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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Broken Band

The Broken Band block is a lesser known block.  Barbara Brackenbridge mentions only one place where this block has been published and that is the Farm News in 1920.  No other history on this block is available – perhaps you can assist? We have provided you with a cutting diagram using rotary cutting.  The numbers […]

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Eccentric Star

The Eccentric Star block has a simpler version that is better known than the one presented here.  This particular version first appeared in Jonathan Holstein’s book “The Pieced Quilt: an American Design Tradition”. According to Celia Eddy, this particular block shows “folk art ingenuity” as it doesn’t appear in any other sources of the eccentric […]

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Ohio Star

Ohio Star

The Ohio Star block has been in use since the early 1800s.  They are found in a multitude of adaptations: Diamond in the center square Colour combinations create different illusions Solid stars on a coloured background It was brought back to life in the 1930s when it became another favourite for use with odd pieces […]

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The magic of starching your quilting fabric

A lot can be said about starching your fabric before cutting it for quilting and machine embroidery.  Many quilters prewash their fabric before they do any cutting – personally I don’t do this because I like the shrinkage you get after you’ve quilted the three layers. I do however starch my fabric as I’ve found […]

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Cathedral window

Cathedral Window

Cathedral Window was inspired by the historic church stain glass windows.  The quilt block became popular in the United States in the 1930s.  Every block is made using a folded patchwork technique similar to origami.  A fabric square or circle is folded and stitched to reveal a contrasting fabric on the other side. There are […]

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Oak leaf and cherries

According to Celia Eddy, oak leaf and cherries is a popular appliqué motif.  The popularity makes it difficult to date the first publication or origins.  It features in Dolores Hinson’s A Quilter’s Companion printed in 1973. Templates for this appliqué can really be drafted from the picture.  Reuse the leaf and the small circles so […]

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appliqué designs

Appliqué designs for Quilting and Machine Embroidery

Let’s start with what is appliqué?  Appliqué is needlework where pieces of fabric in different shapes and patterns are sewn onto background fabric to form a picture or pattern. Embroidery machines make the art of appliqué substantially simpler, but a lot of quilters still prefer doing the handwork.  I have never been a fan of […]

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Pineapple Block

The pineapple block was first published by the Ladies’ Art Company in 1898.  It is a variation on the log cabin. Pineapples are a symbol of warmth and hospitality.  Spanish villagers would place the fruit at the village entrance to welcome visitors. The block is created by piecing strips of fabric on the diagonal, rather […]

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Log Cabin

The log cabin design represents the log homes made in the prairie.  It first appeared towards the end of the 19th century.  The centre block, traditionally red or orange, represents the hearth and the chimney.  The light strips are the corner of the room lit up by the fire.  The dark strips represent the corner […]

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