Friday, May 21, 2010

Quarter Log Cabin or Half a Log

Chocolate Covered Cherries by Edie McGinnis

When Edie McGinnis was planning her new book A Second Helping of "Desserts": More Sweet Quilts Using Precut Fabrics I showed her a photo of an old log cabin variation I'd been thinking of reproducing. She said she'd like to do it using Moda's Jelly Roll strips from my Civil War Homefront collection. I said "Go for it."

Keeping with her sweet theme she called it Chocolate Covered Cherries. Technically, this old quilt pattern, which seems to date back to the 1880s or so, should be called a quarter of a log cabin but in Gee's Bend, Alabama, the quilters who use it a lot have called it a Half a Log. Another name is Chevrons.

A Gee's Bend version

See two quilts by Alabama's African-American quilters from the Cargo collection at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

A top from about 1910

A top from about 1940
and a detail below

These variations with alternating dark and light logs are deceptively simple looking. The easiest way to get the effect is to do 45 degree seams like Edie did rather than the log construction.

The difficulty in keeping the pattern straight makes Roseanne's version of the old top above even more impressive.

Smithtown by Roseanne Smith
98 x 98
Roseanne used a lot of the Ragtime reproductions mentioned in my May 7th post. It's 2 different blocks alternated.

See a half a log of uneven strips by clicking here at Wanda Hanson's blog:
And see some of her other layouts here:


She's definitely having fun with this block.

Read more about A Second Helping by Edie McGinnis here:

One more Half a Log


  1. I don't care what they call the block, I call it "Wonderful", will definitely need to make a quilt like hers. I love that she used fabrics from the homefront collection.

  2. Have always loved this block. Its great that you have shown so many variations of making it.
    I think it has great potential for both traditional and improvisational quilters.

  3. I love them all and want to make all of the above versions! Barbara, you have a way of cheering us up in the morning! Thank you!

  4. What a wonderful block idea - I always enjoy your posts and find them inspirational.

  5. I love the "Chocolate Covered Cherries" quilt, I can see myself making that one! Thank you for all this great inspiration!

  6. This is very inspirational, and seems like a great way to use scraps. Thank you.