Wonky Log Cabin
Block Pattern Tutorial

Stitch a wonky log cabin block in no time. It's easy for beginners and some call it a crazy log cabin quilt block.

Wonky Log Cabin BlockWonky Log Cabin Block

Talk about an easy block! Beginners, you will absolutely love - love, love - the wonky log cabin. It's a little crazy!

And, it gets better... Every step is improvisational!

Start with a center square, just like in a traditional log cabin. But, use any color to represent the 'hearth'. How cool, right?! Use your creativity.

Next, you add logs (strips of fabric) around each side of the square at an angle. The angles give the block its 'wonkiness', which makes it look like a modern log cabin quilt block.

You can start adding the logs at any position around the square.

I started by adding the first log on the right side (3 o'clock position) of the center square. Then, added the remaining logs in a counterclockwise direction.

You can add the logs in a clockwise direction. The point is to follow the same direction when adding the logs. So, add all of the logs in a clockwise direction. Or, a counterclockwise direction.

To make the wonky log cabin block you can use scraps or strips of fabric. Just be sure that

  • they are long enough to cover the length of the section that the strip is being added to. 
  • And, that one side of the strip has a straight edge.

Let's get started!

Quilt Block Fabrics

  • 1 (4 to 5 inch) square of fabric for the center square
  • Lots of scraps or cut strips of fabric in various colors in varying widths from about 2 inches to 3 or 4 inches by at least 6 to 12 inches long.

Quilt Block Assembly Diagram

Look at this quilt block assembly diagram. It shows you the order in which to stitch the logs to and around the center square. (In the diagram below, the center may not look like a square, but it did start out as a square.)

Wonky Log Cabin Block Assembly DiagramWonky Log Cabin Block Assembly Diagram

The center square is labeled 'center'. The logs are numbered 1 - 12. Think of the sides of the center square as the 3 o'clock (right side), 6 o'clock (bottom), 9 o'clock (left side) and 12 o'clock (top) positions on a clock.

For this log cabin block, stitch the first log (1) to the center at the 3 o'clock position. Then proceed counterclockwise around the center.

Refer to this diagram as needed while you assemble your block.

Quilt Block Measurements

I'm aiming for a 12 inch wonky log cabin in this tutorial.

To get the block the size you want, you continue to add logs around the center in what's called rounds. After adding each round, use a squaring up ruler to check the size of the block.

Add rounds until the block is 1 or 2 inches greater than the size that you want. Then, trim the block using a squaring up rotary cutter ruler (you'll see this being used when we get to this step).

Wonky Log Cabin Block Instructions

Step 1 Choose scraps or cut strips of fabric in varying widths from about 2 inches to 3 or 4 inches by at least 6 to 12 inches long. Just be sure that the scrap is long enough to cover the section of the block that you're working on.

For the center 'square', cut a piece of fabric that has four sides and is about 4 to 5 inches wide. It does not have to be exactly square. Nor do the sides have to be straight. We can cut them straight as we go.

Wonky Log Cabin Block Step 1

Step 2 Place the center fabric on your cutting mat right side up.

Wonky Log Cabin Block Step 2

Step 3a Choose a dark fabric strip. You can start with dark or light fabrics. For this wonky log cabin block, I start with the dark fabrics first.

For the first log, place a fabric strip, right side down,  vertically with its straight edge along the right side (3 o'clock position) of the center fabric.

Angle the strip about 1/4 to 1/2 inch away from the edge of the center fabric and towards the inside of the center fabric.

wonky log cabin block step 3a

Step 3b Place a straight edge ruler along the straight edge of the fabric strip. Make a cut along the edge of the ruler, trimming the square in line with the fabric strip.

wonky log cabin block step 3b

Step 3c Sew the square to the strip using a 1/4 inch seam along the right side of the two.

wonky log cabin block step 3c

Step 3d Back on the cutting mat, trim the fabric strip edges in line with the perpendicular edges of the center fabric.

Just align a straight edge ruler along the same angle of the perpendicular edge of the center fabric and trim as shown in the photo below. In doing this, if you trim fabric from the center square that's okay. It gives the center a straight edge.

Trim the excess fabric from both sides of the strip.

wonky log cabin block step 3d

Step 3e Open the two pieces of fabric with the right sides up. Ensure that log 1 (strip just added) is in the 3 o'clock position (1 on the block assembly diagram).

Finger press the seam away from the center.

wonky log cabin block step 3e

Step 4a Choose a dark fabric strip (can be the same print fabric strip or a different light strip). Place it, horizontal and right side up, onto your cutting mat along the top edge of the center and log 1. Ensure that it is long enough to cover both. Here, I subcut a piece from a long strip.

wonky log cabin block step 4a

Step 4b At your sewing machine, lead with the log just sewn. Meaning, start stitching with the last log sewn going under the needle first.

Place the fabric strip right side up underneath sewing machine needle. Place center square/log 1, right side down, on top of the strip, near the top end of it.

Sew the unit to the strip using a 1/4 inch seam along the right side of the two.

wonky log cabin block step 4b

Step 4c Lay the entire unit on your cutting mat with the center and log 1 right sides up and the strip (log 2) just sewn in the 12 o'clock position.

wonky log cabin block step 4c

Step 4d Fold log 2 open with the right sides up. Ensure that log 2 (2 on the wonky log cabin block assembly diagram) is in the 12 o'clock position.

Finger press the seam away from the center.

Use a ruler to trim the excess fabric from the right side of the strip. Angle the ruler along the right edge of log 1, trimming a part of log 1 if necessary to straighten it's edge.

wonky log cabin block step 4d

Step 4e Use a ruler to trim the excess fabric from the left side of the strip. Angle the ruler about 1/4 to 1/2 inch into the center square, trimming off part of it. This leaves this side of the square cut at an angle to make it 'wonky'.

wonky log cabin block step 4e

Step 5a Repeat Steps 4a - 4e to stitch the first light log to the 9 o'clock position (3 on the block assembly diagram) of the center square/logs 1 and 2 unit.

Choose a light fabric strip. Place it, vertically right side up onto your cutting mat.

Place center square/light log unit, right side down, on top of the strip, near the top end of it.

At your sewing machine, lead with the log just sewn.

Sew the unit to the strip using a 1/4 inch seam along the right side of the strips.

wonky log cabin block step 5a

Trim the excess fabric. Open the units with the right sides up. Ensure that log 3 (3 on the wonky log cabin block assembly diagram) is in the 9 o'clock position.

Finger press the seam away from the center.

Step 5b Repeat Steps 4a - 4e to stitch the second light log to the 6 o'clock position (4 on the block assembly diagram) of the center square/light log unit.

Note: Before trimming logs 3 and 4, check the size of your wonky log cabin block.

Use a squaring up ruler to check the size of your block. Do this after adding each round of logs.

At this point my block is over 6 inches all the way around. I am going for a 12 inch block.

check size of wonky log cabin block step 5b

Step 5b continued... First, I'm going to trim the fabric of logs 3 and 4. I used really wide strips, so I'll trim them on an angle to make skinnier logs. Then, add another round of strips.

Ensure that the log 4 (4 on the wonky log cabin block assembly diagram) is in the 6 o'clock position.

Finger press the seam away from the center.

This completes Round 1 of your wonky log cabin block. Woohoo!

wonky log cabin block step 5b

Step 6a Repeat Steps 4a - 5b to stitch a second round (logs 5, 6, 7, and 8) of logs.

To start Round 2, choose a dark fabric strip, different from those already used. Starting at the 3 o'clock position (log 5 on the block assembly diagram) stitch log 5 to the Round 1 logs. Finger press the seam toward the outer log. Trim.

wonky log cabin block step 6a

Step 6b Repeat Steps 4a - 5b to complete Round 2. Refer to the Wonky Log Cabin Block Assembly Diagram as necessary.

wonky log cabin block step 6b

Step 6e With Round 2 complete, check the size of your block as done in Step 5b. If you need a larger size, add another round of logs.

Step 7a Repeat Steps 4a - 5b to add a third round of logs (numbers 9, 10, 11 and 12 to the wonky log cabin quilt block assembly diagram).

If this is to be your last round of logs, use fairly wide strips or scraps to allow enough fabric to trim the block at an angle.

wonky log cabin block step 7a

Step 7b Use a squaring up ruler to check the size of your block. At this point my block is well over the 12 inch size that I'm aiming for.

So, I use a 12 1/2 inch squaring up ruler to square up the block on an angle.

Place the ruler so that you have at least a 1/2 inch of fabric extending from all seams.

Once you're sure of the placement, trim the block.

wonky log cabin block step 7b

Step 8 Press the entire wonky log cabin block with an iron.

You're done!!!

Your block should be a wonky, crazy, scrappy thing of beauty!!!

Here's a picture of the backside of the wonky log cabin quilt block. It show the seams pressed away from the center square.

Backside of Wonky Log Cabin Block

Crazy Wonky Log Cabin Quilt Block

Your fabric choices are up to you. You can use the same fabric for the dark logs or light logs of any round.

Or, you can go really crazy and use a different fabric for each log in each different round as I did for the block shown below.

How wonderfully crazy!

Crazy Wonky Log Cabin Block

Make the wonky log cabin block as large as you need to buy simply adding rounds of logs.

To make a queen or king size quilt you may want to make the blocks at about 16 or 18 inches.

For a twin or baby wonky log cabin block a block size of 9 inches or less might be more appropriate.

Experiment... Really make this block your own!


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