Finally! A Log Cabin Redeux!

paradigm shift, modified log cabin, clever quilt studio

Hi! You are probably looking for my infamous black, white & green (Paradigm Shift) quilt or you’ve pinned it in the past (Thank you for that!).  This was the very first quilt I made for my blog back in 2013 and I used a pattern that was published in America Makes Fast Quilts If you are really wanting that pattern you can click on the link and buy a copy of the magazine just like I did.  If you’ve followed me for awhile you know I was asked to pull the previous post by the author. I won’t go into the details because who needs to relive the past? Instead, why not make a new and improved version? So, without further ado, here it is! (Finally!!)

This version is similar to the original but I just gave it my own spin, using a different method and measurements to get essentially the same pattern.  The blocks do end up a little smaller, but can I just say, I think I love this new version WAY more!  In the true spirit of the studio we’re using precuts, yep precuts! The original had you cutting individual squares and stripes out of yardage so I thought, why not use a Jelly Roll or 2.5″ strips?  So, that’s what we’re going to do and trust me when I say it’s way faster.

Here’s the only minor hiccup. In order to get the look of my original quilt you’ll want to pick a jelly roll with fewer color lines and more repeats.  The one I’m using is Cotton + Steel’s Pixie Strips Basics Roll in navy.  They also have a berry one that is to die for.  I’ve added some rolls from my Shoppe that I think would be great for this at the bottom of the post if you’d like inspiration.  Just make sure the roll you choose says 3 or more of the same color-way per roll.  Or, by all means you can make it your own and throw caution to the wind!

This is long overdue so what do ya say, let’s get started!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 80 – 2.5″ x 2.5″ white on white squares or 3/8 yard of fabric
  • 1 – Jelly Roll (as mentioned above this one works best with repeating colors. I’ve listed some at the bottom of this post)
    • If just using two contrasting colors you will need 1 3/4 yards of each fabric
  • 3 3/8 Yds Backing Fabric
  • 3/8 Yd Bias Binding Fabric

Finished Size: 44″ x 54.5″

Step 1 – Cutting the Strips

Even though we are using 2.5″ strips we still need to cut some of the pieces before we can create the block.  Place your matching strip sets into triplicates, set aside.  Take one of your triplicate groups and cut as follows.

~4 – 2.5 x 5″ pieces
~2 – 2.5 x 2.5″ squares
Leave two of the strips in tact.

I say approximately above because you’ll find that some rolls will give you three of one color way and two of another and 4 of another so you’ll have to adjust accordingly.  Just make sure you have at least 2 – 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares to round out the end and then fill in the middle with the 2.5″ x 5″ strips.  It will make much more sense below.

Step 2 – Assembling the Center of the Blocks

Take one of the colored 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares and sew a white 2.5″ x 2.5″ square to it.  Press to the dark side. Now stitch a 2.5″ x 5″ colored rectangle to the white square in a row like below.  Repeat the width of one of the long in tact strips. When you get close to the end stitch the final 2.5″ x 2.5″ colored block on the end.

Now I have to confess something. In the process of making this quilt I dropped my phone in the toilet (EW, right?!? but don’t worry it was clean water!), it died (RIP little expensive iPhone)  and lost most of the pictures. I was half way through this quilt at the time. Yes, I know shame on me for not backing them up on the cloud…lesson learned! I now may have the largest available cloud storage subscription in the history of mankind. (Just kidding, it’s pretty average really).  Because of this, the photo above only shows a smaller section of the center block assembly.  The particular jelly roll I chose had some color ways with 4 matching so I ended up cutting them down until I’d used up all of the strips.  Most likely you will end up doing something similar in nature.

If you have any questions on this process please let me know in the comments below and I’ll get back to you right away.

Step 3 – Making the Block Strips

Now that you have your center done it’s time for the fun part (not the big reveal, but it will start to become clear).  Attach one of your full strips to the top of your row colored/white rectangles. Then attach the other full strip to the bottom. See what’s happening here? Pretty sweet right!?!

Step 4 – Cutting the Blocks

Now that you’ve basically made a strip of connected blocks we need to cut them into their individual pieces.  To do this you will want to measure 2  1/4″ from the edge of a white square or to the middle of one of the rectangles.  Line up your ruler ensuring a straight edge and cut.  Voila! Your first block is free!  Repeat this will all of your strip sets until you have 80 blocks; yep eight – zero. (Note: the photo below shows cleaning up the edges, but it also shows the accurate cut from the white block…I must’ve missed one from the center. #firstworldbloggerproblems)


Step 5 – Block Pairing

In order to give this quilt the light and dark effect you need to pair light blocks with dark blocks in this process. I went ahead and laid all of my pairs out like below.  The color way in this jelly roll wasn’t 100% even so some of the darker of the light strips had to act as both dark and light in some cases.  It works out fine you just have to make sure that you don’t pair them next to each other in the final layout., modified log cabin

Step 6 – Final Block Assembly

Facing your two blocks (one light and one dark) right sides together stitch 1/4″ from the center angle. Just like making a half square triangle.  There are a variety of different ways to do this.  My favorite is to press one block right sides together on the 45 degree angle (match upper right corner to bottom left corner) and then press one block wrong sides together on the 45 degree angle.  This way they will nest perfectly when you put right sides together. Now, stitch 1/4″ on each side of the pressing line (top right to bottom left).


Tip: to ensure that your center white squares line up perfectly you may want to pin the block in the center per the pictures below.  Even though we all like to think we’re 100% accurate at cutting little things can go ary (as you can see below). This method allows you to line up your squares for a perfect fit all while being able to adjust your square in your seams later.  It’s easier to hide a mistake in the seam than a wonky square.

After you stitch then with your rotary cutter and ruler cut along the press line to make two blocks. Press open to the dark side and wait for it….it’s your FINAL FINAL block! Yay! Isn’t it cute! (Don’t forget to trim your dog ears)


Step 6 – Final layout!

There are quite a few options for this quilt. I’m sticking with the design of the expanding diamonds since that was the way the original black and white quilt was laid out. But there you have it a modified Log Cabin Redeux. Thank you all for your patience and hopefully you will like this one better than the original.

paradigm shift, modified log cabin, clever quilt studio

Until next time; Happy Quilting!

p.s. Here are the rolls that I think would work great for this!

Check out all of our rolls here!

p.p.s. we have a new Quilting from ‘Square’ One installment coming soon so start recruiting your new to quilting friends!


  1. What color thread did you use with the quilting. I am looking to do this with the pink version and am debating between white, natural white and light pink, Aurifil.

  2. I’m so excited about this quilt. I’m using the pink shades of the fabric pattern you use above for this quilt. I have a question on the steps above. The strip assembly where the phone died (sorry). Of my three strips. I cut the 3rd strip into the two sizes above (2.5 squared & 2.5 by 5), AND the fourth strip too when there is a forth in that color group? Leaving the two others of the 3 or 4 uncut. Is that correct? But then with what 2 strips do I match the 4th strip (if a color has 4 pieces) cuttings if the 2 uncut ones are used already? Does that make sense?

    1. Hi Laura, I think I follow you. There should be mention of it in the blog but forgive me if I accidentally left it out. For the ones that you have extra you’ll want to cut it down to make a smaller strip set. So, for example, say you have one jelly roll strip left. Cut 2.5″x5″ off of that strip. Then cut 2-2.5″x2.5″ squares off of the longer strip. Then cut what remains (longer piece) in half. This should give you two squares to work with. Does that make sense? Basically you just keep pairing down your strips until you run out. 😃

  3. Hi Thanks for reposting this, I had already worked out how to do it from the original pictures, because I couldn’t find any instructions. I think I have managed ok but it was really good to see your method of piecing from a jelly roll. I have use the original black white and lime and even managed to find a fabric with limes printed on it. Its a very striking pattern so thanks again for sharing it.
    yours, in stitches, Donna. Dorset, UK

  4. I’m glad you were able to figure it out. Love that there are limes printed on it! I’d love to see it if you want to post it!

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