Not Your Traditional Log Cabin Pillow Tutorial

on February 14 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 124 Comments

Kaye Prince from Miss Print brings you this twist on a traditional log cabin design with this new pillow tutorial. Learn more about Kaye in her introduction, and be sure to comment for your chance to win one of 17 great prizes this week!

The log cabin is one of my favorite quilt blocks. I love mixing it together with other blocks and using it in new, different ways (if you’re familiar with my Pinwheels in the House quilt pattern you’ll know what I’m talking about) and for this pillow pattern I’ve decided mix it up once again! This pattern features the traditional square log cabin as well as a rectangular log cabin, but not all of the cabin pieces interlock in the usual manner. I’ve also brought together both machine and hand quilting to give this pillow even more interest.


  • Scraps or fat eights for the pillow front: You’ll need about a ½ yard worth; a mix of both prints and solids is nice.
  • 20×20” piece of muslin or scrap fabric for pillow front sandwich. (This fabric won’t be seen so go ahead and use something really ugly that you might have in your stash.)
  • 20×20” piece of quilt batting for pillow front sandwich
  • 1/2 yard home dec fabric for pillow back
  • 19” piece of pre-made or handmade ½” bias binding
  • No.08 perle cotton for hand quilting
  • Hand sewing needle for hand quilting. (I usually use a size 5 or 6 embroidery needle when using perle cotton.)
  • 18×18” pillow form

Pillow Front Cutting Directions:

  • For square block one (left): cut one 3.5×3.5” square for centre, one 1.5×3.5” strip, two 1.5×4.5” strips, one 1.5×5.5” strip, one 2.5×5.5” strip, one 2.5×7.5” strip, one 2.75×7.5” strip, and one 2.75×9.75” strip.
  • For square block two (right): cut one 3.5×3.5” square for centre, one 1.5×3.5” strip, two 1.5×4.5”strips, one 1.5×5.5” strip, one 2.75×5.5” strip, one 2.5×7.75” strip, one 2.75×7.75” strip,, and one 2.5×9.75” strip.
  • For rectangular block: one 2.5×11.5” strip for centre, two 1×11.5” and two 1×3.5” white strips for centre border, one 1.5×4.5” strip, one 1.5×5.5” strip, one 1.5×12.5” strip, one 1.5×13.5” strip, one 2.75×7.75” strip, one 2.75×9.75” strip, one 2.75×14.5” strip, and one 2.5×16.75” strip.

Pillow Front Directions:
All seams are ¼” unless otherwise stated.

– Following the picture above sew together the block following the numbers outlined. Pieces should be sewn right sides together and seams should be pressed away from the centre block. Set aside.

– Following the picture above sew together the block following the numbers outlined. Pieces should be sewn right sides together and seams should be pressed away from the centre block. Set aside.

– Before constructing the rest of the log cabin part of your block, first attach the white solid border pieces (these are the 1×11.5” and 1×3.5” strips) to the center panel piece. Once again, follow the picture above and sew together your block pieces, right sides together, following the numbers outlined. Press seams away from the center block and set aside.

– Sew blocks one and two, right sides together, along the center seam so that you end up with one piece measuring 9.75×19”. Press seam open.

– Sew the two blocks that you just sewed together to your rectangular block, right sides together. Press seam open.

– Sandwich your pillow top, batting, and scrap fabric together just as you would a quilt. Baste.

– Machine quilt as desired. I used straight line quilting, spaced at varying intervals, to mimic the look of the pillow top itself.

– I decided to quilt once around each fussy cut center and once inside both the top and bottom panels of the front. Thread your needle with perle cotton; I used a lovely pale pearly blue-grey. Most recommend about 18” to avoid tangling; insert through the back of your sandwich. Pull through to the front. Since the back of your sandwich will be hidden inside the pillow you don’t need to worry about burying your knot inside the sandwich as you would if you were quilting a quilt or piece with the back exposed.

– Rock your needle through the sandwich and back up again, back down and back up again, without drawing the needle or thread though. Try to keep your stitches as even as possible, rocking your needle through a few times. Pull your needle and thread all the way through. Continue quilting as desired; when you want to finish your thread, insert the needle though to the back, and tie off using a square knot (or the regular knot that you would use while handsewing).

Pillow Back Directions:
– From your ½ yard of home dec fabric, cut one 9.5×19” piece for the upper portion of the envelope and one 13.5×19” piece for the bottom portion of the envelope.

– Take the bottom portion and along one long side fold the fabric down ½ inch, fold down a ½ inch again so that the raw edge is tucked inside. Press. Using a ¼ seam topstich along the fold.

– Take the top portion and your 19” piece of bias binding; encase one long side within the bias binding and attach using a 1/8” seam.

Pillow Construction:

– Place your pillow front on a flat surface, right side up. Take first the top portion of your pillow back and align it, right side down, with your pillow front; now align the bottom portion of your pillow back with the front, it should overlap the top portion. Pin all pieces together.

– Sew ½” around all for edges, being sure to go over the envelope seams a few times to reinforce. Trim your corners so as not to cause extra bulk.

– Turn pillow right side out using the envelope opening and use a skewer to push out the corners. Insert pillow form.

Voila! You are done! You now have a not-so-traditional log cabin pillow to curl up with!

Enter our Pillow Contest! Create a pillow this month and enter to win some fabulous prizes.

You can also comment on any post this week for your chance to win one of these great prizes below, courtesy of Robert Kaufman Fabrics:

1 fat quarter pack of Betty Dear, 5 Kona Cotton color cards, 1 fat quarter pack of Night & Day in the Summer Colorstory, 10 sets of 5 Kona charm packs

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124 Responses to Not Your Traditional Log Cabin Pillow Tutorial

  1. Jane says:

    wow what a fabulous piece of art! thanks for sharing!

  2. This is such a beautiful pillow!

  3. Jessica says:

    Lovely pillow Kaye! Subtle and sophisticated.

  4. Clare says:

    love it, love it, love it!! Thank you, I will be making one of these:)

  5. Crispy says:

    This is a superb thing easily done!

  6. Kathryn says:

    Great pillow! I’ll have to try this!

  7. Witchipoo Jamie says:

    Wonderful idea and project!

  8. Fantastic. So fresh and modern. I love it.

  9. Sarah J says:

    What a great pillow. By the way, your story is so sweet – loved reading it.

  10. Kate says:

    What a great twist on a classic design. I especially love the fabric choices and the hand quilting.

  11. Christine says:

    Wow! I love this, it would be sew easy to put one of these together with that great tutorial. Thanks.

  12. Sasha says:

    I can’t wait to try!!!

  13. So cute! Great tute!

  14. genevieve says:

    the finishing tips def. help!

  15. Rebecca says:


  16. Ms. Fine says:

    I’m in love. I want to make this.

  17. Alisa says:

    I like the quilting on this one.

  18. Ramona says:

    This is really cool. Thanks for the tutorial!

  19. Janet K says:

    I really like this pillow! Thanks for the detailed tutorial.

  20. Christine says:

    Great tutorial!!

  21. Brooke says:

    I love this pillow. I really need to get on it and make some new ones for our bed!

  22. Tina C. says:

    i’m gonna try this one!!

  23. Lynda says:

    What a great pillow!

  24. Catherine says:

    Such a good idea for that fabric. Thanks for the good instructions.

  25. sharonj says:

    Beautiful pillow and a great tutorial!

  26. Jacey says:

    Lovely spin on tradition!

  27. Sue. says:

    Love it…just what I need, thanks!

  28. Kathleen P says:

    great tute!

  29. monica says:

    Love the fussy cut squares!

  30. Diane says:

    Thanks for a great pillow. I really like the quilting.

  31. WandaFish says:

    Oh, I love this! I just need to read the tute about half a dozen times and I might be able to do it, lol. Brilliant, thanks!

  32. Karen says:

    Nice tutorial. Great update on a traditional pattern.

  33. Sarah McGrath says:

    Great take on an old favourite!

  34. Love this pillow!

  35. Suzy says:

    Love it! My favorite so far 🙂

  36. Cat says:


  37. Aniza says:

    awesome pillow and tutorial!

  38. Sherry J. says:

    that is a cool way to interpret the log cabin. thanks for the tute.

  39. Tina L. says:

    I need new pillows on the couch. These made in spring colours would cheer up this grey February.

  40. Courtney says:

    Lovely and totally doable! Thanks!

  41. Erin Gustafson says:


  42. Marcia W. says:

    Excellent tutorial and really like the colors

  43. Heidi Anderson says:

    This is great! I can’t wait to try it out!

  44. Katrina H says:

    I really like this pillow!

  45. Jen B says:


  46. Kelly O. says:

    nifty design!

  47. kathyh says:

    Another very nice pillow.

  48. Sarah says:

    This one made me giggle because the blocks arrange to look like a little face, but it’s somehow subtle and sophisticated at the same time.

  49. Liz says:

    really like the rectangular log cabin block! great idea, thanks!

  50. Kirsten N says:

    Lovely pillow!

  51. VickiT says:

    Great pillow Kaye. Thank you very much for the instructions. Love the colors you used too.

  52. Susan says:


  53. delia says:

    It’s almost a smiley face!

  54. Leah says:

    Love this pillow!

  55. Kelly P says:

    Pretty, pretty!

  56. Tara says:

    Love the design and I LOVE the colors.

  57. Joanne says:

    Great colors, especially those blues and greens.

  58. Sara says:

    Very creative! Thanks for sharing.

  59. Stephanie says:

    Adorable pillow. Love the binding detail on the back.

  60. Stephanie S says:

    I love this pillow! I’m planning to start a log cabin quilt this year and these would make great throw pillows to go with it.

  61. Krystina says:

    Such a cute use of Heather Ross prints! Great pillow!

  62. Kristal says:

    Thanks for a great tutorial!

  63. Amanda says:

    This is the perfect pattern to use some scraps I’ve been hoarding! Thank you!

  64. FAbulous tute, Kaye!!! Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas.

  65. Cat says:

    a 3D log cabin… it’s so nice !

  66. Tonya says:

    Cute! I love the little window look.

  67. Rebecca says:

    Cute pillow Kaye! Nice work!

  68. Tara says:

    That’s a really cool idea for a pillow! Love the combination of square and rectangle log cabins.

  69. Rebecca says:


  70. Jacqueline says:

    Love the patchwork piecing.

  71. Jessica says:

    This is a fun take on the traditional quilt

  72. Really great pillow – Love the color choices, Thanks for the Tutorial!!

  73. Jaime says:

    What a beautiful pillow and a great tutorial. I will definitely be giving this one a try!

  74. Dawn S. says:

    Love it! Log cabins are my favorite, especially with a nontraditional twist!!

  75. Joy says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial!

  76. Connie says:

    Great pillow and love the colors!

  77. Jennifer says:

    Wow that’s a beautiful pillow.

  78. Deb says:

    Love the pillow! Recently found Kaye’s blog and have enjoyed seeing her work and style! Thanks for the pattern..

  79. Chris says:

    This is such a cool idea! It almost looks like a face.

  80. Meg says:

    love this pillow!

  81. Rebecca says:

    Love this combination!

  82. Robyn says:

    wow, beautiful!

  83. Maya says:

    This is a really cool design. I like this pillow a lot!

  84. Sara says:

    i love this! thanks for all the tutorials.

  85. Kelly Sas says:

    This has been so helpful. Each day I have learned something new for the next time I make pillows!

  86. susan h says:

    love the pastel colors!

  87. Jacque says:

    This pillow is fantastic! I love the fussy cut centers for the two smaller blocks, and the varied distances for the rows of machine quilting add a lot of interest. Really nice!

  88. SewLindaAnn says:

    I love the choice of fabrics of course, thanks for the great tutorial. I need to practice my hand sewing, I really want my quilting to look like hers.

  89. Jen says:

    What a beautiful pillow! I love the colors!

  90. Alison says:

    Love the pillow. I’m so lazy though. I hate sewing anything by hand.

  91. Brenda says:

    Very neat! I am going to have so many of these on my list how will I ever get around to them all?

  92. Chantal says:

    Thank you! I want to give this a try!! So helpful!!

  93. Lauren says:

    Beautiful colors! I love the layout of this pillow.

  94. Lisa ONeill says:

    I just love all of your pillow posts – – – as soon as I finish my current project I am going to remake all of the pillows around my house!!!

  95. Becky Butler says:

    I love this design, it looks so wonderfully random even though it isn’t. I love the fabric too! So pretty…

  96. Susan C. says:

    Love it! The little details really make it special.

  97. I have got to make a pillow!!!! I have just GOT to! This is a wonderful tut! Love the piece-y-ness of the front. Love the mix of quilting. Love the perle cotton. Love the pillow. Thanks!

  98. Colette says:

    Oh my! This pillow is super FANTASTIC!!! I’ve got a couple of gorgeous fabrics that would make perfect centers for the log cabins…must do a little coordinating fabric shopping so I can make this lovely pillow too ;D

  99. Anya says:

    Thanks for the tutorial!

  100. Wendy D. P. says:


  101. Paula says:

    This pillow is awesome, will give it a try for sure, thanks for a wonderful and clear tut! xoxo

  102. Karen says:

    another gorgeous pillow–can’t wait to try this one. I have never quilted before and these quick pillow projects have inspired me to start! Thanks!

  103. Kate Conklin says:

    Brilliant cushion Kaye! The colours are gorgeous together! Well done 🙂

  104. Kate says:

    Oops-my last comment links to some crazy site. This is a fantastic pillow and pattern. Great work!

  105. Kate says:

    Kaye, this is beautiful! Great work!!!

  106. Jan says:

    wow! Great tutorial and lovely cushion – am definitely trying this one at home!

  107. Jenny says:

    so lovely

  108. Lori says:

    Oh, I love it, the colors are beautiful!

  109. Becky T says:

    so pretty. Love it

  110. Kate F. says:

    The fussy cutting on this is great!

  111. Bethany says:

    This is so nice. I love it!

  112. Andi says:

    I love this twist on an old favourite. Thanks for another great tutorial!

  113. Jennifer says:

    I LOVE this design! I can’t wait to try out a version.

  114. Suzie says:

    I am defintely going to make this – a great decorator item and a good stash buster.

  115. Cass says:

    What a fabulous way to use up lots of small pieces of fabric!

  116. Rebmara says:

    Thanks for the tutorial 🙂

  117. Valerie H says:

    I can’t help but see a face when I look at this pillow o_o

  118. Suzie says:

    That is so quirky, I love it!

  119. Vanessa says:

    Oh, nice! I definetely have to make this one!

  120. CJ says:

    I love to see how others think and design and create! Thanks for sharing this.

  121. Desirée says:

    wow that i really a lot of work, but thanks for the tutoral!

  122. Cynthia says:

    Very interesting! Love it.

  123. Rebecca says:


  124. mims says:

    love this!

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