Off-Kilter Log Cabin Pillow
The featured pillow for the 2017 Pillow Challenge offers a modern approach to a traditional Log Cabin quilt block design. The color choice gives the pillow a mid-century modern feel—the process is the time-honored Stitch ‘n Flip technique. Curious? The complete instructions are below.
Fabrics and Cutting/Labeling Instructions
This pillow can easily be made from fabrics from your stash or fabric purchased specifically for this project. As you cut out the squares or strips, label the strips for easy reference.
- Center block (turquoise): Cut one 6-1/2″ square, label #1
- Half-square triangle (purple): Cut one 3-1/2″ square, label #2
- Interior logs (black—1/4 yard): Cut one 2-1/2″ and one 4-1/2″ crosswise strips.
- One 2-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ rectangle, label #3
- One 2-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ rectangle, label #4
- One 4-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ rectangle, label #5
- One 4-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ rectangle, label #6
- Exterior logs and pillow backing (grey—1 yard): Cut two, 5-1/2″ and one 2-1/2″ crosswise strips.
- One 5-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ rectangle, label #7
- One 2-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ rectangle, label #8A
- One 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ rectangle, label #9A
- Two 5-1/2″ x 19-1/2″ rectangles, label one #10 and the other #11
- One 5-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ rectangle, label #12
- One 5-1/2″ x 24-1/2″, label #12
- Accent logs: (lemon—2-1/2″ crosswise strip): Cut one 2-1/2″ crosswise strip.
- One 2-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ rectangle, label #8B
- One 2-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ rectangle, label #9B
- Polyester Fleece or Quilt Batting: One 26″ square
Layout squares and strips as shown.
Stitch ‘n Flip Technique
Note: Seam allowances are 1/4″ unless indicated.
- With right sides together, stitch #8A to #8B and #9A to #9B, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seams toward the darker fabric.
- Create a half-square triangle. Align squares #2 to #3, with right sides together, in the lower right hand corner. Stitch from corner to corner. Trim 1/4″ from stitching line. Press block #2, right side out.
- Position square, right side up, on the polyester fleece square 9″ from the top and 8″ from the right side. The red lines indicate the fleece edges.
- Machine baste the square to the fleece around the outside edge.
- Align strip #3, right sides together, to the right side of the square. Stitch.
- Flip Strip #3 to the right side; press.
- Align strip #4, right sides together, to the lower side. Stitch.
- Flip Strip #4 to the right side; press.
- Align strip #5, right sides together, to the left side. Stitch.
- Flip Strip #5 to the right side; press.
- Align strip #6, right sides together, to the top side. Stitch.
- Flip Strip #6 to the right side; press.
- Align strip #7, right sides together, to the right side. Stitch.
- Flip Strip #7 to the right side; press.
- Align strip #8, right sides together, to the lower side. Stitch.
- Flip Strip #8 to the right side; press.
- Align strip #9, right sides together, to the left side. Stitch.
- Flip Strip #9 to the right side; press.
- Align strip #10, right sides together, to the top side. Stitch.
- Flip Strip #10 to the right side; press.
- Align strip #11, right sides together, to the lower side. Stitch.
- Flip Strip #11 to the right side; press.
- Using a rotary cutter, ruler, and mat, trim off excess fabric.
Consider making this Off-Kilter design in a brighter colorway using the guide below:
To develop this block into a pillow, follow the instructions used on the Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Block blog post. Enter the pillow into the 2017 Pillow Sewing Challenge! View the Pillow Challenge entries in the photo album here.
Go Social with Your Pillow Sewing Challenge
If you have a website, copy the code above and paste it into your website editor to have the Pillow Sewing Challenge badge on your site.
If you are on social sites like Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, or Facebook, let all your friends know you are working on the Pillow Sewing Challenge by tagging your post with the hashtag: #NZPillowChallenge.
Over $1,100 in prize packages from our generous sponsors:
Baby Lock Sewing: Molly Sewing Machine, value $499
Assorted Product Bundle from June Tailor, value $159
Clover Assorted Nancy Zieman Product Bundle, value $145
Aerofil Smartbox from Madeira Threads, value $116.
Ruler Pal by Pleasant Home Designs and a 24 piece Fat Quarter Stack of Juilette Fabric from Riley Blake Designs, value $90
F+W Media Two-Book Package, value $50
Hobo Tote Template and Notions bundle donated by Nancy Zieman, value $50
2017 Pillow Sewing Challenge Schedule
- March 28: Entry Deadline
- April 4: Winners Announced
Watch Sewing With Nancy online.
What if you were to make this Off-Kilter block into a quilt? Here are three fun digital quilt design options:
This larger quilt mixes the two different color blocks, rotating the design as the pairs are joined. Notice there is no sashing on this contemporary design.
Quilts 2 and 3
Both quilts feature blocks made in a single color palette. The designs have sashing strips and cornerstones making modern and traditional styles collide. Sashing and border strips feature colors from the original block. Notice each block is rotated.
Bye for now,
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