Rustic Quilts in Log and Timber Homes

Log cabin quilt designs date back at least 200 years and are found in Canada and European countries, as well as the US.

Rustic quilts are still popular in rustic cabin or lodge décor.

Although many people think that there is just one log cabin quilt design or pattern, there are many variations of the original log cabin design. In fact, many of the variations are so different from the original pattern, that most people would be hard pressed to see that they are related.

Rustic quilts, including Amish quilts, can be used in the rustic décor of log and timber homes. And they can be done in muted earth tones or in splashy colors—depending on your style and choice.

Log cabin quilt design
A log cabin quilt design is common on rustic bedding in log and timber homes.

Log Cabin Quilt Designs Are Still in Style…

Traditional log cabin quilt patterns are often found in log homes. Rustic cabin bedding doesn’t have to be antique or old. In fact, many lovely log cabin quilt patterns can be purchased from the Amish, who still make quilts by hand.

Log cabin quilt designs are still popular today, although you can now find many different styles of quilts—some very modern and different from traditional log cabin quilts.

An authentic log cabin quilt begins in the center with red fabric in a center shape, usually a square. The red fabric represents the heart or hearth of the home.

Beginning with the red center shape, a traditional log cabin quilt is then constructed by sewing strips in sequence, from the center. Sometimes light and dark fabrics were used to represent night and day.

log cabin quilt design on bed
Typical of log cabin quilt designs. Notice the square in the middle (“heart” of the home) and the “logs” that are built around it.

Some of the variations that you may find are: Windmill, Little Red Schoolhouse, Wedding Ring, Lost Ship, Horseshoe, Lone Star, Bear’s Paw, Wild Geese, or Drunkard’s Path.

One of many popular log cabin quilt designs, this quilt has the traditional square or heart of the home in the center of each square. It is surrounded by strips of fabric, the “logs”.

cabin star quilt kit
Purchase this quilt kit here

Using Rustic Quilts In Log Homes and Lodges

Rustic quilts are often used in rustic wood homes.

Originally the quilts were made from used fabrics or bits and pieces of fabrics left over from other projects. Because of this, a single quilt might have fabrics of different textures and different weights.

This made it hard to sew the fabric pieces together, so they were sewn onto a backing fabric to give the quilt stability and make it easier to sew.

For the same reason, traditional log cabin quilts were tied, rather than quilted. This made the quilts very strong and gave them a rustic and informal look.

Today log cabin quilt designs remind us of simpler times—like the book Little House on the Prairie does. They take us back to times when morality was important, freedom was new and valued, and people took pride in working with their hands.

Log cabin quilts remind us of our collective past…

Tradition of Log Cabin Quilts

Log cabin quilts, a traditional kind of American quilt, have been used in American homes for hundreds of years, popular since the mid 1800s.

In fact, log cabin quilts are one of America’s all-time favorite styles of quilting.

In a traditional log cabin quilt, strips of cloth, or “logs” (hence the name) are sewn together, around a central square.

Legend has it that the central square represented the heart of the home. If you look closely at log cabin quilts, red squares symbolize a chimney and yellow squares symbolize a lantern (or candle) in the window.

The traditional log cabin quilts were sometimes varied, to give different effects and a different look, but they always used used strips of fabric, or “logs”.

People who lived in the prairie states, like my Grandmother, used any fabrics available to them, to make quilts to keep their families warm. Grandma used scraps of fabric, as well as strips made from used clothing.

Log cabin quilts like this one were a way for lonely women living on the prairie to express themselves creatively, while making practical items for their families.

Like the log cabin quilts of yesteryear, this quilt is hand layered and hand quilted.

Modern quilts are often 100% cotton with a cotton fill and they can be machine washed.