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How to Make a Manx Quilt Block

Hello! Welcome back to Manx Quilting part 2 – how to make a Manx quilt block! If you’re looking for the background of Manx quilting and where it comes from, you can find it in Part 1 here. I was so tickled by the reaction to that post. There really is something about the Isle of Man and its people that pulls you in and makes you love them. It was fun to find out that it wasn’t just me!

I’m so excited to walk you through the process that I learned for making a traditional Manx Quilt block. As you can see, it is similar to a traditional American Log Cabin quilt block in terms of appearance and layout. The construction has some similarities and some differences. (Others have commented that they learned a similar piecing technique elsewhere – I don’t know if those techniques were developed independently or inspired by this traditional Manx version. I’d be curious to know!)

My blocks are made with my Gretel fabric collection. More details at the bottom of the post where you can find Gretel fabric. 🙂

Thanks for your patience while I finished preparing this tutorial. (Writing tutorials always takes me about 3 times longer than I expect them to take!)

In addition to the how-to, here’s a little bit of the history of why this method was developed. As I mentioned in Part 1, the main reasons this method evolved was that it was very inexpensive and did not require any fancy notions – only what was had on hand: scraps of fabric from worn-out clothing, a needle and thread, and literal hands. No batting, no rulers, no rotary cutters, and often no scissors!

Keep in mind, almost everything on an island has to be imported and in the beginning of the 19th Century, which made everything more expensive. So everything was carefully used and reused as much as possible, with as much sourced from the Island itself  – people even built their homes from peat bricks cut out of the side of hills because it was the most economical construction tool available.

As a result, this method was developed to not require any extra supplies. It’s also traditionally done with big hand stitches, which would have been much simpler in the evening in darker homes where lighting would have also been expensive.

The strips were an ideal use for scraps (still are!) and they were pieced on a foundation backing in a quilt-as-you-go method. There was no batting (or wadding) in these quilts, making them lightweight and mostly decorative. Heavier rag rugs (also made from fabric scraps) were made to go on beds that would provide needed warmth.

Here is my effort to demonstrate the steps of making the Roof Pattern block in the traditional Manx method and goes back to the beginning of the 19th Century.

A foundation square was cut using the span of the hand as measurement. This would keep block size consistent without the need for a ruler, but would obviously vary from quilter to quilter.

The length of the center square (traditionally red, like the American style Log Cabin blocks symbolizing the hearth of the home), came from the length of the middle finger. For me that was 3″.

The width of the surrounding strips were measured from the length of the base of the thumb joint to the bottom of the thumbnail. For me that was 2″. All fabric pieces would have been torn after an initial cut with a knife or by biting, but I cheated and used a ruler and rotary cutter because I am a wimp. 😉

I think that cutting system is pretty ingenious! No ruler needed, and every maker would have different size blocks or strips, but they would all be perfectly proportioned for each maker.

If you choose to make your own, you can of course use a ruler and or cut them to any size.

The next step to prepare and “mark” the backing fabric is equally clever as it creates a simple guide for uniform strips without any other kind of measurement. First, fold the backing square on both diagonals to get an X in the fabric.

Using the X creases as a guide, center the ‘hearth’ square in the middle of the foundation fabric.

The next step is to create a grid guide for placing the fabric “logs”. Again, no ruler or math required. Simply fold the edge of the foundation square up to meet the edge of the center hearth square. Finger press to crease at the fold.

Now fold again, bringing the creased fold up to meet the edge of the hearth square and crease the fabric again at the new fold. Repeat steps on all four sides.

This will mark 3 even crease lines on all four sides of the center hearth square. You’ll later use these lines as guides.

Place the first ‘log’ or 2″ strip at the top of the hearth square matching the raw edges. Keeping the knot on the front of your work, hand stitch at about a 1/4″ seam allowance using a running stitch. (You could do this by machine if you want. I enjoyed having a little handwork project to carry around.) As you can see, I didn’t stress about beautiful stitches or an accurate seam allowance (so liberating, right?!) – you’ll see why in a minute.

Also, don’t cut your thread. A 1/4″ before the end of the strip, drop the needle and thread to the back of the foundation block – you’ll bring the needle up when you add each new strip and continue to stitch.

(PS Traditionally with this block, as with log cabin blocks, start with a light colored log, rather than a dark. In my excitement to start this project I picked up a blue/dark strip, so there are more light logs than dark logs in my blocks. This is not the end of the world.)

Now fold the first ‘log’ strip back and line up the outside edge with the first crease in the foundation square.  These creases, or fold lines, on the backing fabric are what creates the uniform-sized logs.

Pin the strip in place to keep in from slipping out of place before adding the next log. Rotate the foundation block clockwise 90 degrees, ready to add your next log.

Instead of folding the strip all the back for a nice, flat open seam like we traditionally do in quilting, this will create about a 1/4″ pleat at each seam. The pleats in the block nicely hides the big stitches as well as adds extra weight to the quilt, where batting was not available.

The guide in the home (see video in Part 1) did tell us that the quilts weren’t necessarily used for warmth – that heavy rag rugs would have been used on beds for real warmth.

When working on this project I kept a pile of light 2″ strips and a pile of dark 2″ strips next to me while I stitched. When it came time to add the next log/strip I just trimmed the end with my scissors before stitching it in place. Again, so very little measuring and math.

Repeat the same step, adding another log, this time along the edge of both pieces. It’s traditional to keep all of the logs the same width, but don’t stress about the perfect length of your logs – you can always trim after the log is stitched in place.

Bring the needle and thread up where you stopped stitching the first strip.  This will not be at the beginning of the second strip, but you will catch the fold of the first strip. The unsewn half inch will be secured by a next round of stitching. (I changed my thread color so it would be easier to see, but recommend using a light or neutral colored thread.)

Fold the new log to the first crease on that side, rotate the block and prepare to repeat these steps to continue building your block.

Continue stitching and folding each strip in place, then rotate the block and repeat.

As with a traditional log cabin quilt, always add the next strip above the shortest log.

Continue to build the block, moving the pins to the outer strips as you go, until you have 4 logs or strips on each side of the hearth center.

Use continuous thread all the way around. (I doubled mine to keep the needle from sliding off.) When you get to the end of your thread, knot it by running 2 backstitches on top of each other before trimming the thread away.

Also, remember to stop stitching 1/4″ away from the edge of each strip. This is particularly important to leave a 1/4″ free around around the entire edge of the foundation square so that there is space to join the pieced blocks together.

Here is a finished block. All blocks will have 4 strips (or logs) on each side of the center hearth square, but the widths of the finished logs will vary in size depending on the size of the finished block.

Joining the blocks together: first decide on your layout. I used the traditional Sunshine and Shadows layout for my blocks.

I’m sure there are more effective and efficient ways to do this, but I’ll share how I did it. It’s a little tricky to depict in photos, so bear with me. (If someone knows of a better tutorial for this process, feel free to share the link in the comments!)

Place the blocks right sides together. Carefully fold back the backing/foundation square fabric. (This is the reason for not sewing the seams for your logs all the way to the end of the fabric.) I put pins in place to hold the foundation fabric out of the way so they don’t catch in the seam allowance.

Sew the two pieced blocks together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. You can continue to hand piece, if you like. (I chose to sew these seams with my machine for the sake of time.)

Finger press the sewn seam to one side. Pull the background fabric back in place, overlapping the two. I folded down the edge of one of them to create a finished edge and then sewed the folded side down to the other foundation with a simple whipstitch. (Be careful not to go through all of the layers of the fabric, just the two background squares.)

Repeat the same process with the other two blocks for a clean, finished joining of the back sides. (If you are making a bigger quilt, sew all the squares in one row together this way before adjoining the rows.)

While we’re here, feel free to notice my imperfect stitching. I used non-white thread for the demo so it stands out even more. I knew I wasn’t going to have this be a full quilt – it will either be a mini quilt hanging on my wall or a pillow, so now one will ever see the stitches. I decided this was part of the learning and trying something new and I chose not to stress about it. So I give you that permission too. By the time I pieced my fourth block, I’d finally figured out the rhythm, found a needle that I liked etc, and my stitching looked improved on each block.

Remember – trying something new is about broadening your horizon and having fun – don’t let yourself get stuck on perfection.

Repeat the same process when sewing the rows together. Fold back the foundation layers (I double fold one side to get a crease for finishing later.) Place the rows right sides together and sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Lay the seam flat in one direction and layer the two foundation squares over each other, turning down one edge for finishing. Whipstitch closed to finish.

And there is my finished mini Manx quilt. Mine finishes at 16″ x 16″ (16 1/2″ x 16 1/2″ unfinished) because I started with 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ foundation squares. The great thing about this method is that you can start with any size foundation square you want. You can go traditional Manx style and use the span of your hand as your measurement, or you can choose a specific size you want your blocks to finish at (remember to had 1/2″ for seam allowances).

So there you go! It’s not a perfect tutorial, but hopefully you can understand the process from my photos. My biggest advice is to just jump in and try and see what you think. I’d love to hear what you think. I’m just

For my blocks I used my recent fabric collection, Gretel, for Riley Blake Designs. I love the scrappy feel! You can find Gretel from LouLou’s Fabric Shop, Bear Creek Quilting Co., Lady Belle Fabrics, the Fat Quarter Shop, and Sew Shabby Quilting .

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75 Comments

  • Reply
    Peg
    February 12, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    Looks really interesting. I love a great scrappy handbseeing project. Do you think you could use a piece of batting as a beginning square?

  • Reply
    Little Quiltsong
    February 12, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Really enjoyed your post on this type of Manx quilting! So interesting – I just might have to try it! Thank you for sharing and the lovely stories behind the reason for it!

  • Reply
    Pat S
    February 12, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    While I enjoy having so many beautiful fabrics at my disposal, it is nice to be reminded of the basic utilitarian roots of this wonderful hobby. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Beth LaMotte
    February 12, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    I was so intrigued by your first Isle of Mann article that I taught myself how to make a block over the weekend. I had just finished a pine burr block and was very curious about folded fabric in other blocks. I even took a pic and posted it to the National Quilt Museum BOM FB page giving you credit for your history of the delightful block and story. Many thanks. BTW, I used my sewing machine.

  • Reply
    Anna
    February 12, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    I just love this so much! I definitely need to try it. Plus, now I want to visit the Isle of Man!

  • Reply
    JEAN
    February 13, 2019 at 4:22 am

    Thank you so much for this interesting Manx block tutorial!
    -Jean 💟

  • Reply
    Michelle H
    February 13, 2019 at 6:09 am

    OK that’s just really cool!

    I also Rug Hook and even in North America it’s a bit of an old Wives Tale that quilts were used on beds in the winter (in the Northern parts) quilts were for summer bedding, never had any batting. Sometimes a quilter would use an old quilt inside a new one, just so it wouldn’t go to waste and for added warmth.

    Rugs (called Bed Rugs) were used as warmth because there was no way anyone would allow perfectly usable fabric to be put on the floor! Later on (early 20th century, it became the norm to put rugs on the floor, fabric was easier to acquire) and quilts began showing up on beds for all seasons.

    Love the history of how we lived…it’s really fascinating.

    • Reply
      Beth T.
      February 23, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      Fascinating! Thanks so much for sharing this information. It really adds dimensions to the history I’ve carted around for years, such as those charts about the cotton production during the Civil War and the availability of imported fabric. As a youth I thought about it with regard to fashion–now I am imagining not being able to keep one’s family warm during winter because there were no bed rugs left intact.

  • Reply
    Michele W
    February 13, 2019 at 7:16 am

    Thank you! I want to give this a try.

  • Reply
    Sue B.
    February 13, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Thanks so much for the interesting tutorial. I love log cabin blocks and would like to try this. How do you finish off the edges? I didn’t see any binding.

    • Reply
      Amy
      February 13, 2019 at 11:35 am

      Good question – I haven’t got around to finishing mine yet! (And forgot to address that in the post.) I think I’ll just put a regular double binding on mine, but probably cut my strips at about 2″ since they don’t need to fold over any batting.

      • Reply
        lauri1955
        February 17, 2019 at 5:58 am

        New quilter here. Love this! How do you measure the length of the longer strips? Can’t wait to try, so beautiful. Living in TX, a lighter weight is ideal. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Lissi
    February 13, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Thanks for the tutorial! I enjoyed this post, and really loved part one, as well. Your pictures from the Isle of Man were wonderful! It was raining buckets the two days that I read and reread that post, so, it nearly felt like I was there!

    • Reply
      Amy
      February 13, 2019 at 11:36 am

      Haha – then yes! You got the feel of that actual day I was there!

  • Reply
    Gayle Shumaker
    February 13, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Very interesting, I will definitely give this block a try. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial.

  • Reply
    Susan Ulrich
    February 13, 2019 at 8:36 am

    I just love this tutorial, the history is just fascinating. I am definitely going to give it a try. Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Intrepid Meredith
    February 13, 2019 at 8:43 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I think I’ll have to give it a try!

  • Reply
    elin
    February 13, 2019 at 9:01 am

    I love when history and creative arts collide. It’s almost like folk music. Remembering our past with words and music and fabric and art. Thank you Amy! 🙂

    • Reply
      Amy
      February 13, 2019 at 11:34 am

      Me too! Well said!

  • Reply
    Amy L
    February 13, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Thanks, Amy! It’s an excellent tutorial and looks really fun. When I finish my current hand piecing project, I’m going to give this a try.

  • Reply
    Tracy
    February 13, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Thank you, thank you Amy…. that make so much sense and I can’t wait to do this. I have organized my stash and scraps to do this 🙂

    • Reply
      Amy
      February 13, 2019 at 11:34 am

      Have fun!!

  • Reply
    Chantal Shaw
    February 13, 2019 at 11:47 am

    This is a brilliant tutorial on the Manx block which I find completely fascinating. I am going to try it out for sure. I had watched your video a few days ago and fell in love with the production method. So lovely using one’s hand and fingers for measurements. I am so relieved to see the use of big stitches as I would love to finish this in my lifetime. (Lol) Your pictures are great and I completely understand what to do. Thank you so much

  • Reply
    reeskylr
    February 13, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    I worked along with you and made one. I will say my stitches are not that great, but it doesn’t matter! I think my next one will be by machine and see how that works out. Thanks so much for doing this Tutorial!

  • Reply
    Kathleen Chapman
    February 13, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    This was so great. I enjoyed the initial post on Manx quilting. I appreciate the step by step tutorial. I am curious if, traditionally, the blocks were pressed after finishing; or if you pressed your blocks. I do want to give it a try. I like to do hand-work . Thank you.

  • Reply
    Kelly B.
    February 13, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    What a lovely wallhanging! I really appreciate your step by step tutorial. I love handwork so think I’ll try it myself. I have a quilt as you go project started and your method of joining the blocks will help me with that project as well. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • Reply
    Janet Bales
    February 13, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Amy I think you are great. I appreciate your heart for all of us who do not excel. You do. Thanks so much for your generous spirit.

  • Reply
    godfreyknights
    February 13, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks for doing this tutorial. I can’t wait to try my hand at one. I think it will be a great vacation (camping) project since I wouldn’t need much in the way of tools to make it.

  • Reply
    jaybirdinohio
    February 13, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks, Amy. I can see doing this as an evening hand-sewing project. It would be stress free, I think. I love the idea of using the hand as a measuring tool. Now I’ll have to add the Isle of Man to my travel bucket list!

  • Reply
    renafaye
    February 13, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing how to do this, love your colors

  • Reply
    cozyquiltslb
    February 13, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Amy, thanks so much for a very detailed and easy to follow tutorial. I was intrigued when I saw Part 1. Definitely going to try to make on. As you said, it will make a great hand piecing project for travelling.

  • Reply
    Anita Diller
    February 13, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    I took a class at my LQS called Folded Log Cabin that was similar to this. So glad to know the origin of the proces.

  • Reply
    Shasta Matova
    February 13, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    This is really interesting and I want to try it. How did you finish the outer edges?

  • Reply
    Kerry
    February 13, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing this tutorial, I found it very interesting. I am always on the lookout for something I can make by hand while traveling with the kids for their sport. This will definitely be my next project!

  • Reply
    Lisa Walker
    February 14, 2019 at 4:08 am

    Sooooo interesting…I have to try this!

  • Reply
    Judy Chastain
    February 14, 2019 at 5:06 am

    Your blocks are beautiful in your Gretel fabrics – a perfect choice for the technique. It’s fun to try new things, so I think I’ll have to try it. My grandmother hand stitched her quilts, too. It will be good to have a project that’s portable. Well done, Amy, and so glad to got to visit the Isle of Man again with friends.

  • Reply
    Katie Coleman
    February 14, 2019 at 9:11 am

    I’ve been waiting for the next part of this story. Are you going to show any part of the rag rugs that they had? I immediately zoomed in on the picture of the one on the floor…thank you for sharing!!
    Katie

    • Reply
      Amy
      February 14, 2019 at 8:35 pm

      Unfortunately I wasn’t smart enough to ask more about (and take pictures of) the rag rugs! Darn. I guess I need to go back!

      • Reply
        Pat
        February 17, 2019 at 2:18 pm

        I’ll see if I can find out for you!

  • Reply
    Peggy
    February 14, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Amy, I thoroughly enjoyed this series of posts on Manx quilting! I think you did a great job, your stitching absolutely did improve thru the process and looked great! I love handwork and the more I read thru this post, the more I was inspired to try this, if even just for a 4 block sample such as yours.
    Thanks for your time and efforts to show and teach us new things, I certainly appreciate it 🙂
    Peg in Alaska

  • Reply
    farmhousequiltsblog
    February 14, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    I love that block and the method looks really fun and enjoyable. But the thing that struck me the most was your adorable fabric. I didn’t think I “needed” to have some, but now I think I do😉

  • Reply
    Beadgirl
    February 14, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Fascinating! And I love the fabrics you used; I’m adding them to my wishlist.

  • Reply
    kit
    February 15, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    are the second, third, and fourth rows measured and cut to length as you sew outwards to reach them? or is there a formula to determine ahead of time?

    • Reply
      Amy
      February 16, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      I just cut them to the right size as I went along. There may be a formula, but I’m afraid I don’t know it. For me, I liked the freedom of this block and just adding and trimming as I went along.

  • Reply
    Raelene
    February 15, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Excellent tutorial. Thank you!
    I’m off to hospital next week and need something to hand sew. Think i might just prepare half a dozen or so and do this. Hospital lighting is not always great, and my new glasses are yet to arrive so nothing that requires fine sewing. So perfect.
    Thanks again
    Raelene

  • Reply
    Barbara Opett
    February 16, 2019 at 6:24 am

    Thank You for the tutorial Amy. I love hearing the History. Your Gretel fabrics look terrific in this block!

  • Reply
    Jane Sprague
    February 16, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    I don’t know if you’ve heard of her, Amy, but there’s a lovely quilter out of Escondido, CA – Donna Poster – who created “Foldy Stuff” patterns which look like they’re based on this method. It’s actually the first quilt I ever attempted (and it’s still not finished, but that’ll change this year). I wonder if Donna had visited the Isle of Man at one time and had the idea to bring this to public attention, as have you. It’s a wonderful, easy way to get into quilting, although the one downside is it takes soooo much fabric. In any event, I’m so glad you’ve presented this method again, and I look forward to not only completing my quilt but to maybe make one using your beautiful Gretel fabrics.

    Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with all of us, Amy!

  • Reply
    Therese Bjorge
    February 16, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial, Amy. I need something to do in the family room instead of always being in the sewing room. Will be trying this out.

  • Reply
    Debby C
    February 16, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for the info on log cabin blocks. I’d never heard that, but I will always incorporate that now. Thanks for a new quilting idea.

  • Reply
    Louise
    February 16, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Thank you! I want to give this a try. My grandmother made me a quilt when I was about 18 that she had entirely hand made. She pieced the blocks (all are different), then layered with batting and backing. She had quilted each, then put the rows together (still by hand) by sewing the fronts together, basting the batting together, then sewing the backing. She used a ladder stitch to join the back. She then bound it. This reminds me so much of that treasured quilt.

  • Reply
    mylo sanders
    February 17, 2019 at 4:18 am

    That was a brilliant tutorial thank you. Books you might enjoy from a brilliant quilter are Tucks Textures and Pleats by Jenny Rayment .
    thank you for all the beautiful photos of England

  • Reply
    Marijane
    February 17, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Wonderful tutorial. love a history to explain the creation of a quilt/sewing project. Can’t wait to make a pillow. One question — Your seams were 1/4 inch. You ended stitches 1/4 inch before end. When you added next strip why did you start at 1/2 inch in and not 1/4 inch? Again, wonderful history and tutorial. I have a church pew in my family room and can’t wait to add a Manx quilt pillow and share the history with all visitors to my home. Thanks for sharing your talents. Proverbs 25:25.

  • Reply
    Carol
    February 17, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Wow, I’m case you didn’t get enough comments, let me just say you did an outstanding job with the video, part1, and the directions in this part. The history of quilts is always so interesting. Would love to see you giving a video lesson.
    Carol

  • Reply
    Barbara
    February 17, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    I enjoyed reading your last email on your trip to England and visiting the Isle of Man. Did you know the movie “Waking Ned Divine” was filmed in the Isle of Man? Thank you for showing us how to make a Manx quilt, very interesting and I’m sure it would be quite relaxing to quilt it by hand. Thank you Amy!

  • Reply
    Linda B
    February 17, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Very interesting, Amy! Thanks so much for the tutorial. Will try it. And that is interesting that they used the quilts just like that, with no batting. It might be a nice feel for summer…hmmm.

  • Reply
    Pegi Cromartie
    February 18, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Amy, this was such an interesting tutorial and you did just fine, I understood with the help of the photos what you were conveying. This is excellent for the Southern States, although I must admit that I use air conditioning and sometimes a warm quilt feels nice.
    Keep up the great work, I appreciate your efforts.
    God bless
    Pegi

  • Reply
    Elaine G
    February 18, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Loved this and want to give it a try and even show my quilt guild this concept

  • Reply
    quiltrat
    February 19, 2019 at 1:06 am

    This was SO interesting! I loved how innovative and intuitive the way of measuring and creasing was 🙂 I have a question, too… I couldn’t tell from the video but would they ever do any type of decorative quilting on this type of quilt? Or extra reinforcing? And what happens to the folds if it is washed? Wouldn’t the creases come out and have to be redone? Or maybe, as a decorative quilt, it wasn’t washed…? And MAYBE I’m just really overthinking all this, LOL!

  • Reply
    Alice J. Friedrich
    February 19, 2019 at 7:00 am

    How wonderful to hear that there is a name for this type of log cabin quilt, and I am humbled by the methods used out of necessity. Years ago my guild started making Wounded Warrior quilts and that was the first kind we made. We started with a square of backing muslin and drew a grid with ruler and pencil. I am thrilled that you filled us in with the history. Also enjoyed the video. Thankyou. Alice Friedrich

  • Reply
    Pamela Carter-Wiley
    February 19, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks Amy for the fascinating story and tutorial. I have only been quilting for a little more than 3 years and have yet to try hand quilting, so I’d like to try this as my first attempt since I love log cabin quilts. I have some men’s shirts from the Goodwill that I have been collecting for a special project, and I think this is it, especially since it’s about repurposing fabric from clothing, curtains, etc. which was the original reason for making quilts! : D

    • Reply
      Amy
      February 21, 2019 at 1:29 pm

      I think this is a great use for those shirts. I bet they’ll look awesome!

  • Reply
    Elaine Martin
    February 21, 2019 at 6:39 am

    Thank you for this tutorial. I’ve just made my first Manx block. They are going to be a baby playmat quilt for a little boy whose daddy is from the island. I’ve used this traditional block but modern Mickey Mouse fabric. I’m going to add wadding and backing because I want it to be soft for the little one to roll around on. On to the next block…

  • Reply
    Virgie
    February 25, 2019 at 8:43 am

    This is fantastic, you do such wonderful tutorials. The history that you shared with your visit to the isle makes it a destination for me in the near future. Thanks

  • Reply
    quiddityrox
    March 12, 2019 at 11:56 am

    I am currently using your tutorial to teach myself this new-to-me method! I cut a 9.5 inch square from a striped piece in my leftover box because that was the ruler that was handy and 2″ wide strips. I think using the muslin was better, because I cannot find the pressed lines to match up the edges of my strips. I thought about how the back of the finished piece would look and thought that the good side should face the backs and put the fabric strips on the wrong side. I think I can still do this but will have to use a pencil to mark the folded lines that seem to disappear. Thanks for sharing. Roxanna

  • Reply
    Marie
    March 17, 2019 at 12:11 am

    Amy, Manx quilts are/were used on beds. The air trapped in them helps provide insulation. Log cabin blocks came from Manx quilting. When our children were young we would holiday there … The Isle of Man has steam trains and is the island of Sodor from Rev. W Audry’s Thomas the Tank Engine. Your quilt colours are lovely and your instructions took me back to the Isle of Man. (I made a cushion front with mine so I can look at iit all the time!)

  • Reply
    Donna Small
    March 19, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Thank you!! So cute & fun!

  • Reply
    Iona
    April 14, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    My Father in aw lives on the Isle of Man and I use this technique too. Very detailed explanation and tutorial that you have made.
    We were told that the simple action of shaking the quilt when making the bed adds air into the pockets you have created which gives the ‘warmth’ rather than batting on traditional quilts. One person would be responsible for the cutting but everyone can sew. Squares would often be slightly different sizes but that is the nature of the quilt that they could be made with very little light and very little space.
    You can add battling sandwiched between the top and base layer but this would not then be traditional Manx Quilting.
    It is such a lovely method, and such a comfort to make in an easy way.
    <3 oh and anyone who thinks they should go to the Isle of Man, stop thinking and start doing – it's a perfectly charming little island with such variety so close together! but beware of Mannan's cloak and rocks flying onto the prom when the sea is choppy!

    • Reply
      Amy
      April 14, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      Thank you so much for your added insights! Ahh, it’s the best place.

  • Reply
    Sandra McLaws
    April 17, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Amy. I found your website and loved the Manx quilt block and its Isle of Man history and artistry. The McLaws family comes from the Isle of Man. I thought a wall quilt like this would be a perfect Item to make for the family reunion this summer. It includes a family auction, and someone will go home with something that is a part of their family history. How fun is that? I loved your Gretel fabric so much that I bought it from Lou Lou’s Fabric Shop. They sent it right out and included a little treat as well. I love hand sewing, so this is just right for me. Thank you for your GREAT presentation.

    • Reply
      Amy
      April 17, 2019 at 8:52 pm

      That is so awesome! And I love that you’re using Gretel. 🙂 I’d love to see it when you’re done!

  • Reply
    Brit
    April 19, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    I found using your hand, thumb and finger for measuring quite interesting. Our hands are uniquely made and the proportions are such that they come out “right” for everyone!

    • Reply
      Sandra McLaws
      April 24, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      Hi again. Now that I’ve made several of the Manx blocks, I’m so impressed at how simple this block is to construct. There is no cutting many various lengths of fabric and keeping track of them all. I just cut the foundation pieces, cut the center squares, cut the strips the length of the fabric, and start sewing trimming the strips to the right size as I sew. Your instructions are so well written. Thx again. Yes, I’m sewing them by hand. Love it.

      • Reply
        Amy
        April 25, 2019 at 9:52 pm

        Awesome! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it, Sandra!

  • Reply
    Kathy
    May 21, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    I just loved experimenting with your mini quilt. I like trying new things and this was so cute and once you got the idea down it was a lot of fun. Lap quilting is so nice as you can sit down relax and enjoy it. Log cabin was the first quilt I made and I have it hanging up even though it doesn’t go with anything it is my piece of art. Thanks again for sharing.
    Kathy

    • Reply
      Amy
      May 23, 2019 at 11:16 am

      Oh, that’s wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

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