Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Modern Log Cabin Quilting

Fellow Portlander and PMQG member, Susan Beal has a new book out! It's truly lovely and I'm honored to have the opportunity to give you a peek into its pages.

As a self-taught quilter who is still learning (a LOT), I really appreciate Susan's very readable introduction to the history of the log cabin block along with its many variations. She not only highlights the different types of blocks but also the variety of layouts that can be done to achieve amazingly diverse patterns.

There are lots of wonderful projects in the book, each with beautiful photographs, clear instructions, and great ideas for personalizing each piece to reflect your own personality. I love how some of the projects (including the stunning quilt on the cover) challenge my idea of what a log cabin block could be. Here's another example of a bold modern look:

In addition to quilts, there are a number of smaller projects. The Color Story Pillow caught my eye and I was able to whip up the pillow top in record time using scraps from a quilt I'm making for my daughter.

I have plans to make this sweet little zip bag as well, using my prized Japanese prints.

And this bag is so fantastic - made using both the right and wrong side of a rich red corduroy to highlight the cross pattern.

Another thing that I really appreciate is Susan's encouragement to either follow the patterns as written or experiment with the different techniques to create versions that are truly your own. When I made the Color Story pillow top, I needed it to be larger than the pattern in the book and I was also limited by the scraps I had from the quilt top. But I love the way it turned out! You'll need to check back to see the completed pillow since I'm using the top as part of a demo later in the week!

You can check out more of Susan's crafty creations on her blog. And you can see more pictures of projects from the book in the flickr group for Modern Log Cabin Quilting.

If you're lucky enough to be in the Portland area this Thursday, Susan will be doing a presentation at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting! More info over here.


  1. Megs, this pillow turned out gorgeous! B is a lucky girl - I want it! I can't wait to see the quilt that matches it.

  2. Thanks so much for your awesome review, Megan! I am so excited that you're going to do the envelope back for your pretty block as the tutorial at the meeting tonight... how cool. So appreciate your posting about the book and I love that you're making the pillow for your little girl!


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