Patchwork Quilt Patterns

Patchwork Quilt Patterns

Patchwork Quilt Patterns that work

Patchwork Quilt Patterns that work So what is a Patchwork or “pieced work”  it is a form of needlework in which pieces of fabric cut into geometrical shapes are sewn together to create a group called a “block”. These fabric patches or pieces are stitched together in units with a running stitch, using a very narrow seam allowance (one-quarter inch). The seam allowances are pressed flat to one side. Several fabric pieces are sewn into a unit, then units are sewn together to create a patchwork quilt block. A number of blocks is then sewn together making a quilt top. If the blocks are all different, the quilt is called a “sampler” quilt.

Patchwork Quilt Names

Patchwork patterns have names, given either because of the geometrical shapes they are constructed with, their similitude to well known objects quilt-makers used and encountered in every day life, or names given to commemorate political or historical events and well known people and places. Most patterns have more than one known name. Before the publication of quilt patterns in periodicals and magazines, quilt block names changed from region to region. A Bear’s Paw block in the southern area of the country could be known as Duck’s Foot in northern states, according to the personal experiences of the quilter who made it.

The simplest pieced patterns use just one geometrical shape repeated several times to create a patchwork block. These pieced blocks are called “one patch”, as are the quilts made with them.

One patch blocks and quilts:
-With hexagons: Grandmother’s Flower Garden

-With triangles: Thousand Pyramids

-With sixty-degree angle diamonds: Tumbling Blocks

-With squares: Checkerboard

-With rectangles: Chinese Coins

Different Types of Patchwork Quilt Patterns

Most patchwork block patterns are constructed with different shaped patches. These blocks are grouped several categories, according to the placement of the patches or pieces into a grid. There are hundreds of patterns available in each of these categories.

Four Patch

When the block’s grid can be divided into four equal units, these blocks are grouped into the “four patch” category. The simplest of these is the Four Patch, in which four equal square pieces are sewn together to create a block. Four patch blocks can be divided into sixteen, thirty-two or sixty-four divisions. Four patch pattern examples:

-With square patches: Four Patch, Carrie Nation

-With rectangular patches: Basket Weave, Interlocked Squares

-With squares and triangles: Broken Dishes, Four Knaves

-With right angle triangles: Windmill, Pinwheel

-With curved patches: Drunkard’s Path, Orange Peel

-With sixteen square patches: Yankee Puzzle, Clay’s Choice

Nine Patch

“Nine patch” blocks are those in which the quilt block can be divided into nine equal divisions, three across and three down. The simplest of these patterns is the Nine Patch, composed of nine equal size square pieces.

Furthermore, nine patch blocks can be divided into two categories:

If the three divisions have equal measurements: equal nine patch blocks.

If the three divisions have two equal measurements and one smaller or larger: unequal nine patch blocks.

Equal nine patch blocks:
-With square patches: Nine Patch, Double Nine Patch.

-With square and right angle triangles: Ohio Star, Shoofly.

-With square, rectangles and right angle triangle patches: Rolling Stone, Monkey Wrench.

Unequal nine patch blocks:

-With squares and right angle triangles: Ducks and Ducklings, Crazy Ann

-With square patches, right angle triangles and rectangles: Corn And Beans

Five Patch

Patchwork quilt blocks with five equal divisions down and across are called “five patch”.

-With square and right angle triangles: Bachelor’s Puzzle, Basket Block

Seven Patch

If the patchwork block can be divided into seven equal divisions going down and across, the block falls in the “seven patch” group. Bear’s Paw, Dove In The Window and Queen Victoria’s Crown are examples of patterns in the seven patch category.

Others

Some pieced blocks don’t fit into any of the categories above. Star blocks made with diamond patches are one of these. Eight pointed, six pointed or five pointed stars that are made with diamond shapes don’t fit into a square grid. Patterns like Fan, Mariner’s Compass, Double Wedding Ring and Dresden Plate need to be drafted with a compass and protractor, as they are circular pattern designs.

The Log Cabin pattern is also drafted in a different manner. The blocks are made with one central small square, surrounded by “logs”, that is, strips of fabric sewn around the central square. Traditionally, the logs to one side of the center are dark, the logs on the other are light and the center square is red. The arrangement of the light and dark sides of the blocks creates interesting effects when pieced together into a quilt. The Pineapple blocks are similar to the Log Cabin in that patches are sewn in a radial manner from a center square placed on point.

Realistic quilt patterns that depict houses, flowers, butterflies, airplanes and other subjects don’t always fall into the grid division system. Blocks such as Little Schoolhouse, Butterfly, Airplane, some tree and basket patchwork blocks might have a different number of equal divisions up and across.

Go Easy on Yourself

No matter what patchwork pattern you choose, it is important to remember that if you are a beginner quilt maker, it’s best to start piecing blocks with fewer pieces, and that patterns that use rectangles or squares are to sew. As your skill improves, you will be able to sew blocks with smaller patches, a larger number of pieces or curved pieces.

A good project for a beginner to become familiar with patchwork piecing is to make a “sampler” quilt, made of different blocks, all the same size, joined with sashing strips in between the blocks. It is a good idea to start with a large size block, twelve inches being very suitable in a sampler.

Be Precise

Precision is important when cutting and sewing patchwork blocks to make a quilt. Mistakes in cutting or piecing will result in a quilt top that puckers, doesn’t lay flat or in points that don’t meet properly

 

To learn more about quilting for beginners click the link!

 

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