As well as being an accomplished designer, Kendra quilts, too, and she graciously agreed to review this new quilting book for us!
By Susan Beal
Potter Craft, 160 pages
Like knitting, quilting has experienced both a renaissance and a reboot over the past few years. In place of dowdy calicos, modern quilters are experimenting with innovative color combinations, improvisational piecing, and scale to create new heirlooms that are dynamic and fresh. Susan Beal's Modern Log Cabin Quilting embraces the modern aesthetic of clean, graphic shapes and colors with 10 new quilt designs, as well as 9 home decor projects and 6 bags, all of which present a new take on of the best-loved blocks in every quilter's repetoire.
Susan rates the projects from 1 to 5 spools in difficulty, with the Modern Crosses quilt on the cover being one of the more challenging "5-spool" patterns, while the Block Pocket Apron is an intermediate 3-spool pattern (click on the link for photos and a free copy of the pattern). Each pattern lists the specific skills or techniques necessary for that project (similar to Knitcircus patterns) so it's easy for new sewists to find just what they need in the hefty how-to section. In addition, each pattern provides great diagrams and specific instructions for straight-line quilting or tying, which is helpful for newer quilters who are not ready to make the leap to free-motion quilting.
Experienced quilters won't find much to challenge their skills in even the 5-spool patterns, but I found plenty of inspiration in the gorgeous photographs. Susan also provides an interesting history of the log cabin block as well as lots of ideas and photos for classic and innovative quilt layouts.
Susan is a member of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild, home to quilterati Elizabeth Hartman and the Sometimes Crafter. Although this is her first quilting book, Susan is well known in the craft community for her blog, West Coast Crafty, and her other books Super Crafty, Bead Simple, Button It Up, and World of Geekcraft.