Open Line Friday–What’s Your Favorite Quilt Block?

Quilting, Log Cabin

Today is Open Line Friday–a chance for everyone to join in with both questions and answers.  (The questions need not be quilt related–I got some great mascara recommendations a few weeks ago.)

We have an open question from last week:  Please recommend a good book for a beginner quilter.  I am going to toss this out to the crowd–as my favorite book is probably not in print anymore–(anyone remember Quilts! Quilts! Quilts!?)   What are your favorites?

My friend, Laura recently asked me to chose my favorite quilt block.  Now that is a tall task.  The honest answer is…”whatever quilt block at which I am looking right now.”  I love most quilt blocks (except Sun Bonnet Sue blocks and all of its variations).  If pushed, however, the Log Cabin is my favorite quilt block.

Log Cabin Quilt, Hand-dyed fabrics

First, I love that you never have to check a pattern to cut the pieces.  Chose a log width and just start cutting…

Log Cabin Quilt, Hand-dyed fabrics

Next, I love that you don’t have to read a pattern to stitch the pieces.  Just start sewing…

Log Cabin Quilt, Hand-dyed fabrics

I also love how the colors blend.  No need to audtion every fabric for every square.  When I made this quilt, I had just two boxes of strips: warm colors and cool colors

Log Cabin Quilt, Hand-dyed fabrics

There are hundreds of variations of this one block-different colorways, log sizes, center sizes, off-set centers, and so many layout variations that I would never get bored making this versatile quilt.  Best yet–no pattern required!  (Almost no thinking required!)  Just accurate cutting and accurate seaming!

Log Cabin Quilt, Hand-dyed fabrics

Log Cabin Quilt, Hand-dyed fabrics Let’s start Open Line Friday with two questions:

Log Cabin Quilt, Hand-dyed fabrics

 What is your favorite beginner quilt book?

What is your favorite quilt block?

Thanks for sharing,



34 thoughts on “Open Line Friday–What’s Your Favorite Quilt Block?

  1. I actually just saw that wonderful book Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! in a quilt shop the other day. I am visiting in Sarasota Fl,. but someone might actually be able to get it on Amazon….and that is one of my favorite books. As far as favorite quilt block, I love them all, but maybe 9 patch because of it’s versatility to be used in all types of quilts.

  2. Quilts, Quilts, Quilts is a very good basic guide; also Fon and Porter’s Quilter’s Complete Guide is excellent.

  3. I don’t have a favorite beginner’s quilt book because I learned how to quilt the hard way. Kind of like learning to ski by taking the chair lift to the top of the mountain before taking any skiing lessons, I jumped into a BOM at a local quilt shop with some friends. Luckily I knew how to sew and learned quickly from my friends. Then I was lucky enough to take classes through my guild with Kim Diehl and Pat Delaney.

    I love most pieced blocks, especially log cabin and stars, but my favorite blocks have applique and embroidery. I’ve done several Bunny Hill quilt patterns and am working on some Lynette Anderson blocks right now. The applique quilts are so fun to custom FMQ on each block.

  4. I learned to quilt from Eleanor Burns’s Trip Around the World book and recommend to any beginning quilter her books, including her Log Cabin book. The log cabin is one of my faves for sure. Google Emiko Toda Loeb for her magnificient use of this block. Thank you for the beauty of this post!

  5. Log Cabin is definitely my favorite as well as its sister blocks, Courthouse Steps and Pineappple. All so versatile and strikingly beautiful.

  6. I agree with you….it is the gorgeous creation I am looking at that inspires me. It may be months before I see a fabric in my stash or in a store that suddenly triggers that memory again and inspires me. I LOVE the colors in your Log Cabin!

  7. if you’re into modern quilting, i think that The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman is really good.

    i can’t possibly pick a favorite block.

  8. The book I recommend to beginners, and the one I still go to frequently, is BH&G Complete Guide to Quilting. My favorite block, if I have to choose just one, is probably the nine-patch (although the photos in this post make me want to start a log cabin quilt right now!).

  9. I do not have a favorite book. I learned to quilt taking lessons with my very talented grandmother when I was very young. Since then, I have picked up techniques from the internet and a variety of books. I love pineapple blocks and log cabin. I also can not do the Sun Bonnet Sue blocks.

  10. I have on my shelf for references Quilts Quilts Quilts and the Complete Guide to Quilting. Being self-taught I found doing a LQS’s BOM is a great way to learn different techniques.

    I have to say my favorite block is the 54-40 or fight. Have no special reason why! I just love it!

  11. I’m still too new at quilting to have a favorite block (I do like applique but not Baltimore Album) and so far my favorote book is the Fons and Porter’s Guide. Love the log cabin blocks you showed; I just may have to try my hand at those soon.

  12. Back in the dark ages (early 1970s) when I first learned to quilt, there weren’t too many books to choose from, especially in a rural area, so I mostly learned the very old-fashioned way–from my mother. She got a monthly Quilter’s Newsletter that was printed in black & white, and had pretty primitive patterns and templates that we would trace out on fine grit sandpaper and cut out with scissors–no rotary cutters even. With all that’s available today, it would be too hard to narrow down a choice of best books for a beginner–it would depend on their interests, and what appeals to them. I think learning in person, like a beginner class at a LQS, would be the best way to get the basics, then they could watch youtube videos, read blog tutorials, and get magazines and books from the library until they figure out what direction they really want to head (art quilts, modern quilts, traditional, etc).

    I think the Log Cabin was the first quilt block I ever made, and it was very easy for a beginner. It’s probably my favorite still today because there are so many different ways to make it (pineapple & courthouse steps), but I also love a New York beauty block.

  13. I’ve been a long time fan of Elenor Burns (Quilt in a Day) and would recommend her beginning pattern books for someone starting out. Her cutting and piecing techniques really make quilting approachable.
    My favorite bock…Gollies how can I choose! If pressed I do like a start with in a star block a bit more than all the other blocks out there.
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

  14. I’m in love the an elongated version of the Monkey Wrench block (has several other names). I think it can look modern with skinny sides and more negative space. Plus it’s easy and fast to make. I also love any sort of star block.

  15. My favorite block is the log cabin block. I used Burn’s book in 1982 to make first quilt! Still my favorite, block and her books! I really like the way you quilted your log cabin quilt. I will try it on my next quilt. Learn something each day!

  16. I enjoy Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! too. I think my favorite block is square in a square which is kinda similar to log cabins. I love your curvy quilting on this featured quilt!!

  17. Yep, Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! and Fons & Porter’s Quilter’s Complete Guide are my favorite how-to books…after almost 20 years of quilting I still refer to them.

    As for favorite block, mine too is Fifty-Four Forty or Fight! Not a beginner block…guess I’d choose Log Cabin for beginners because it is so versatile.

    I love your site!

  18. The Quilters’ Companion from That Patchwork Place is a wonderful reference book, providing in depth assistance for many aspects of quilting. I’ve had it for several decades so don’t know if it’s still available anywhere. As for blocks, anything to do with stars and hearts are my favourites. 🙂

  19. HELLO, like the ‘Log Cabin’ block too; my favorite is the ‘Pinwheel’ block!
    All quilters would like and use and learn from Natalie Bonner’s book “FM Quilting”!
    Thanks for your inspiration!

  20. Thanks everyone for your comments on favorite books. I am so happy that many of you liked Quilts, Quilts, Quilts. I happened to find it in a resale book store and bought it. I think it is the old version but that’s ok . I will look for the new version at Amazon. Loved reading about everyone’s favorite block. I have to admit that I have never heard of the 54-40 or fight. I will have to look it up.

  21. I learned to quilt in the sandpaper template/scissor days, but QUICKLY adapted to a rotary cutter! lol My fav block is the Feathered Star. It challenges me..but I love that block! Someday I’m gonna tackle Marsha McCloskey’s triple Feathered star (but not today!). No favorite beginner book, but I do love Terry Atkinson’s patterns. She has easy patterns that look harder. Her instructions are consise and she gives multiple quilt sizes.

  22. In Brazil, it’s complicated to choose an English book… 🙂
    To fully understand the written details, the person needs a lot of proficiency in English.
    Here we usually learn through courses, sometimes with friends. There are MANY magazines, but unfortunately few of them offers good explanations. Lots of pics, but not so much informations.

    In terms of blocks, I’m with you: I’m still in love with Log Cabins, even after 11 years of quilting. My first bed quilt was a Log cabin (for my sister in law as wedding gift), and I have to quilt a top made with log cabins as well.
    I’m gathering courage to quilt some feathers on it!! 🙂

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