Susan Beal
February 2019 Speaker/April 2019 Instructor

About Susan


Sewing, quilting, and embroidery changed my whole life, but I didn’t learn how to sew until I was 26. I took art classes all my life, and have always loved making things, but my sewing skills were limited to a basic running stitch and a few long-ago childhood cross-stitch projects. I had no idea how to thread a machine, follow a pattern, or piece a quilt block. I always wished I’d learned how to sew as a kid, but it all seemed so complicated and overwhelming, I didn’t even know where to start.

I was lucky to be at the very first PMQG meeting in 2010 and can’t even put into words how much our guild has inspired me, through friendships, connections, and creativity. I’ve served as president, programs director, and now historian! I’ve written nine craft books and teach quilting for Creativebug. I’m also a Girl Scout leader, neighborhood activist, and mom to a second- and fifth-grader who finally, thanks to this book deadline, got the special bed quilts I’ve been dreaming of making them for years!

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Log Cabin Block Party! Workshop

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2019, 10:00am-2:00pm
Location: Mill End Store-Beaverton, 4955 SW Western Ave, Beaverton, OR 97005
Cost: $75

Class Description:

Make a beautiful log cabin block in your favorite colors and finish it as a throw pillow with a sleek invisible zipper that elevates handmade patchwork to the next level. In this 4-hour class taught by Susan Beal, you’ll get the chance to try different piecing methods for building log cabin blocks, with lots of layout options, from traditional sunshine and shadow color play to striking, modern square-within-a-square designs. Once you choose your favorite design, you’ll piece, baste, and quilt it, then learn the technique to insert an invisible zipper so painlessly that you’ll transform every spare UFO block and square of fabric in your sewing room into stylish and reversible throw pillows!

Susan will bring more than a dozen different log cabin pillows, as well as some of her favorite quilts for inspiration, plus yardage, scraps, and strips of prints and solids from her stash that students can dip into to add color and depth to this simple geometric block. She’ll also bring a rainbow of perle cotton colors if you’d like to add hand-quilting, and quilt labels and tags for students to use! You can print out her free S+Q Coloring Sheets before class to audition different color combinations before you cut, or even buy, your fabrics.

This class is perfect for the beginning quilter, who knows how to use a sewing machine and is familiar with a ¼” seam allowance, but wants to try a few new techniques and play with color, value, and layout. All students should bring a sewing machine with invisible zipper foot, neutral thread for piecing, assorted fabrics (the equivalent of 2-3 FQs, including a favorite charm square if you’d like to use one as a center) and a 17” square of fabric for your pillow back. If you want to coordinate your back with some of your log cabin piecing, bring a FQ of one fabric and use what’s left from cutting (approximately 5” x 18”) for some of your strips or your center.

Supply list:

  • A copy of Sew + Quilt is included with your class

  • Sewing machine with manual

  • ¼ inch presser foot

  • invisible zipper foot

  • Walking foot recommended but not essential

  • Rotary cutter

  • quilt ruler (6 x 24 suggested)

  • cutting mat

  • Neutral thread plus complementary thread for machine quilting

  • Seam ripper

  • Scissors or snips

  • Safety pins for basting

  • Fabrics of your choice: suggested 2-3 FQs in contrast colors or hues; 5” charm square of a favorite fabric if you want to use it as an eye-catching center square; any strips or scraps you like as well. I suggest quilting cotton, but lightweight denim or linen can work well too.

  • 18” square batting

  • 18” square muslin

  • 17” square backing fabric

  • 14” invisible zipper

  • PDF coloring sheets

About Sew + Quilt

I made every quilt in my new book, Sew + Quilt, using just four graphic, geometric, and beginner-friendly blocks – log cabin, half-square triangle, rail fence, and string – and added five embroidery stitches as the tools to teach beginners (or inspire experienced quilters who need to make a baby quilt or birthday gift, fast!). Some quilts can be pieced in a single day, and others are much more of a labor of love, but the simplicity that binds them leaves so much space for your creativity.

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Keeping a personal quilting and sewing sketchbook – as simple as stapling snipped fabric swatches into a blank book, with measurements, notes, or block ideas – adds a wonderfully tactile dimension to your sewing and quilting. I’m excited to share ten years of my sketchbooks, and all my tips for recording the details of your most special work, both for yourself and to inspire others! I’ll also share ideas on labeling and telling the story of your quilts so they become the modern heirlooms future generations will treasure, without having to wonder who made them, and when.

I’m so excited to bring all my quilts and embroidery projects from Sew + Quilt to share with PMQG as we celebrate our tenth year together spotlighting our own members – Michelle Freedman illustrated the book, Elizabeth Hartman and Monica Solorio-Snow’s fabric designs inspired some of my favorite projects, Nancy Stovall quilted many of them, and Kelly Cole and Rebecca Ringquist offered stellar advice. See you in February!

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