If you are looking for something a bit different, a folded log cabin block is a lovely block with some deptch and texture to it. It’s believed to have originated in the Isle of Man which is why it’s called the Manx log cabin, but in fact on the Isle of Man they call it the Roof Pattern. Go figure! This block doesn’t need the precision of a normal log cabin, so it could be sewn when the lighting wasn’t good at the beginning and end of the day and it can be put together by measuring with eye (or finger or hand) which again was a big bonus to early quilters.
The hearth of the folded log cabin quilt block
I began with an 8″ square of calico (muslin in the USA) and folded and pressed it along each diagonal so that the creases could be used for lining up the first square. I used a 4.1/2″ square for the middle. This is placed right side up, with the corners of the squares lined up with the diagonal creases on the calico.
The first logs of the folded log cabin quilt block
For the logs I have used 2.1/2″ strips of fabric pressed in half along the length to give 1.1/4″ wide strips. Cut the first two light strips 4.1/2″ long and place one on an edge of the square with all raw edges together and the fold towards the middle. Sew in place using a 1/2″ seam. Place the second log on the next edge of the square and sew in place. Cut two dark strips 4.1/2″ long and place and sew one by one on the remaining two edges of the square. That completes the first round of logs.
The second round of logs for the folded log cabin quilt block
To begin the second round, cut one light strip 4.1/2″ long. Place this so that the fold is 1/2″ away from the fold of the log above it (yellow in the photo). Sew in place. As you are using a 1/2″ seam this means that you will only be sewing through the one log plus the calico. The second light log is 5″ long, the first dark log is 5″ long and the second one is 5.1/2″ long. Although I measured the distance between the rounds of logs with my tape measure for the first log of the second round, I just guessed the distance after that.
The third and fourth rounds of logs
For the third round of logs, the light logs are 5.1/2″ and 6″. The dark logs are 6″ and 6.1/2″. For the fourth round the light logs are 6.1/2″ and 7″ and the dark logs are 7″ and 7.1/2″.
I stopped at four rounds of logs when I had a 7.1/2″ square of patchwork. The folded log cabin quilt block really is a pretty block and has a depth that normal log cabins don’t have. The next stage would be to add a border and then it could be used for a cushion or a bag.