Hand Sewn Log Cabin Block Tutorial

I invite you to give this tutorial a go. I open my heart to hand stitching in my desire to feel the thread being drawn through the two simple layers of cotton. This is an invitation to slow quilting.

I've said it before, its my therapy. The simple act of threading a hand sewing needle and actually sewing two pieces together is rewarding in a sense of self mindfulness. It became my therapy for this reason.

You'll want to assemble at least 6 dark scraps and 6 light scraps. Cut these strips into 2 in. width and carry on, replenishing your supplies with scraps of dark and light, you'll get this organic looking quilt that speaks to somewhere soft and cuddly in everyone.

So starting is always two squares any size. In my case, I chose to start with 2 inch squares, one 2 in. square the red color I like to start a log cabin block with and an alternate color, light or dark. In the above photo, you can see the simple running stitching I do with a tiny french knot at each end. With ordinary hand stitching thread, the french holds tight and disappears.

This is what you'll see after you have finger pressed the seam of the two squares. Sew on an alternate piece the length of the two finger pressed squares.

Then this is where you'll start forming your log cabin. Remembering that when you doing this all by hand I keep simple two bags of dark and light color. 

So in this photo above, you'll see that a straggler of blue is still hanging on because I also cut all these tail ends off with a simple scissors. I do not have the time to stand and cut individual pieces of  log cabin strip pieces.

I have used dark thread for demonstration purposed only, I would use a taupe otherwise, its a color of thread that seems to go with everything, don't you agree? I have yet to press any blocks  until they are all pieced. They always turn out square.

I load onto my large eye chenille needle a series of three to five stitches and carry on across the whole seam. Fold over the fabric and finger press your new hand sewn seam!

After you've added on a few strips, you'll begin to see how super simple, made for easy going folks who like slow quilting and your blocks will be square.

 In some ways, the needle and thread of my crazy life is always my constant. in my life a needle and thread is always available, easy and relaxing.

It is my hope that this be your first block hand piecing without a sewing machine. Its my little gift to you. If you decide to make this block and fall in love with hand stitching, please leave a comment with your email address if you are a non reply. I love to hear from you!

 You can make this simple block hundreds of times without the use of a sewing machine and finish off a total hand stitched quilt top with this little tutorial. 

Good luck and good stitching!


I'm linking up with The Needle and Thread Network.


  1. Great tutorial and beautiful work!!
    I'm so glad to have found your hand stitched log cabin quilt block! I first saw this technique many years ago at a Minnesota Quilt Show and was intrigued. I love the idea of slow stitching something, to feel it come together in my hands and have a quilt at the end of it all. I could have figured it out but it's so much easier and nicer to see someone else's photos on how to do it.
    This technique will come in so handy as I travel in my rv for those slow and easy times and those times I'm without electricity.
    Thanks again, Caroline!
    Cindy McMurray
    ~Faded Flea

    1. Hi Cindy!
      So glad you have found this method easy and really can be expanded upon as you take more risks in hand sewing. I'm doing more of it everyday.
      Thanks for your kind comment!

  2. I wrote you a comment and think it got lost. I just want to thank you for your blog and tutorial. I've worked many years and now that I'm retired, I want to do this sort of hand-piecing and hand-quilting. I want to thank you for validating my idea of hand-piecing a log cabin quilt. I wish you all the best and I just wanted you to know a kindred spirit is appreciative of your inspiration.

  3. Mimi, thank you for popping in to my blog Mimi and for enjoying something I wrote. I see from your profile, a blog is your next new step toward sharing and learning from each other?
    I'm really pleased to hear I validated hand peicing and hand stitching. I am working away on log cabin blocks again. Have numerous crazy quilts in various stages of completion and most recently, plum in love with upcycling fashions! Plus its a great diary of your progress now you have more time.


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