Tutorial: Reversible Log Cabin Block


As promised (or threatened) here is the tutorial for making the reversible block.  In my usual insistence on doing the more complex project, I choose to make two different blocks.  The one pictured above has a chain, the one below doesn’t.  Caution:  it is not for the faint of heart, but once you get going it works!  My prior entry on making “You Make My Heart Sing” shows the origin of my learning this technique.  It is complicated, but oh so worth it.  I loved doing it with a strip set just to get to make a baby size quilt from a jelly roll.

The fabrics and thread were supplied by Island Batik and Aurifil.  For piecing I have been using a lovely cone of the Aurifil white.  My only “complaint” is that my bobbin isn’t as full as that cone!!  I guess I would love a never ending bobbin.

True confession – I once again had to change the counterclockwise adding of strips to make it work.  You may find another way, this is what worked for me.  That will happen around Block 7.

Click click here for a pdf  with numbering on both blocks. Print it. It will help you keep things straight. (you may even want to cut and paste it together to have a real model).

Dark Fabrics =  5-10″ dark fabrics =>either 2 strips @ 2 1/2″ (5″) of each dark or 4 of the same – 10″
Light Fabrics = 5-10″ light fabrics =>either 2 strips @ 2 1/2″ (5″) of each dark or 4 of the same – 10″
Cornerstones = 2

Reversible Log Cabin 16”

Batting1 @ 2 1/2” x 4 1/2” 2” wide strips – use up left over batting,  zig zag together, longest piece is 16 1/2”
Front  Light (snake) 2 @ 2 1/2” x WOF Make these subcuts:  2 1/2”, 4 1/2”, 6 1/2”, 8 1/2”, 10 1/2”, 12 1/2”, 14 1/2”, 16 1/2”
Front Dark (leaves)2 @ 2 1/2” x WOF Make these subcuts:  2 1/2”, 4 1/2”, 6 1/2”, 8 1/2”, 10 1/2”, 12 1/2”, 14 1/2”, 16 1/2”
Cornerstones2 1/2” x 20”Subcut 8 @ 2 1/2” squares
Back Light (sun) 2 @ 2 1/2” x WOF Make these subcuts:  2 1/2”, 4 1/2”, 6 1/2”, 8 1/2”, 10 1/2”, 12 1/2”, 14 1/2”
Back Dark (tiger) 2 @ 2 1/2” x WOF Make these subcuts:  2 1/2”, 4 1/2”, 6 1/2”, 8 1/2”, 10 1/2”, 12 1/2”, 14 1/2”
* Front will be without cornerstones – If you do not want to use cornerstones you can skip that and cut like the front

Keep your strips in piles, smallest first.

For this tutorial – the snake/leaves will be the front.  I found it less confusing to work from the side without the chain.


  1. Piece  one 2 1/2″ chain block with one  2 1/2″ inch block of both the sun and tiger.
  2. Piece one  2 1/2″ block of the opposite side snake and leaves.
  3. Add chain block to all the sun pieces. You are done with the preparation.
  4. Place the Chain/tiger piece Right Side UP on the 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ batting.  Place the Light(sun)/Dark(tiger) right side up on opposite side.  The chain/leaves pieces on left…sun/snake on the right. ( Block 1)
  5. Add the Light(sun)/Chain piece to the top of the Dark(tiger)/Chain – right Sides TOGETHER. (block 2) [the layering is pictured above]
  6. Add the  4 1/2″ dark rectangle on the other side – right sides TOGETHER. (block 2)
  7. Sew a 1/4″ seam.   Bring to iron.
  8. IRON THIS WAY:  Press the top side away from the piece with the batting.  Turn over, press the other side way from the batting.  Unit looks like  picture below when pressed. fullsizeoutput_121b.jpg
  9. Add a piece of batting in between the piece with the 4 1/2″ rectangle, trim to fit.  I did not cut my batting to size, I trimmed as I went along.
  10. Pick up the 4 1/2″ snake rectangle and 4 1/2″ tiger.  Place on the left side of the pieces, right side up if your piece is facing like the one above.(block 3)
  11. Iron away from the pieces with the batting.   Add a piece of batting.
  12. Add a piece of  6 1/2″ piece of snake and tiger to the piece (right sides together), on the left side in my picture. Sew 1/4″ seam (block 4)
  13. Press  & add batting.
  14. Place the 6 1/2″ leaves and the 6 1/2″ combined chain/sun on their respective sides with right sides together. (block 5)
  15. Sew the 1/4″ seam, press, & add batting.
  16. Place the 8 1/2″ leaves and combined sun/chain piece. (block 6). Sew the 1/4″ seam, press, & add batting.
  17. Place the 8 1/2″ snake and tiger strip. (block 7).Sew the 1/4″ seam, press, & add batting.
  18. Place the 10 1/2″ snake and tiger strip (block 8). Sew the 1/4″ seam, press, & add batting.
  19. Place the10 1/2 leaves and  combined (block 9) Sew the 1/4″ seam, press, & add batting.Place the12 1/2 leaves and combined (block 10)
  20. Place the12 1/2 snake and tiger(block 11). Sew the 1/4″ seam, press, & add batting. (ran out of snake fabric)
  21. Place the14 1/2 snake and tiger. (block 12). Sew the 1/4″ seam, press, & add batting. (ran out of snake fabric)
  22. Place the14 1/2″ leaves and combined  (block 13). Sew the 1/4″ seam, press, & add batting.
  23. Place the16 1/2 leaves and combined  (block 14). Sew the 1/4″ seam, press, & add batting.

You are done!

Linking Up:
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Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Can I Get A Whoop Whoop


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  1. November 17, 2018 / 3:15 PM

    I would definitely have to study this a bit, and I will bookmark it for when I need it! 🙂

    • kathleenquilts
      November 24, 2018 / 11:42 AM

      It isn’t as bad as the directions look, once you get going.

  2. November 18, 2018 / 12:15 PM

    Hi Kathleen! These blocks are fabrics are SO cool. I, too, need to study this tutorial more but I definitely want to make it. I’m going to PIN it as well. Happy Sunday! ~smile~ Roseanne

    • kathleenquilts
      November 24, 2018 / 11:44 AM

      Thank you! I never could figure out how Emiko Toda Loeb did the designs…but it is so interesting. I would love to pursue it, but it would take years for me to figure it out. Ha Ha. Happy Sunday.

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