Log Cabin Quilting with Susan Beal

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Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

In this four-week course, Susan Beal puts a fresh spin on the very traditional craft of log cabin quilting. Each week, you'll explore a different block style, from easy, graphic square-within-a-square blocks to minimalist, modern crosses and even improvised quartered wonky blocks. The course is perfectly suited to both seasoned quilters and newbies, with ample hand-holding on core techniques, expert tips on block settings, and lessons on how to play with color and print to make your designs pop. At the end of each class, Susan shares a fabulous project to make with what you learned, including baby quilts, bags, pillows and table runners.

What You'll Get: Weekly live chats, Downloadable materials, Step-by-step instruction

is a craft writer and teacher who loves sewing, quilting, craft history, Pendleton wool, estate sales, coffee, vintage fabric and quilts. She’s the author of six books, including Modern Log Cabin Quilting, Sewing for all Seasons, Bead Simple, Button It Up, and World of Geekcraft. She’s a contributing editor at Stitch Magazine, the historian for the Modern Quilt Guild, and past president of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. Susan grew up in North Carolina and moved to Portland, Oregon after college to go to jewelry-making school. She has studied improvisational patchwork with Denyse Schmidt, and has also taught at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Maker Faire, and Brooklyn Craft Company. Her blog is westcoastcrafty.com.

Here's the breakdown

WEEK 1: LOG CABIN QUILTING - Block-making Basics and Sewing a Pillow

Welcome to log cabin quilting! In this first week, we'll focus on the classic, simple, and very modern square-within-a-square block setting. Susan will walk you through the basics of choosing fabric, cutting strips, and pressing and piecing your "logs." Once you've learned how to make a complete block in this simple style, she'll show you how to turn it into a beautiful quilted pillow.

  • How to cut center squares and strips
  • Simple log cabin piecing
  • Basting and geometric quilting techniques
  • How to make custom binding tape
  • How to make a pillow with an envelope back

WEEK 2: LOG CABIN QUILTING - Block-setting Basics and Sewing a Baby Quilt

Now that you've learned the basic skills for constructing a log cabin block, it's time to talk about block settings. In this episode, Susan will demonstrate some of the most popular historical block settings, like Barn Raising, Straight Furrows, and Sunshine and Shadow. She then shows you how to lay out and piece together a stunning asymmetrical baby quilt.

  • How to cut and assemble log cabin blocks
  • Chain-piecing
  • Log cabin block layout options
  • Using a design wall to arrange and rearrange blocks
  • Assembling a quilt top

WEEK 3: LOG CABIN QUILTING - Modern Cross Block and Sewing a Table Runner Set

In week 3, let's mix things up with a minimal and stylish modern cross block. The striking cross motif is a fun way to play with scale and color, and in this class, Susan demonstrates how to use colorful jelly roll or roll up precuts to make a matching table runner and trivet.

  • Modern cross block assembly
  • How to chain-piece blocks
  • How to work with jelly roll or roll up precuts
  • Organic straight-line quilting
  • How to make a quilted table runner and trivet

WEEK 4: LOG CABIN QUILTING - Improvised Wonky Blocks and Sewing a Tote Bag

Once you know the rules of log cabin quilting, you can break them! In this final episode, Susan shows you fun ways to improvise log cabin techniques to make "wonky" blocks. She then ends the course with an eye-catching tote bag featuring colorful, improvised quarter log cabin blocks.

  • Wonky log cabin block piecing
  • Topstitching
  • Box corners and simple tote bag construction
  • Lining a tote bag
Tools & Materials

Week 1:

  • – 3" x 3" square of favorite print for the center (Susan uses Ribbon Flowers in blue from Denyse Schmidt's Katie Jump Rope line)
  • – 1/8 yard of four different prints in the same color family for logs (Susan uses three Denyse Schmidt prints and one from Riley Blake)
  • – 1/4 yard of contrast solid (Susan uses one of Denyse Schmidt's Free Spirit Modern Solids in white)
  • – 17" x 17" square piece of batting
  • – 17" x 17" square muslin for backing
  • – 1/2 yard fabric for pillow back (Susan uses one of Denyse Schmidt's Free Spirit Modern Solids in blue)
  • – 16'' pillow form
  • – Pattern paper or 3" square quilt ruler (optional for fussy-cutting center design)
  • – 1" binding tape maker
  • – Basic Sewing Supplies: Rotary cutter, quilt ruler, and mat; steam iron and ironing board; pins; sewing machine with 1/4" foot (optional) and walking foot; thread; seam ripper

Week 2:

  • – 1 1/4 yards total of your dominant color fabrics, in prints and/or solids (Susan uses Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Canary as her main fabric, plus three other prints in pinks and yellows)
  • – 3/4 yard of your secondary/recessive color fabrics, in prints and/or solids (Susan uses Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Fog plus one complementary print)
  • – 1 1/4 yards of assorted fabrics for backing (Susan uses Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Canary and two of her pink and yellow prints from the front)
  • – 1 1/4 yards batting
  • – 1/4 yard fabric of your choice for binding
  • – Fabric marker, chalk, or tape
  • – Pencil and paper
  • – Digital camera
  • – 1" binding tape maker
  • – Basic Sewing Supplies (see Week 1)

Week 3:

  • – Four Jelly Roll or Roll Up (2 1/2" x width of fabric) strips of fabric from a favorite collection (Susan uses Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander)
  • – Four 2 1/2"' x 7'' scraps for pieced trivet (can be new fabrics, or those left over from table runner project)
  • – 1/3 yard background and binding fabric
  • – 1/3 yard backing fabric
  • – 1/3 yard batting
  • – 1" binding tape maker
  • – Basic Sewing Supplies (see Week 1)

Week 4:

  • – 1/2 yard solid fabric (Susan uses Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Fog and Luna)
  • – 1 1/4 yards assorted prints for patchwork and lining for A, B, & C (Susan uses three Michael Miller mid-century-inspired prints from the Jug or Not collection)
  • – 1/2 yard light to mid-weight canvas
  • – 1 1/2 yards 1'' cotton webbing for straps
  • – Fabric marker, chalk, or tape
  • – Basic Sewing Supplies (see Week 1)
Course FAQ's
What's this new kind of class?
We all love project classes, but many of you asked for a deeper dive on topics near and dear to your heart. So we're debuting monthly workalong classes that focus on fundamentals. Every month we will bring you a new topic, with weekly video installments. And access to the instructor through weekly live chats so you can follow right along and ask questions as the class progresses.
Do I get these classes with my subscription?
Yes indeed. Every month's workalong course is available only to subscribers. That includes access to the weekly live chats and downloads. So not only does ten bucks a month get you hundreds of classes and two new classes every week, but also a new workalong course every month. It's a screaming good deal, folks.
I just found out about this course and it's already underway. Can I still join?
Yes, you can join at any time. You will be able to watch any previous episodes that have already been released. If you join late, you will miss out on participating in the weekly live chats since they are, well live. But we archive them so you can still hear what everyone was talking about.
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