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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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 blog image

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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Pineapple block blog image

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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