Tutorial: Bear in the Cabin Quilt Block ~ 14" Size

I am excited to share a tutorial for a quilt block I have fashioned…

It is 14″ finished size so these blocks currently measure 14 1/2″ square 🙂  They are fun to make and easy if you can cut accurately and sew a 1/4″ consistently !  Come on let’s do this …

First get your parts… I started off with enough to very light and very dark fabrics to make 16 blocks… I will show you my plan at the end of this post… for now lets focus on getting a block made though.  This photo is for each blocks points and the neutrals of the blocks background areas…

 While this photo is the mediums I had left over separated with the lighter ones on the left and the darker ones on the right… you can see their value more clearly when you look at the bottom half of the picture… in the black and white only…

 So gather your fabrics to make a log cabin.. I used the second photo of midtones separated as you need a light and dark for a nice log cabin and this one doesn’t have many layers so you have to make the layers you use count as I have.

Here are the cutting sizes for your log cabin blocks… you need 4 log cabins for each block.

I cut a bunch in each size (the white numbering is for darker fabrics and the black numbering is for the lighter portions… this IS important when you are choosing your fabrics! I cut enough for all the quilt blocks I planned to make plus a little if I miss cut or miscounted.  Then I pulled out 4 the same to lay out 4 complete log cabin blocks as I have done below.  I press as I cut and then press just prior to sewing for the most accurate sewing experience with these little blocks…

 I also chain piece starting with the center 2 same sized pieces with the dark on top…

 These log cabin blocks go together a bit differently than a traditional log cabin but give the right effect and this is actually easier not to mess up on… you don’t have to be concerned with clockwise or counterclockwise piecing… just make sure as you chain piece each piece on that it looks like the first one you pieced.

In other words… in the pic above you see all dark red fabric on top… the lighter square is underneath… I will press this set away from the center as I continue piecing these little log cabin blocks together side to side until all done… making sure they look the same as I feed them under my needle of the sewing machine.

Once the final piece is added I will press them all and rotate each one after the top left one a quarter turn to keep the dark 2 sides to the inside center of the block like this…

This adds interest and hides any imperfections as well! 🙂  At this point these measure 4 1/2″ square… if yours don’t look at your cutting or sewing … do NOT trim to fit … find the problem now !

Next we will cut the lightest and darkest pair of fabrics you have chosen for your block to make the bear claw portion and the background/center square 🙂

 From your darkest fabric cut two (2) 6 1/2″ squares.  Decide below the color you want your center square… I made mine the same for all my big blocks… you may want yours to be the color of your darkest fabric… whichever you decide… cut that one (1) 2 1/2″ square now.

From your lightest light cut two (2) 6 1/2″ squares to match the dark ones you previously cut then also cut four (4) pieces 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ and four (4) squares 2 1/2″.   You now have all the main cutting done!  Yippee 😀  Now I will share with you the Magic 8 way to make your half square triangle blocks that make the bear claws.

First match pretty sides together for each of your 6 1/2″ light and dark pairs… here you see I have 3 pair… I am making extra for my outer border (my personal plan is later on in this tutorial… I am sharing directions for 1 block not a full quilt in this tutorial 🙂  )

Once you have your pairs draw a line diagonally BOTH WAYS to make a big “X” on your blocks… now sew 1/4″ from that line on BOTH SIDES like I have done on the left… you need to be straight but if your 1/4″ if off a bit you are fine… there is wiggle room built in to this method 🙂  Once sewn then press the block well to allow your stitches to sink into the fabric and secure them.
Next slice like on the right photo… BUT cut first horizontally and vertically… THEN cut diagonally in both directions on the line you  drew.  I drew my lines with  a pencil because they will never be seen 🙂
Now as you pick up each of the 8 pieces flip them over so the dark side is up.  Like I have below…
Now it will be easy to press them open with the seams to the dark side… 
Now you need to trim your blocks to 2 1/2″ square… most of them should be straight on the outer side …. so stack them up with the dog ears all on the same 2 sides… 
I used a small 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ ruler to trim mine.  I used my fingers to point to how I lined up my ruler with the points of the block to trim most accurately at 2 1/2″ square… 
Doing it this way also eliminates the dog ears 😀 
Above is the waste… and below is the beautiful finished hst! 
Here you can see those hst’s once sewn together…

 So take a minute if you used directional print like my neutral here is.. to orient your backgrounds to be more consistent.  It is worth the effort to lay out all your pieces then put them together pairing them up as you go.

The photo on the left is a layout made just looking at basic layout… the dark bear claw portions are directional though… and once placed like I did on the right… MUCH NICER and calming to look at I think… what do you think???  Does it make a difference… decide before you sew these pieces all together with your 1/4″ seams … press often without steam too ❤

So go have fun putting together this block …. or like me make a few blocks and put them into a quilt… this layout is 80″ and I need 105″ finished measurement to fit my bed… I have decided that this arrangement together will be called Appalachian Delight as I believe these blocks are a delight to make…

And my inner border of hst’s … well they are getting done a bit at a time as I make a block I am producing 8 or 16 extra hst’s using that easy peasy magic 8 method!!!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial for the Bear in the Cabin Quilt Block.  My inspiration was this block which is a bit different.  I found it on Pinterest and shared there by the Stashing Sisters…

They were quick to get back to me but had no measurements to share for how they fashioned their block so I made my own design up with their inspiration block… I love it and I hope you find this block as fun as I do!

So have fun creating your own masterpiece and PLEASE feel free to post your questions or message me if you make your own right here… I would love to see your design/finished blocks 🙂 

So until my next post…

4 thoughts on “Tutorial: Bear in the Cabin Quilt Block ~ 14" Size

  1. Gretchen Weaver

    Thanks for the directions. I'm always looking for a patterns that will work for the school auction my Penn grands attend. Appalachian Delight is a wonderful name and will be a perfect design since they are in the mountains. Maybe I'll whip up a block today. Have a great weekend!



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