Quilting with Marti Michell

Marti Michell, fat quarter, log cabin

I took quilting celebrity Marti Michell’s Fat Quarter Log Cabin class last weekend. As I got ready, my husband predicted I would be a bad student, and he was right.

I completely blew up the pattern.

We were supposed to cut a 3-inch square for the center and then add 1-inch strips until the block measured 13 inches finished. But I’ve always wanted to make a quilt that combined the maple leaf and log cabin block. And by always, I mean I may have had a basket full of neatly folded fat quarters in fall colors to make a king-sized quilt for three years.

The idea of making 64, 3-inch maple leafs sounded like a recipe for disaster, so I opted for 6-inch maple leaf centers surrounded by 1-inch strips to make a block that measures 12 inches finished.

Marti Michell, fat quarter, log cabin, maple leaf, fall quilt

But I’m not a terrible student. I did follow all the instructions for Marti Michell’s log cabin construction method and learned some great tips. Here they are:

  • Cut the strips on the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvage) instead of crosswise to keep fabric from stretching and distorting during the sewing process
  • Fold four fat quarters in half and stack them with the selvages together to cut all the strips you need for four blocks of fabric. Side note, this is not for the faint of heart or a dull rotary cutter
  • Layout all the strips in order to be sewn and you can chain piece the entire log cabin block

And if you’re really serious about making a log cabin quilt from fat quarters, I suggest buying one of Marti Michell’s rulers for cutting log cabin strips from fat quarters. It comes with instructions on how to use it to cut strips to size to ensure your block is true size and square when you’re finished.

Cut the strips on the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvage) NOT crosswise.

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Comment (4)

  1. I have been working with Marti for a few years. She is a delightful person and an excellent teacher. You aren’t a “bad” student. You can think outside the box and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!

    I have made Log Cabin quilts but cutting as you go and using Marti’s Log Cabin Rulers. I will never make them another way after using these. Every block comes out exactly the way they are supposed to. The quilt measures perfectly. I would definitely recommend using her rulers for a Log Cabin Quilt.

    Can’t wait to see a picture of your finished quilt.

    1. Thanks Carol! I definitely post pictures as I go. Right now I’m making a bunch more maple leaf blocks for the centers, but I hope to have another batch of blocks done by the end of this week! Ah the challenges of fitting quilting in when you work full time 🙂

  2. Hey Stephanie,

    Nice post – Can’t wait to see the quilt.
    I know that you meant to say in tip # 1. Marti says, “Cut the strips on the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvage) NOT crosswise. It is the crosswise, from selvage to selvage or width of fabric that is stretchy.” I know it was just a word reversal, but for the record…


    1. Marti,

      Sorry for the word reversal. I made the change since blog posts like this one tend to live on through Pinterest. I’ve already got 20 blocks done, this quilt is going so fast. I’ll post an update soon, but if you’re on Instagram, I post pictures of the blocks as I finish them. You can see them here: http://instagram.com/ssoebbing


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