Like Log Cabin, Woodpile blocks have a diagonal division between dark and light, but instead of being built up from the center, Woodpile blocks are strip-pieced. One section from each panel goes into each block. You usually make 8 to 24 blocks at a time.
Blocks are arranged with vertical seams alternating with horizontal seams so there are few seams to line up. Blocks can be turned four ways to create a variety of designs. This art shows seven arrangements for 16 blocks; there are many more possible. (This is the "Super 16" pattern. See my "Answers & Extras" page for a lot of extra insight.)
Since Scrap Quilts Using FastPatch was published
in 1991, I have continued to explore Woodpile blocks, making calculations
for many different sizes of blocks and clarifying the principles for arranging
the blocks. I condensed many of these ideas into a 24-page booklet which
I give free with the purchase of Scrap Quilts Using Fast Patch. To
see what else is in that book and find how to buy it at a big discount,
click on Scrap Quilts Using Fast Patch.
New! A pattern of the prettiest variation of Woodpile
The prettiest Woodpile blocks (most people agree) have triangles added with a simple Stitch & Flip technique. Where blocks meet, Pinwheels are created.
In May 2003, in response to a teacher's request, I created
a new stand-alone pattern for this project. This quilt has 48 blocks and
is about 45" x 57", or larger if you use wider borders.
It's prettiest if the triangles extend into the first border to form Pinwheels there too, so that's the version I feature. But I also include a "simplified version" with fewer triangles.
For those who want a larger quilt, I include calculations for a 60-block Twin Throw, again both the fancier version and the simplified version. So you have four projects to choose from! These calculations are not in any book.
The pattern is $7.00 retail, plus $1.50 postage. Send $8.50 to:
740 North 21st
Springfield, OR 97477
You can order both Scrap Quilts Using Fast Patch and this pattern for just $20, plus $3.00 postage.
Sizzling Quilts from a Simple
In 1999 Krause Publications released my 160-page book devoted to Woodpile blocks. Many of the quilts in that book bear little resemblance to Log Cabin.
Blocks can be made with two, three, four, five, or six
steps, in mini, small, normal, and large sizes, and they can be embellished
Go to Sizzling Quilts from a Simple Block for features of that book and ordering instructions.
Free with book or pattern purchase (on request, while supplies last):
A fun 8-1/2" x 11" poster warning, "No Bare Feet Allowed." This was designed especially for people whose friends and family step on stray pins and needles. (If you make people take shoes off at the door, you are not eligible for this gift.)
This page was updated May, 2003. Please contact me at