Design Wall Tuesday: Creative Log Cabin Blocks

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In each issue of McCall’s Quilting, we include our MQ&A page where the editors and designers answer a different question submitted by readers. In the May/June 2018 issue, we answered the question, “What is a creative way that you have used the Log Cabin block?” Here’s what we had to say.


From Technical Editor Anissa Arnold:
Anissa Arnold

Several years ago I made this quilt which was designed by the Art Gallery Fabrics Staff. It consists of one, large Log Cabin block with small patches spliced into the “logs” throughout, adding a bit of pizzazz to the quilt.

Anissa’s version of an Art Gallery Log Cabin pattern

Anissa’s version of an Art Gallery Log Cabin pattern

More recently I made a Log Cabin mini with all sorts of fun things pieced into the logs. I made it up as I was sewing and spliced in randomly sized patches, some pieced strips and a 4-patch to create a funky, modern mini.

Anissa’s funky Log Cabin mini quilt

Anissa’s funky Log Cabin mini quilt


From Associate Editor Gigi Khalsa:
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I’ve always loved the Log Cabin block as a simple design with infinite creative possibilities, and I’ve made different versions over the years. I did get to try something brand new for me recently, for this very issue—I cut up a printed panel to make a single oversized Log Cabin block. The Robert Kaufman panel features the famous painting The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. I carefully fussy cut different portions of the panel to create a center focus square with a series of borders, and I love the result!

Gigi’s version of a Log Cabin block using a fussy-cut Gustav Klimt panel

Gigi’s version of a Log Cabin block using a fussy-cut Gustav Klimt panel


From Acquisitions Editor Lori Baker:
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I used the Log Cabin blocks as the background for embroidery. I think this is the first quilt that I made in which all the choices of design were mine. I didn’t have a specific pattern for the quilt. I found the cute animals in a book about hand embroidery. My apologies to the writer of that book; I can’t give you the title or the author. The blocks are all the same and I used the cream-colored solid so my embroidered designs would show up nicely. I’m the queen of avoiding hand work so instead of hand embroidering the designs, I machine stitched them with a triple stitch. I had to add the little caterpillar on the lower left of the center of the quilt to cover a mishap with the iron and residue from fusible applique.

Lori’s machine-embroidered Log Cabin quilt

Lori’s machine-embroidered Log Cabin quilt


Send questions for the staff to McCall’s Quilting, 741 Corporate Circle, Suite A, Golden, CO 80401, or email mccallsquilting@fwmedia.com. If your question appears on the MQ&A page, we’ll send you a charm pack of great fabric squares. Ask us … we’ll answer!

And be sure to keep your eyes out for McCall’s Quilting May/June 2018, on sale now! We put the focus on Log Cabin quilts in this issue, with 8 new Log Cabin patterns ranging from traditional to modern, plus a feature on the history of Log Cabin quilts by noted historian Barbara Brackman. We’ve also got tips for finding the perfect scant ¼” seam allowance, which is a must for trouble-free Log Cabin piecing.

Happy Quilting!

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