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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patchwork in-the-hoop

Patchwork in-the-hoop

Patchwork in-the-hoop is the method of creating patchwork blocks using your embroidery machine.  It is a matter of hooping stabilizer or background fabric, and then following the instructions to create a patchwork block that looks like you made it the traditional way.  Essentially, patchwork in-the-hoop is a form of foundation piecing with your embroidery machine. […]

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Virginia Reel

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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Broken Band block in the Block Barn

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 featured image

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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fabric starching blog image

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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