Log Cabin Blanket Sew-Along Week 1: Choosing Fabrics

Log Cabin Blanket Sew-Along Week 1: Choosing Fabrics

Happy Friday and welcome to Week 1 of the fabric.com Log Cabin Sew-Along!

In case you missed the announcement last week, here’s a quick recap: Over the next several weeks, we’ll be hosting a quilt-as-you-go log cabin blanket sew-along here on the Fabric.com blog. Today we’re kicking off the sew-along with a discussion on choosing fabrics and yardage requirements. Then we’ll review the quilt-as-you-go method and start our blankets.

Let’s start by going over what you’ll need for the sew-along!

Quilt-as-You-Go Log Cabin Sew-Along Fabric Requirements

This quilt-as-you-go log cabin quilt is a lap-sized quilt that finishes at approximately 55”x55”. My version features nine different fabrics for the body of the quilt (three solids and six plaids), plus a contrasting sashing and binding.

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*Please note that for my quilt, I am not overly concerned about pattern matching for my plaid logs. My strips are a little wonky, and I’m OK with that…but if you like your plaids to match perfectly and your lines to be super straight, more power to you—and maybe get a little extra fabric!

**Using wider width fabric allows us to cut not only the strips for the log cabin piecing, but also three 15” squares for block backings from each plaid fabric. If you choose a plaid that is less than 58” wide, please make sure to order extra fabric. Or, if you decide to use a different fabric entirely for the back of your blocks, you’ll need enough fabric to cut 16- 15” squares.

Choosing Your Fabrics

I had a hard time narrowing down my fabric choices for this project! There are just so many fun plaids available right now. I really wanted to incorporate a variety of plaids in my quilt, but I also wanted to figure out how to keep it from being visually overwhelming. So I decided to create my log cabin blocks using a mix of solids and plaids, arranged like this:

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Did you know that Fabric.com has a design wall feature? It’s a great way to visualize how your fabric choices will look together before you commit to buying them! I definitely made good use of the design wall when I was trying to decide on my final fabrics.

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I chose three solid colors—green, blue, and red—and a coordinating light/medium plaid and dark plaid for each of the solids. Each log cabin block will feature a solid and one of the plaids on the front, while the other coordinating plaid will be used for the backing fabric for that block. (In other words, if I use a light-value green plaid for the “logs” of the block, the dark-value green plaid will be the backing fabric for the block, and vice versa.)

Mixing solids and plaids for the log cabins helps tame the riot of plaid on the front of the block, especially with all of that directional piecing. But having a large square of plaid for the back of the block is not as overwhelming and also helps to disguise the quilting lines!

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For my green colorway, I chose this amazing Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel Herringbone in Basil, Yarn Dyed Navy/Green/Oat Plaid for my medium-value plaid, and Yarn Dyed Green Plaid for the dark-value plaid.

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Isn’t this herringbone flannel gorgeous? I think it’s my favorite! It’s so soft and the herringbone pattern is the perfect touch.

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For the blue colorway, I chose Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel in Navy (no herringbone pattern on this one), Yarn Dyed Blue Navy and White plaid for my light-value plaid, and Yarn Dyed Navy/Green/Red plaid for my dark-value plaid.

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And for the red colorway, I opted for this Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel in Maroon, Yarn Dyed Red/White/Black plaid for my light-value plaid, and Yarn Dyed Red Plaid for my dark-value plaid.

I hemmed and hawed over what to use for the contrasting sashing and binding, until I had a stroke of inspiration and decided to go with this swoon-worthy Robert Kaufman Dotted Chambray.

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It complements—not competes with—the plaids, and the lighter texture will be better to work with on the binding than those flannels.

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The batting I will be using is Quilter's Dream wool batting, which is available in a variety of sizes (in case you want to have a little extra left over!). This is my first time using wool batting, so I’m excited to see how it turns out!

Single Nap vs. Double Nap

Single nap or double nap: it sounds like the kind of decision I’d love to make in the middle of the day, but it actually refers to how flannel fabric is finished. The woven fabric is napped, or brushed, on either one or both sides. That’s what gives flannel fabric that softness we love!

It’s OK if you choose single-napped flannels for this project (several of the fabrics I chose are single napped), as long as you pay close attention when piecing your blocks and make sure the soft and cozy napped side is facing out!

Looking for More Fabric Inspiration?

Fabric.com has a ton of plaid flannels to choose from. Click here to see just a few of the styles available right now!

I wanted to leave you with a little sneak peek of how the finished blocks will look. My cat decided he wanted his 5 minutes of blog fame too!

Sew Along Pt 2

Sew Along Pt 2

Next week, we’ll cut our fabric and learn about the quilt-as-you-go method. I hope you’ll join us! Don’t forget to share your fabric choices on Instagram (#fabriclogcabinsewalong) and Facebook. (Did you use the Fabric.com design wall? Take a screenshot to post!)

See you next week!

The fabric.com Fall Sew-Along Schedule
  • Introduction (October 14): Join us for a fall sew-along
  • Week 1 (October 21): Choosing fabrics and yardage requirements
  • Week 2 (October 28): Cutting your fabric and quilt-as-you-go method overview
  • Week 3 (November 4): Sewing check-in—show us your progress!
  • Week 4 (November 11): Joining your blocks and binding your quilt

Be sure to post your inspiration, fabric pulls, and progress on Instagram using the hashtag #fabriclogcabinsewalong.

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