teaching sewing confidence, tip by tip

Monday 26 May 2014

Wonky Log Cabin Tute: My NYC Metro MQG Challenge Block


My June Challenge Block for the NYC Metro Mod Quilt Guild is a Log Cabin - Wonky Or Not.  

Rules for the challenge:
finished trimmed block is 12.5" square
the centre of the block has to be red

I'm going with a wonky block.  I've photographed each stage and created a tute to share with you -  there's no set sizes, just go with it until you reach something large enough to trim at 12.5" square. 

I started with a centre red square - you can start with anything and it doesn't have to be a square.
I keep my scraps in boxes organised by colour, so I decided to work in this colour order Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Aqua, Blue, Purple, Pink to create a rainbow block - of course, you can do anything.

Using a 1/4" seam I chose a piece of fabric from the orange/yellow box and sewed it to the red square.
Then I pressed the seam to one side.

Next, I trimmed off some of the fabric I'd just added to make a straight edge in line with the original red square - you can see how I've cut it in the pic below.

 Then I added a red/orange solid along the newly created edge of the red square and the orange/yellow fabric.- as always with a 1/4" sewn seam.

Once sewn I pressed the seam to one side.

Below you can see how I trimmed the edges away again - always a straight edge but it doesn't have to be at a right angle (90 degrees) to the adjacent edge - if you want a wonky block then create as few right angles to the centre red section as possible.

This pic shows how I've added a pink/orange strip on the third side of the red central square and I've pressed the seam to the side.

And I've trimmed it along the fourth edge of the central red square, in a straight line ready to add fabric to finally enclose that central section.

And the red centre is now enclosed.

And trimmed

I continue clockwise working my way around and around the centre square adding strips and trimming them straight - but don't forget, not at right angles!

Here you can see me moving from yellow to green and sewing the 1/4" seam.  I didn't have a long enough scrap for this side so I sewed two pieces together to create a longer strip.

I carried on adding pieces clockwise in this way until the block was more than the required 12.5" square.
Be sure to use different strip widths and angles each time you straighten the pieces, this is what gives you the 'wonky' effect.

As the block got larger I tried to centre the red central square where the two 6" marks cross on my cutting mat.  This allowed me to keep the block centred although the lines weren't parallel and showed me how close I was getting to creating a 12.5" block.

Once the last strip was added to take me over the 12.5" square I trimmed the block back to the correct size.

And here's my finished Rainbow Wonky Log Cabin block

So simple and it's lovely to work quickly without worrying about measurements.

Click here to see other log cabins on my Quilty - Liberated/Wonky Log Cabin Blocks Pinterest Board.

I've used this tute to make another NYC Mod Quilt Guild Bee Block - totally in love with the fabrics.  Click the image to read more:

I was delighted to discover back in May 2015 that the Emerald Coast MQG were using my tute to make their June 2015 Block Lottery Wonky ROYGBIV 12.5" Log Cabin blocks.

At the July meeting the blocks were won by Wendi and passed to Mary McFarlane and here's the quilt Mary's made with them - I love that she's sliced the blocks it makes me feel like we're just peeping at sections of them through windows.

It's such a treat for me when I hear stories like this - thanks, Elaine McMichael for sharing :D

Click these buttons to see more of my NYC Mod Guild blocks and my tutorials

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs and opinions are my own.

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  1. I love wonky log cabins, Chrissie. Yours looks great in the rainbow colours!!!

  2. I also love wonky blocks. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I love the colors and your wonky lines. I clicked on your pinterest board too and went off on quite an adventure. Thanks!

  4. I am working on a wonky log cabin quilt.


    I am doing it by using individual colors.

    I love your rainbow one!

    1. Thanks for dropping by. I took a look at your wonky quilt, it looks great worked in individual colours and I really like that you have each colour diagonally placed as the squares are in a 'Scrappy Trip Around The World' block. Thanks for sharing :D

  5. Great tutorial!! Love how the wonky block came out :-) Thanks for sharing!!

    ~ Jess ~
    Everything Is Coming Up Rosie

  6. Not only do I love wonky... I am a bit wonky! Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial, Chrissie. Great way to use up some scraps and have fun!

  7. Great tutorial Chrissie! I have yet to try to make a wonky log cabin block. I'm going to give it a try using your tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks for the tute! I love wonky!

  9. I love the wonky design, I love the colours you've used and I love the way you organise your scraps!

  10. Wonky log cabins are so fun - I love how I don't have to think and measure/cut a million things.

  11. Chrissie - I love your wonky quilt block. Good way to organize your scrap stash, too. Found you on the Sewlicious Home Decor Sat. link up.

  12. Another fabulous tutorial! I just love all the brilliantly colored fabrics you used. They really make your block pop - so vibrant! Love it! Thanks for linking up.

  13. love it! So want to do one that looks as beautiful as yours!

  14. Love it and it looks so fun and easy! Thanks for sharing it with us. Pinning. :)

  15. Just beautiful, I love the combination of colors and your great tutorial. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  16. I love this tutorial. I am pinning it to my quilt tutorial page. I also love your clear tubs packed full of scraps. So pretty;) I found you on A Round Tuit. Thank you for sharing!

  17. That looks great...I love those blocks were you can just go nuts

  18. This is so fun, Chrissie! Thank you bunches for linking up and partying with us!

  19. You make quilting look so easy! I love the colors you chose!

  20. What a fun and colorful quilt! Thanks for sharing @ Submarine Sunday!

  21. Chris this block is just fabulous! I would never be able to look at all those fabrics and make them work together so beautifully. Such a fun design. Congratulations on being featured over at Threading My Way. :o)

  22. Your quilt is gorgeous! And this looks like such a beautiful life...garden cabins


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Chris Dodsley

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