Variations on a pattern

My “quilt habit” continues to grow.  I have joined a Facebook group (quilts vintage and antique) and I have been enjoying the sharing of information.  A few day ago Laura Fisher Quilts posted a picture of a beautiful Road to California quilt from the 30’s ( Please be sure to visit her website!.. and be prepared to spend some time enjoying all the beautiful quilts, they are truly inspirational)

Here is the quilt:

Once we all had fun looking at the quilt, we started talking about how one would construct it.  If I were doing it I would break it down into 4 patch blocks like this

(I cropped the picture and this is one block with the seam lines added in black)

then after you have a bunch of these blocks they go together to form the pattern

After that we started to think that there could be many other ways to arrange the same simple block and get different looks

No change at all in the block, just turning it in different directions and the pattern is different.

Every block is the same and this is just a few of the different ways to arrange them, If you added different colors the possibilities are endless!

It was fun to play with the block and see what it could turn into.  In the past women did this figuring on paper or in their head or laid out all the blocks once they were made and shuffled them around to find a layout they liked .  Remember they didn’t have design walls and computer programs.

I am not sure when I will get around to making one of these but it is yet another thing to add to the someday list.

Happy quilting


21 thoughts on “Variations on a pattern

  1. Willy Wonky says:

    Holy Moly! Some of those combos are dazzling!!

    • timquilts says:

      fun isn’t it…I could spend days playing with new ideas….I think its a good thing I did the post today or I would still be making variations….but I am thinking of doing another that is more like a maze

  2. Cathi says:

    What fun to see how the different layouts change the look!

    • timquilts says:

      I have been reluctant to get EQ software because I think I would end up making a million variations on patterns and never quilting….but this was a fun exercise….there are just so many options with even a simple block

  3. Ann Hancock says:

    Is the “component block” (for lack of the correct term), also called “Buckeye Beauty”? That is part of the fun and endless entertainment of quilts. They go together so many ways. . It is like twirling a kalaidescope (sp?). Each turn brings up something different.

  4. Theresa says:

    In addition to chain piecing the hst’s and 4-patches, you could also make the individual block components via leaders and enders, a la Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville. that way you can be making the pieces almost accidentally and then at some point you’d have all the components; which you could assemble into blocks in the same way, and the blocks to each other, and so on I’ve done a couple of quilts like that (because they were not “deadline” quilts and I could take my time.)

    • timquilts says:

      I imagine that is how I would do it….but then I get to anxious to get finished blocks….so I would probably start putting some together before ALL the component parts were done

  5. ginny says:

    Road to calif.——Holy crap!!!!! LOL!!

  6. Siobhan says:

    Very fun…I’m still a graph paper and colored pencils sort of designer but this was fun. (I’ve also taken a photo of an old quilt then cut the photo into pieces and rearranged!) I made one of the blocks using some components in the orphan drawer…scrappy but fun!

  7. antarabesque says:

    More ideas, great. Love the second to last spiral. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Sue says:

    Very inspiring quilt, Tim. And thank you so much for sharing this new website. You are right in that it’s amazing. Added it to my reader 🙂


  9. donna says:

    this was such an awesome post, I have been wanting to make a 2 color quilt, white and yellow, and could not commit to a block. I loved this one and so easy to piece.

  10. Laura Fisher says:

    thanks Tim for doing this, it is fascinating to me a non quilt maker. I should note for your readers the rectangular discoloration will wash out from this unused quilt-it is where the quilt was folded, and is likely dust settled in that area over decades of storage. It will wash out.

  11. Kristen says:

    Hi Tim, I just looked at this — this is fantastic! I especially like the maze version. Terrific.


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