patchwork blocks for beginners

Twisted Log Cabin

The twisted log cabin is a modern adaptation of the traditional log cabin.  The log cabin design represents the log homes made in the prairie. Each block is usually sewn on a thin foundation fabric.  Traditionally the log cabin block was not quilted.  The piecing was done with scraps of fabric that had different textures …

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Dresden Plates

Dresden plates have different variations all featuring a blade design around a central point.  It is usually finished with a central circular shape. The block first appeared in the 1920s but publications did not use the name consistently.  It was more familiar in the 1930s as the Dresden plate.  Blades can be pointed or rounded, …

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Virginia Reel

Virginia Reel is a variation on Snail Trail.  It was first published by Mountain Mist. The Virginia reel is also a folk dance that dates from the 17th century. Its origins are Scottish and related to the Highland reel.  There is perhaps also influences from the Irish Rinnce Fada.  Generally, people consider it an English …

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Variable Star

The variable star is part of an era in history renowned for its anti-slavery campaigning.  Northern women would include it in quilts for charity and have inscriptions in the center block.  Inscriptions would vary from strong anti-slavery statements to poetry: “Mother! When around your child You clasp your arms in love, And when with grateful …

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Dutchman’s Puzzle

The Dutchman’s Puzzle patchwork block is a four patch block constructed from flying geese. It originated in the late 1800’s. Spinning Windmill Windmill Block We have provided you with a cutting diagram using rotary cutting.  The numbers show the relevant block for each patch. The sizes and diagrams provided are for an 8″ block and …

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Clay’s Choice

The Clay’s Choice patchwork block honours Henry Clay (1777-1852).  He was a politician well known for his multiple attempts at the presidency prior to the Civil War.  He had a very strong position against slavery and is quoted as saying “I’d rather be right than be president.” Clay’s Favorite Clay’s Star Henry of the West …

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