August’s Lotto Block is Log Cabin

Posted by on August 1, 2009 in Uncategorized | 10 comments

The lotto block for August is now known everywhere as Log Cabin, but it was first published by the Ladies Art Company, in 1895, as The Log Patch.

It was later published as American Log Patchwork, again by the Ladies Art Company, then, in 1911, as the Colonial Block, by Joseph Doyle in The Patchworker’s Companion.

Finally, in Ruth Finley’s 1929 book, Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them, the author identifies the block as Log Cabin . . . and, it seems, it has been the Log Cabin block ever since.

If you have come from the Quilting Forum on, you’ll recognize the popular colorway I’ve chosen for us this month. It started with a baby block shower for one of the members, hosted by me, which was followed by a handful of swaps of this charming bright six inch block.

Pattern Notes

You may make your blocks using traditional piecing or paper foundation piecing technique.

The foundation pattern is found on Marcia Hohn’s quilter’s cache site here. Be sure you do not have any “shrink to fit page” options selected for printing and that you measure the reference square when printing Marcia’s pattern.

I was sure I could go back far enough on the forum on and find my OLD directions there, but search was broken when I tried to find mine or any old swap . . . the basic cutting measurements are:

RED center square is cut at 2 inches
Logs are cut at 1-1/4 inches wide

Whichever technique you use, be sure to begin by adding two COOL logs to the center and end by adding two WARM logs.

Note: I originally had this backwards (in the sneak peek email and in this blog post–if you have made blocks the wrong way ’round as a result, please contact me.

I still have a set of swap blocks from one of those swaps–I didn’t manage to make as many as I wanted . . . and I confess that I’m hoping that I’ll be inspired this month to add to my “collection” and maybe even end up with enough for a quilt top for me.

But many people DID make wonderful quilts from those swaps and you can find many examples of their quilts online. Here’s one made by Stacy, that might inspire you.

Bright Log Cabin

Fabric Guidelines

This month, your log cabin blocks should have RED centers. If you make multiple blocks, you may use the same red fabric. You will add WARM colored logs to one side from the red-orange-yellow side of the color wheel and COOL colored logs to the other side from the green-blue-purple side of the color wheel.

The fabrics may be solids, tone-on-tones or multi-color prints that are predominately the color or color group specified. So for example, you might use a solid red for your centers or a red print that has a very small amount of another color that “reads” as red when you look at it from 5 feet away.

You may repeat the log fabrics in more than one block as long as none of your blocks turn out to be “twins.”

This month, the BRIGHTER the BETTER . . . but, if you don’t have a lot of brights, that OK, too.

Check out the original quilt, made from the blocks from the block shower for Daniel’s mom and notice how it is a little different and definitely interesting, perhaps because it isn’t completely made of BRIGHT fabrics, like those from the swap blocks.

The Original Daniel's Quilt

And, because I can’t resist sharing these great quilts, here’s one more, with a different layout, made from more swap blocks with borders added by Chimene.

bright log cabin for ashley

I found all of these quilt photos on Webshots in albums of quilters whose names I recognized. There are more on Webshots that you could find with a simple search for bright log cabin quilt and I’m sure a browse through Flickr would reveal many, many more beautiful bright log cabin quilts as well.

I know things slow down in summer when it’s HOT HOT HOT . . . but I hope we can put together a nice set (or two) of these nice bright log cabin blocks for someone to win and enjoy this month.


  1. Great choice this month Sophie! I have always wanted to make some of these warn/cool blocks.

  2. Sophie,
    I'm really excited about this month's blocks! That bright Log Cabin quilt is so me – maybe it will be my turn to win the lotto this month!

    Also, I wanted to offer my assistance with the sneak peek or anything you can use help with, while you are settling into your new job. Feel free to call on me!

  3. I'm glad you both are excited about the little bright log cabins. I think this block has such great possibilities–of course others have, too, which is why there have been more than a couple successful swaps of this block over the years.

    Thanks, Gail, for the offer of help with the sneak peek. We should be OK for September because the block is a repeat of an oldie-but-goodie we have made before (in another size and different fabrication). Things got doubly snarled up for me yesterday because I arrived at work and learned that the internet had been down for 10 hours and it stayed down all day and all night long . . . talk about an actual disaster for a company that depends on the internet for just about . . . everything. There wasn't a dull moment, but I didn't have a chance during my "lunch" hour in the afternoon, to get to some lotto things I wanted to have ready. Next month, I'll probably take my laptop to work on August 31 😉

  4. Sophie,
    I am excited about this block too! How many are you allowed to make?

  5. Jen, the usual guidelines apply–you can enter a max of 9 blocks . . . of course, if you're feeling generous and want to add a few to sweeten the "pot," that's OK, too, they just won't count for chances at the end of the month 😉

  6. Just want to make sure that for this lotto (per your instructions)that the first two pieces on the center square are warm colors (the picture shows cool). Also, the one we did at had the cools first. Just checking!

  7. Laura, you are absolutely right and I meant for us to make these blocks the same as the ones in the swaps . . . just in case anyone might have some swap blocks left over and wanted to add to their pile (or maybe win some blocks to add to their "collection.") I've revised the blog post to be consistent with the past. THANK YOU for picking up on that.

  8. Well, I'm glad I'm in the habit of reading the comments section. I read the directions for the sneak peek one way, and when I read these, I 'interpretted' them from the first read through….I was still starting with the wrong colors…phew…I would have made them all wrong! Dah…sometimes I hear but don't listen know what I mean!?

  9. I need to get some instructional photos up soon . . . for ALL of us 😉

  10. I would like to join your group. I love this months block. I will e-mail you my info.


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