Designing cuckoo clocks is just like designing quilts. Some ideas work themselves out easily while others take time and patience (and fortitude!). The Log Cabin Quilt Cuckoo Clock was very much the first case.

Log Cabin Quilt

Quilts and Clocks That Seem to Design Themselves

I have a quilt that I use at lectures as an example of a piece that popped up and told me it needed to be made; and almost made itself. This was the case with this clock. As I’m writing this I remembered that it’s a paper pieced quilt of log cabins from my book “Hometown Quilts.” Both log cabins!

This clock simply popped into my mind. I drew it out and sent it off to my laser guy, Paul.

Log Cabin Quilt Cuckoo Clock

Block layouts I considered.

When the first rendition came back it was almost perfect, even better than I imagined.

Log Cabin Cuckoo Clock

The first laser cut clock pieces.

The Log Cabin Quilt Cuckoo Clock is simply a draped log cabin quilt, covering the front and top and bottom and sides of the cuckoo case as if it were a quilt on a bed. My aim is for it to be all about the log cabin pattern. So just a cuckoo. No animation.

Log Cabin Cuckoo Clock

Rehearsing clock dial idea. Too distracting from the pattern!

For the dial, I considered brass or copper circles or squares stamped with numbers. But my test using pennies looked to fussy, they distracted from the quilt pattern. Simple is almost always better, so I chose a font and put numerals in four of the red squares, leaving the other numbers out so they wouldn’t interrupt the design. Then I designed clock hands to the correct length.

Cuckoo Clock Hands

A Wooden Quilt That Cuckoos!

Once all those decisions were made I designed a case in VCarve and cut it out on my Iconic CNC. Then I attached the quilt parts to the case. I put the movement in, then took it to Keith the cuckoo guru who helped me tweak it to exactly my vision!

Keith Seabolt Clock Doctor


As I write this the first batch of hand painted quilt pieces are in and top coated. Look at the color!

General Finishes

Learn more about the Log Cabin Quilt Cuckoo Clock.