Patchwork with Carolyn Forster Manx Log Cabin

learn how to do Manx log cabin patchwork

We are delighted to be welcoming renowned patchwork tutor Carolyn Forster to Made and Making.

Carolyn has written numerous books and appeared on our screens on such channels as Sewing Quarter sharing her skills. Now is your chance to meet and learn form the expert in the comfort of the Made and Making studio.

Traditional Manx log cabin

This style of patchwork is entirely hand pieced, and no measurements are given, as each piece is dependent on the size of the makers’own hands. These are used as a guage and all the fabric is then snipped and ripped. It originates from the Isle of Man, hence it’s name of Manx log cabin. There is no wadding and the texture is created by the folds in the logs as you sew.

Join Carolyn for a day of a different kind of quilt making.




18 May 2021


10:00 am - 4:00 pm

What will we cover?

During our class we’ll stitch some blocks by hand. You’ll make at least two so that you can practise joining the blocks together.


Carolyn will also demonstrate how to modify this technique for the sewing machine. This involves rotary cutting, with Vlieseline Quickscreen being used as a base grid. 


How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught in our lovely studio by a friendly and experienced tutor, through demonstration and guidance as you work. 


You’ll also be able to ask questions, making sure everything is clear and that you’re getting the best results you can. 


Do I need any previous experience or skills?

No previous experience is needed for this hand sewing workshop. Not a sewing machine in sight! You simply need to be able to use a needle and thread. 


Are materials provided? Is there anything I need to source myself?

You’ll need to bring a selection of materials and equipment. You’ll be practising the technique, rather than working your way through a full project, so it’s a great opportunity to use up some of your stash. 

Fabric for logs

Quilting cotton, craft cotton, dress-weight cotton and/or washed and pressed fabric from old clothes are all suitable. 


The design works well if there is a strong contrast between the light and dark logs of the block. However, you can choose how to interpret the design, and can base the colour scheme on the fabric you happen to have.  


Fat or long quarters are best, along with any scraps you may wish to incorporate. 


Each block has a circuit of four logs – you can use one light and one dark fabric throughout, or four light and four dark fabrics. The design is up to you.


Fabric for the centre of the blocks

This is traditionally red, but you can use whatever you’re happy with.


Backing fabric

This makes up the back of your blocks and you’ll be sewing through it by hand. Cotton flannel or brushed cotton work well as they are soft and slightly sturdier. 


Craft cotton or dressmaking cotton fabric is OK too but Tana lawn, which is OK for the logs, is too fine for the backing. It will work best with something that will hold a crease and not fray too much.


Sewing thread

To blend with the backing fabric.


Basic sewing kit

To include fabric scissors, small scissors, pins, thimbles (if you use them) and hand sewing needles (e.g. sharps no 10 or 11).


Seam roller 

Useful if you don’t want to use the iron.


Pen and paper

To make notes as we go.


What will I take home with me?

You’ll leave with a couple of blocks of traditional Manx log cabin patchwork, and the skills you need to work on a full quilt. 


Look out for further workshops with Carolyn through the year – each is totally different. Plenty of skills and techniques to learn!



Drinks and biscuits will be available but we recommend that you bring a packed lunch with you.


During all of our workshops photographs are taken for promotional purposes only. Please make us aware at the time of booking if you would prefer not to be included.



Carolyn Forster
Carolyn Forster

Carolyn Forster studied textiles at Bath, and has a City and Guilds in Patchwork and Quilting. Carolyn's work has been featured in various quilting magazines, as well as on television, both here and in the US. Since self-publishing her first book, 'Quilting-on-the-Go', Carolyn has written books for Landauer Publishing in the US and Search Press in the UK, and has contributed to books published by New Holland and That Patchwork Place.

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