Campfire Quilt Pattern – Tips, Pics & Fabric!

Campfire Quilt Pattern: A Modern interpretation of a traditional quilt block

The Campfire Quilt Pattern is available for digital download. Click here to purchase! This quilt comes in king, queen/full, throw and baby quilt sizes.

Since learning to quilt a million (16) years ago I have been fascinated with the history and heritage of quilting. I've actually written a handful of blog posts about it:

And last, but not least on that list, the Log Cabin Quilt Pattern. When I first blogged about the Campfire Quit, I dove into the different theories behind the origin of the Log Cabin block. Is it truly even based on a log cabin? I found many sources dating the design all the way back to ancient Egypt!

Aside from the facts, looking at this block, it's easy to see why it's named after a traditional log cabin. The narrow strips of fabric, or "logs," build on each other and are arranged around a center square, or "hearth." Each fabric strip is added to the pattern in much the same way logs are stacked to build a log cabin. 

Another reason this design represents patchwork quilting so well is because our great-great-great-quiltmothers were resourceful in all things and mostly quilted with recycled fabric. These women would utilize almost any textile available, often making a Log Cabin quilt the final step in recycling old clothing and stray scraps.

5 Tips for Making the Campfire Quilt Pattern

Rainbow Baby Quilt

Many of my quilt patterns are listed as Easy on the how-difficult-is-this-quilt scale. Campfire, however, is listed as Moderate. That's not to say a beginner couldn't make it OR that it's "hard," it's just not...easy.

Don't freak out. Let me explain. This design is a medallion, which means that rather than repeating blocks sewn together to make rows, it starts with one block in the middle and gradually gets bigger. This means that if your quilt top gets a bit wonky in the early stages, it will continue to grow wonky. Here are a few tricks I've learned through sewing four of these quilts. I've also gotten some great tips from my pattern testers.

1. Only trim when you need to sew. Take a look at the pictures below to see an example of what I mean. Rather than trimming every side of each strip as I sew it to the next piece, I only trim sections that need to be sewn at that time. This may sound confusing now, but once you dive into the pattern, I assure you it will make sense.

Campfire Quilting Tips

2.Press, don't iron. You may think these words are interchangeable, but when it comes to sewing, they aren't. You iron fabric to get wrinkles out. This involves moving the iron smoothly and slowly over the fabric. When pressing, set the iron straight down, hold for a few seconds, and then lift up.

With the quilt top facing up, I use my fingers to gently fold back the seam I just sewed. I then press the seam with my iron. If you iron the seam by pushing it open with the side of your iron, you run the risk of stretching and warping the fabric. To clarify, I press my seams to the side with the darker fabric. Check out the picture below for a look at the back of my Campfire quilt.

In this video (taken from my IG stories, that's why it looks weird), I show you how I use a Tailor's Clapper to get crisp, flat seams.

Ironing-Tutorial
Modern Medallion Quilt Pattern

Chicago Quilt

3. A little bit of ballooning or distortion is completely fine. It will quilt out! When making a medallion quilt it's almost inevitable for your quilt top to get a little bit off. If the center starts to balloon from distortion or if your quilt top begins taking the shape of a rhombus, don't fret my pet! Do your best to trim and iron and then trust that once you baste and quilt, the fabric will lay flat and look great.


4. Starch before not after. I have not made this quilt using starch, however, most of my pattern testers did. One thing they all agreed on is that if you are going to use starch, starch all of your fabric before cutting and sewing. If you starch some, but not all of your fabric, it won't all stretch in the same way and more harm than good will happen.

Additionally, don't use starch after sewing to iron your seams – this may cause warping. Read more about starching fabric here!

Boho-Wallpaper
Textile Design
Jungalow Wallpaper

5. Flip it and reverse it. Missy Elliott style.

This is another tip from my pattern testers that I am very intrigued to try. According to a couple of my seasoned sewists, when sewing strips to the quilt top, flip the quilt so that sometimes it's on top of the strip and sometimes it's beneath the strip. Make sense? This should prevent warping in one direction. Since a lot of sewing machines pull the fabric through the feed dogs unevenly, by flipping the quilt top every couple of seams, you will prevent distortion.

Campfire-Modern-Quilt-Pattern
oliso-ad

Picking Fabric for the Campfire Quilt

rainbow-quilt-sketch

Strong & Structured

Campfire Quilt Schematic

The original Campfire quilt pulled colors from a literal campfire and added a touch of whimsy – peach anyone? The pop of light blue and peach add balance to this composition. Without them, it would look like a dart board with a red bull's eye in the middle.

If you would like to create a similar look, keep 2 things in mind:

  1. Use a bold fabric to ground each set of strips. This will give the quilt clear structure. Even though this design uses shades of black, charcoal and gray, every set of strips has at least one black strip to make sure the structure is solidly visible. (The sets are mostly in groups of three)
  2. Pick a couple pops of color. This will allowing the viewer's eye to bounce around the composition as a whole rather than zooming straight to the bright center. Why is this important? Visual interest is what makes a dynamic composition. Picture yourself at a museum. You're strolling through the halls, glancing at paintings, then STOP. You stand in front of one cause you need a longer look. THAT'S the visual interest I'm talking about.

Fabrics:

Scrappy Quilt Dog

Soft & Squishy

This next Campfire quilt is the opposite of strong and structured. The key word here is "squish." Made up of cream and light blue scraps of fabric, this baby quilt is effortlessly cloud-like. And did I mention that it's backed in organic flannel? ooohhh yes. My only mistake was not making it large enough for my king-sized bed.

Baby Quilt Pattern

Those crisp edges are from using steam with my Tailor's Clapper.

Soft Blue Baby Quilt
Modern Baby Quilt Pattern
Campfire Modern Quilt Pattern PDF. A fresh interpretation of the traditional log cabin quilt block

Fabrics:

Flannel Baby Quilt Pattern
hand quilted baby quilt

Desert Sunset

This Campfire quilt uses the same structural concept as the Original, except with MORE COLOR! Warm pinks and yellows fade into cool blues and greens. If you are interested in making a Campfire quilt just like this, Fabric Bubb is currently selling a kit to make a throw.

Pink and Blue Modern Quilt design
Modern Textile Designer
Quilt Photography
quilt friends

If you saw my IG stories from QuiltCon (still in highlights) you already met my fab friend Amy. She's not a quilter, but that doesn't stop her from still being the most adorable human I know.

Fabrics:

I bought all of these fabrics from Fabric Bubb because I like that you can order a 1/4 yd. – which is perfect for this quilt. Below are the Kona colors I used and how much you'll need.

Campfire-DesertSunset-Fabric
Textile Design inspired by the colors of the desert. The Campfire Quilt pattern is on sale for digital download
Desert Sunset Campfire Quilt - a modern interpretation of the classic log cabin quilt block
Garfield Park Conservatory

And if you're thinking, "Wow that water is green!" Yes, you're right. I took this photo on St. Pat's Day and most everything in Chicago was dyed green. Apparently Chicago is pretty Irish...or maybe we just like beer. 😉


Cotton + Steel Campfire Collaboration - GIVEAWAY!

After posting a few of these photos on Instagram I quickly saw a trend in the comments, "I don't know which is cuter, the sweet little girl or the adorable quilt!"

Guys. That's a no brainer. The little girl! She is STEALING the show from my quilt and I'm more than a little bit peeved. Come on, Zora! Stop being so cute!

If you act fast and jump on Instagram Cotton + Steal and I are running a giveaway to give you a free Campfire Quilt Spectacular fabric bundle. It's so easy to enter! The giveaway runs from 9:00am CST March 22 - 4:00pm CST March 26.

Childrens Quilt
Cotton and Steel campfire quilt

Cotton + Steel has more pics on their blog of Zora and this quilt if you want to check them out.

Fabrics:

This Spectacle line is shipping to stores this week, so a lot of places do not have it yet. Below are the fabric requirements for when it starts popping up in shops. Actually let me check something...yep! Fabric Bubb has it listed.

Baby Quilt Schematic
Spectacle-Fabric
Rainbow Baby Quilt Pattern

Campfire Quilts in the Wild

My pattern testers made some beautiful variations of this quilt. Not only do these talented sewists make a quilt, they also give me invaluable feedback and tips on how to improve your pattern sewing experience. Check out what they made!

Gradient Rainbow by Saija Elina

My Finnish counterpart, Saija, always finds a way to transform quilt patterns into something completely unique to her. This gradient rainbow Campfire quilt is not exception. She chose to create a Courthouse Steps appearance through her color placement. 

Rainbow Courthouse Steps Quilt
Rainbow-Campfire-Quilt

Art Deco Pastels by Evie Jespersen

Pastel Modern Quilt

Pretty in Pink & Teal by Elizabeth Ray

Modern Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

Baby Blue by Tiffany Horn

CampfireQuilt Tiffany VBQ

Magenta Magic by Christine Myers

Magenta Magic Quilt

Gingham Stripe by Krystina Hopkins

Gingham Stripe Quilt

Spring Color Pop by Oh Sew Brooke

Spring Flowers Quilt Pattern

Yellow Mermaid by Caitlyn Williams

yellow baby campfire quilt
yellow baby quilt pattern

Fussy Cut Fireflies by Jessica Schunke

"When I saw this pattern and the 5" square for the center, I couldn't resist fussy cutting those little fireflies. And using Campsite fabrics for the Campfire quilt seemed like a no brainer. I love the texture and play of colors the chambray background adds as well."

Fussy Cut Firefly Baby Quilt

Perfect Picnic by Holly Hughes

The perfect summer picnic quilt! The Campfire quilt pattern is a perfect fit for any outdoor event.

Pink Punch by Leah Weskamp

Pink-Punch-Quilt

Mod Flowers for a Queen by Veronika Bush

"This is a queen! And I love it so much!! Biggest tip is to buy TWO bottles/cans of starch - one for starching all fabric before cutting and one for starching each row as you press it open after it’s sewn. And then starching the whole thing after it’s all sewn together. (I still have to do the after sewing starching - I need to buy more! 😆 and ps Evie Jespersen is the one who told me she starched the whole thing afterward and hers looks super flat!)"

The Campfire PDF Pattern made using Anna Maria Horner floral fabric in a queen size

Jewel Box by Isabel Kelly

Campfire-Quilt Pattern PDF Download
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14 thoughts on “Campfire Quilt Pattern – Tips, Pics & Fabric!

      • Meghan says:

        Love this quilt! Do you think I’d need to pick up more than one jelly roll to make the queen sized one, or do you think a single roll would work? Thanks!

        • Suzy Quilts says:

          To make the queen size, you will need about 45 2 1/2″ strips + 40 2″ background strips + background borders. I think a typical jelly roll has around 24 strips, so two jelly rolls + background fabric would work great!

  1. Liz says:

    I’ve had my eye on this quilt pattern for a long time ever since I saw some promo pictures you took with Bernina with this quilt in the background, and I’m thrilled it’s finally available for purchase. Your testers are amazing, there are so many different color combos and they all make it look different. Decisions decisions!

  2. esthernath says:

    Thank you Suzy for all your advice and great photos for your campfire quilt, and give us the color codes it’s really top! 🌸💕

  3. Fran says:

    Oh man, I’ve been heart-eye emojing this quilt since I first saw it on your feed and I so want to make it. I’m a little scare due to my limited quilting experience but I might just have to give it a whirl!

  4. Judy says:

    You are a genius to create this gorgeous versatile quilt. It is literally amazing with every color combination!! I love it so much!! 💚💗💜💛💕

  5. ejkuh says:

    I know you said what thread you use to hand-quilt on your IG story but I never wrote it down and now I can’t remember! Help!

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