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Guest Post: Why I Love Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal, Author of Modern Log Cabin Quilting


The multitalented Susan Beal (sewist, jewelry maker, screen printer, craft author) once found quilting intimidating. But after attempting a log cabin quilt block for a pillow during a craft night, she quickly discovered that log cabin quilting was simple, incredibly adaptable, and the perfect place to start for a new quilter or anyone interested in using quilt techniques in other crafts.

I love log cabin quilts, from the gorgeous antiques hanging in museums to vintage finds discovered at flea markets, to the modern quilts I have made for my family and home. Log cabin quilting is such an intuitive and inviting way to quilt (artfully piecing strips of fabric around a center square to create a simple but very meaningful finished project), and it is as fresh now as when the method was pioneered nearly two hundred years ago. What I love about log cabin is how accessible it is, and how much personalized variation it offers, the outcome is dependent on your fabric and color choices and your block placement.

I was so thrilled to have the chance to write Modern Log Cabin Quilting. In a year of sketching, piecing, basting, quilting, and binding, I had the freedom to design two dozen projects in my favorite quilting medium, from simple everyday necessities to modern family heirlooms. (There is a bright blue-and-yellow quilt in the book that I made especially for my new baby son.) I love having a special quilt on every bed in our house and reaching for patchwork essentials like my recycled denim market tote and a block-pocket apron—all in log cabin designs that make me happy to look at, made from fabrics that I love.

Bright Furrows Quilt from Modern Log Cabin Quilting

The fabulous Portland Modern Quilt Guild, my local chapter of the national Modern Quilt Guild organization, has been a huge inspiration for this book. The guild is inclusive and fun and members get together monthly for meetings and sewing nights. It is a very diverse group of creative people. When I can’t get to meetings (with two little ones, it is a challenge these days), the group’s blog has inspiring pictures, updates, and anecdotes to share. I’m so excited to be part of the group’s exhibition of modern quilts at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show this summer, and doing some log cabin workshops and classes as well.

Modern Crosses Quilt from Modern Log Cabin Quilting

This is such an exciting time for modern quilt-making, with developments including (of course) new log cabin designs, and amazing fabrics and high-quality materials that are now much easier to find. Modern quilt guilds have sprung up worldwide, and swaps of fabric, blocks, and quilted projects (both online and local) bring the venerable quilting bee beautifully up to date. The fresh, accessible sensibility and energetic spirit that defines modern quilting feels especially apt for log cabin, which has always been a quilt pattern for the everyman and woman.

Whether you’re a beginning quilter or just looking for a few new ideas to mix into your work, I hope you find some inspiration from my book. And if you do, I hope you’ll share photos of your patchwork projects and quilts on the Modern Log Cabin Quilting website or the Flickr pool.

Happy quilting!


Read more about Modern Log Cabin Quilting or visit Susan Beal’s website.



PaperDollyGirl March 8th, 2011

Beautiful work!! I can’t wait to see the book!



About the Book
Modern Log Cabin Quilting
25 Simple Quilts and Patchwork Projects
Written by Susan Beal
Category: Crafts & Hobbies – Quilts & Quilting
Format: Paperback, 160 pages
On Sale: March 22, 2011
Price: $22.99
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