McCall’s Quilting May/June 2018


McCall's Quilting May/June 2018 magazineHow we learn to quilt can take many forms—from a family member or friend, quilt classes either in person or the internet, books or magazines—there are so many options for where and how we can learn the skills to be successful quilters. And those first lessons can range from basic rotary cutting skills to make a simple Split Rail Fence to more comprehensive lessons covering a wide array of quilting techniques.

Many years ago, my first quilting class included a simple pieced block, a needleturn applique block and hand quilting to turn my creations into quilted pillows. That meager start had me hooked. Not too long after my first adventure into quilting (and many pillows later), I started teaching basic quiltmaking classes. My goal for my students was to teach them a variety of techniques enabling them to make just about anything they wanted. Our project was a sampler quilt with 12” blocks including half- and quarter-square triangles, applique and one block made with four 6” Log Cabin blocks.

As simple as a basic Log Cabin block is, this one block gave my students more trouble than any other block. If the ¼” seam isn’t accurate, this block with all of its seams won’t measure the same size as the rest of the blocks. What a good lesson for my students! To help you with an accurate seam allowance, we’ve included tips in this issue.

I started getting more creative with my Log Cabin blocks over time. Not only are there a multitude of ways to arrange the basic blocks in a quilt for countless variations, adding pieced or appliqued blocks to the centers and even piecing the logs themselves opened up new creative avenues. We asked some of our designers to send us their favorite Log Cabin designs—you can find six different variations in this issue. I hope these will spark your own creativity!

Carolyn Beam signature




Carolyn Beam, Content Director


Table of Contents

Up Front

  • Editor’s Letter: Log cabins provide a strong foundation for quilting success.
  • Fresh Picks: Check out the new EQ along with a quilter’s planner and storage solutions.
  • Quilter to Quilter: See the three different star patterns and one crib quilt our readers made.
  • McQ&A: How have we used log cabin blocks? Let us count the ways…
  • Quilt Basics: The quiltmaking techniques you need to make the patterns in this issue.

Special Interest

  • Tips for Accurate Seam Allowances: Before you start stitching all of your blocks, take a few minutes to find your perfect quarter-inch.
  • Log Cabin Quilts: The Building of an American Classic. Eminent quilt historian Barbara Brackman shows us the stories and legends behind the perennial favorite quilt pattern.
  • I Love This Quilt! Star quilts and scrap quilts have always been among her favorites, so her remake of this pattern is sure to be stellar!

Free Extras at!


  • Energy Grid: This modern pattern crackles with electricty thanks to gradated grays and a pop of red.
  • Cut Crystal: Large, sophisticated blocks positively sparkle in shades of blue, tan and white in this throw.
  • Townhouses: These quarter log cabin blocks are arranged neatly into tidy rows, like a city block of spiffy homes.
  • Summer Getaway: The livin’ is easy when you make these big, quick-to-piece blocks in warm colors.
  • Prairie Home: Cozy cabins coalesce to create a bright star in this large throw.
  • Anniversary Stars: Our 25th anniversary celebration continues with a remake of Scrappy Stars.
  • Cubicles: An innovative approach to log cabin design results in this striking throw.
  • Oases: Rest among refreshing pools of green and blue in this intermediate pattern.
  • Big Sky Country: Stretch out and breathe in deep under this beginner-friendly bed quilt.
  • Homestead: This scrappy quilt might be the ideal housewarming gift no matter the recipient’s preferences.
  • Waterworks: A single foundation pattern and careful fabric placement are all you need to make this gorgeous throw.


  • Schoolhouse Steps:  Joining Binding Strips on Bias
  • Schoolhouse Steps: Squaring Up Fabric

Pattern Pull-Out Section

  • This section contains the foundations, piecing templates and applique templates for the quilts in this issue. Click here to download.

Comments (2)

  • Sheila M

    How do I find out about the fabric MQK18062 townhouses? there is nowhere to key it in.

    March 27, 2018 at 7:41 am
    • Brenna Riley Gates

      Hi Sheila,
      The Townhouses Quilt Kit will be available on the website shortly. Please check back in a couple of days. Thank you for your patience!
      The Quilting Company Team

      March 27, 2018 at 7:37 pm

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