Manx Quilting – How Clever!

Hello, How is everyone? I’ve been missing in action it would appear. I seem to have brain fog and my muse has gone off to play with someone much more interesting.  I have really found it hard to get motivated, usually my sketch books are filling up and samples are being stitch. Yet this year I am finding it so difficult to be inspired and I know I’m not the only one.  Luckily Beccy is firing on all cylinders and is dragging me along with her. I made a quilt top last week which I am about to layer up and quilt and will be embarking on some Seminole quilt making next week.  These are very secret projects which we are working on together and will reveal very soon.

However I did get inspired a week or so ago with Manx Quilt making. Such an inspring way of making quilts that I spent a weekend making the cushion.  I stitched by hand whist sitting in the sun, so relaxing and such a find project.   You ready to learn how?  Of course you are!


Manx quilting does not required any rulers or rotary cutters, just your hands.  It came about through necessity with everything having to be brought in by boat it was a case of make the best of what you have. It is folded patchwork onto a foundation square, so wadding would not have been needed either. Traditionally there are only four rows of logs in these quilt blocks.

The blocks are measured using your own hand as a ruler, so every quilt was different, depending on the maker. With my fingers spread out my hand measues 7 inches across from little finger to my thumb. Add seam allowances. I used a ruler and cutter, ingrained habits, so I cut a piece of  base fabric such a calico 7.50″ wide and into 7.50″ squares. The Manx ladies would have torn the fabric along the grain, I hate tearing fabric, hence the ruler and cutter.

The centre square – again that red in the midde to signify the fire in the hearth, is measured using your middle finger, in my case 3 inches plus s.a. = 3.50″ square.

The strips around the centre square are measure from the base of the thumb joint to the bottom of the nail – 1.50 plus s.a = 2 inch strips.

We are now ready to go!

Take the calico 7.50 square, fold diagonals in both directions and finger press. Do the same with the red 3.50 square. Match up the digonal as shown.

We are now going to create a guide for the folded edge on the foundation square.

Fold the outer edge of the calico to the edge of the red square and finger press. Open up and now fold it back down to the first pressed line, do this around all four sides and it will look like this.These are your guide lines for fabric placement.

Place the first log on to the edge of the red square, trim to the same length and stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance – I hand stitched mine. Now fold the log back to the first pressed line and it will form a pleat hiding the row of stitches. Add the same colour again, going clock wise around the centre square. The change to another colour. You can see the fold in this photograph.

Continue until all four rounds are complete. I’ve made four of these small blocks to make a cushion, it can of course be made into a much bigger piece.


Let me know if you have a go, its sometimes a good thing to stitch something completely different and love the look of this 3D cushion.

Speak soon Ann

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