

3.     Place one Template G Layout Sheet on top of each stack.

4.     Place one paper clip on each template section.

5.     Cut paper and fabric apart starting with Cut Line 1 and continuing to Cut Line 5.

6.     Using the C6 and C8 pieces, stack the sections for piecing.

Lesson 5: Piecing the Log Cabin Blocks

First we look at piecing the log cabin units.

Next, we piece the half log cabin units.

Lesson 6: Piecing the Geese Units

Piece the geese units, Sections 1 and 2.

Piece the geese units, Section 3.

Lesson 7: Cut-Outs

In this lesson we cut out the log cabin cut-outs, the melons and the bow ties. We start with the half log cabin blocks and continue with the full log cabin blocks. Papers are removed from all the pieces.

Lesson 8: Block Assembly, Part 1

Block assembly is started in this lesson and finished in the next. Curved piecing is introduced in this lesson. There will be two different blocks when assembly is complete, but for now we take one step at a time to get there. The picture below shows the two different full log cabin blocks.

paper pieced log cabin tutorial

After an explanation of how the blocks are assembled, we separate the melons and geese into light and dark stacks. All the light melons are stitched to all the light geese and all of the dark melons are stitched to all of the dark geese.

Remove the papers from the geese units before the curve piecing is done. The next videos are demos of two methods of curve piecing: using two pins and using glue.

Curve Piecing Using 2 Pins

Curve Piecing Using Glue

Press seams towards the melons (fans).

Lesson 9: Block Assembly, Part 2

Lesson 10 – Assemble the Top

Now that all the blocks are assembled, we can begin piecing the top. You should find this to be a very easy process because all the seams are straight! Before we begin assembly, you should watch this short video explaining what stacked seams are and how you handle them during the piecing process. You will have stacked seams for each time you piece two blocks together.

Piecing the Top

The top is pieced in three identical sections like the one shown below.

  • Each row has 6 full blocks and 1 half block.
  • Carefully follow the orientation and position of the blocks in each row. Note how the geese are all flying to the left.
  • The yellow squares are post-it notes identifying the blocks.
  • For each section, piece the two rows shown below, then piece the two rows together to make one section.

NOTE:  When piecing the rows together you will not have any seams to match. I suggest you pin the rows together before stitching them to make sure the fit is correct.

paper pieced log cabin tutorial

Now you have three identical sections where each section has two rows. In the image below, the sections have been rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

In this orientation all the geese are flying from south to north. Flip the center section.

Because you flipped the center section, the geese in that section are flying from north to south. The zig-zag design is slightly different. Now you can stitch the three sections together to complete your quilt top.

Quilting

I used an allover quilting design to quilt the layers together.

Thank you! Please share this tutorial with your friends.


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