Sewing, embroidery and accessories

Exploring log cabin patchwork with Janice Gunner

Ref: SLW09052

Suitable for all

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About this course

Based on the traditional log cabin patchwork technique, explore strip-piecing fabrics and try out innovative methods devised by your tutor. Having made samples, you will then create a small quilt, wall hanging or cushion, while also studying colour and design.

Course Description

Log Cabin is one of the most popular and versatile traditional patchwork techniques. During this course you will learn traditional styles before being encouraged to explore some contemporary ways of working using this fascinating strip-pieced patchwork technique.

Working with a variety of sample blocks both traditional and contemporary, you may choose one or combine techniques to produce a small quilt, wall hanging or cushion.

Following discussion and working some simple exercises related to use of colour, you will rotary cut fabrics and construct traditional Log Cabin blocks including variations such as off-centre blocks and courthouse steps using machine piecing. Moving on you will explore techniques devised by the tutor which include a variety of contemporary and innovative methods inspired by the Log Cabin block. Ways of arranging, joining, quilting and finishing the completed work will be discussed and demonstrated.

The tutor will discuss and demonstrate all techniques covered in the course and will encourage you to experiment with use of colour and other techniques to enhance your work. The tutor will offer tutorials, question and answer sessions, a group review and illustrated lecture.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • A copy of Janice's book 'Liberating log cabin', with instructions and course notes.

What students need to bring

Students will need to bring:

  • For the traditional & contemporary techniques you will need:
  • 10 - 12 (minimum) fat quarters of assorted small to medium size cotton prints and or plains in light, medium and dark colours. Please include one piece that is a high contrast, your 'zing' fabric!
  • You may like to include hand-dyed fabrics too if you have some.

These fabrics will be cut into strips during the workshop. You could include left over strips from other projects if you wish.

For the contemporary techniques you will also need1 metre plain fabric; choose a colour to complement you colour theme, Moda marbles or hand dyes are good for this, alternatively a solid plain colour to set off the other fabrics.

  • Select a postcard, photo or magazine cutting as the colour inspiration for your project; choose your fabrics to reflect these colours.
  • Rotary cutter (I use one made by Olfa)
  • Rotary Rule (I use Omnigrid 12" x 6" and 12½" square)
  • Sewing Machine - please include ¼ inch, walking foot and free machine embroidery/quilting feet and instruction book for machine (or a college machine may be used if you request one by emailing
  • Sewing Kit - to include pins, small scissors, spare sewing machine needles and quick-un-pick (stitch ripper)
  • Neutral colour sewing thread (I use sage green colour)

Available to buy

From the College Craft Shop:

  • Some machine sewing threads
  • Note Pad and pen
  • Coloured pencils and graph paper for colour exercises
  • Cutting mat (A3 size minimum) (these can also be borrowed from the college)

From the tutor (you'll need to pay the tutor by cash or cheque):

The tutor will bring a selection of extra patchwork fabrics which may be purchased directly at approx. £3 per fat quarter (50 cm x 45 cm approx size).


Janice Gunner

Janice Gunner is a stitched textile artist, specializing in Shibori dyeing, piecing and quilting techniques. She has always sewn and studied textiles as a mature student and holds City & Guilds in Patchwork & Quilting and the Diploma in Stitched Textiles. Janice has 27 years' experience of teaching at many levels, both nationally and internationally. She is author of two books; Shibori for Textile Artists and Liberating Log Cabin.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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