How to Make a Log Cabin Pot Holder

Log Cabin Pot Holder

This project will make an 8 inch patchwork square in log cabin design with a bound edge and hanging tab.
Log cabin is a traditional favourite in patchwork and quilting with the centre square representing the fire of the home and the two halves of the square each representing day and night.
Originally these were pale on one side (for day) and dark on the other (for night) and being tonal within the light and dark areas as well. Designs have developed and now there are many interpretations of this basic patchwork block.

You will need:

Five different fabrics from which to cut the following:

2 inch square - Piece 1 - Colour 1 - for centre of the block
2 inch square - Piece 2 - Colour 2 - start of strips around centre
3½ x 2 inches - Piece 3 - Colour 2 - adding to previous strip
3½ x 2 inches - Piece 4 - Colour 3 - continuing to build round centre
5 x 2 inches - Piece 5 - Colour 3 - completes first round of strips
5 x 2 inches - Piece 6 - Colour 4 - start of second round
6½ x 2 inches - Piece 7 - Colour 4 - second round
6½ x 2 inches - Piece 8 - Colour 5 - darker colour of second round
8 x 2 inches - Piece 9 - Colour 5 - final strip of second round
Colour 5 - 8¾ inch square for backing
Colour 5 - Strip 2½ x approx. 44 inches (across width of fabric) for binding and tab.
Wadding - 8¾ inch square
InsulBright - 8¾ inch square - heat reflective
Thread for stitching

To Make

The order of stitching is shown in Figure 1 from the right side of the fabric square. You can see the different colours in the picture but obviously you can use whatever combination you like to achieve your own colour scheme.

All seams should be ¼ inch.

Take squares 1 and 2 with right sides together and wrong side of the centre square on top and stitch a ¼ inch seam down one side. Open out the joined pieces and press the seam allowances away from the centre square. It is easiest to press from the right side of the fabric. Figure 2.

  1.  Fig 1
  2. Fig 2
  3. Fig 3

With the last piece you have added positioned across the top, which in this case is piece 2 in green butterfly, place with wrong side face up to piece 3 having right sides together and stitch. When opened out this should look as Figure 3.

The rule with this is that the last strip or 'log' added will always be wrong side up across the top when it is added to the next strip running down the right hand side of the block. So add pieces 4 and 5 in Colour 3 which will complete the first round and from the right side should look as Figure 4.

Add strips 6 and 7 in colour 4 followed by 8 and 9 in colour 5 in the same way and from the right side the square should look as Figure 5.
Place the square of backing fabric right side down (colour 5) and then put the squares of wadding and InsulBright on top.
Now add the finished log cabin block face up in the centre of the wadding as in Figure 5.
Note the waddings and backing will be slightly larger than the log cabin square.

Quilt by stitching in the indentation made by the seams called 'stitching in the ditch' and also a tight ¼ inch from outer edge of log cabin block as Figure 6. Stitching round this outer edge will hold the edges together and also act as a guide for applying the binding.

Trim the block to 8 inches which will be the finished size of the potholder. This should be the size of log cabin square you have just made see Figure 7.

Figure 8 shows the double binding applied to the right side of the log cabin square and more details of binding is given in 'How to apply a double binding to a small project'.

Take a remaining piece of fabric left over from the 2½ inch binding fabric which has been already folded to 1¼ inches. With right sides out fold both the long side raw edges to inside to centre fold and topstitch in position so that it makes a narrow strip for a hanging tab. Tuck the tab ends under binding edge on back and secure as you are sewing the edge of the binding over on the back of the potholder. Figure 9