It's that time of year to keep an eye out for snakes in the garden. And it's always time to look for snake quilts.
I've been collecting pictures of snake quilts for several years. Many of these are not what you would call "book patterns." They seem to have been handed around or made up by a creative and geometrically talented quilter.
You can find some of the published versions indexed in my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns
This one's similar but the fan "handle" matches the background so it works a little better as a snake.
This is a double fan, with one fan larger than the other. This is probably the most effective pattern if the two fans are drawn with the right arc so the eye moves easily from block to block.
The quilt above was probably made from this design. It is BlockBase# 3355, called Whirling Fans by the
syndicated Laura Wheeler newspaper column in the 1930s.
The secret to the perfect snake is getting the arcs to connect visually.
The commercial patterns really didn't do that so people seem to have redrawn them.
I don't think the one below was pieced as blocks.
Here's the ultimate snake quilt, 2 arcs to a block and snake heads and tails in the border. I THINK it belongs to Emory University in Atlanta.
It's hard to believe there isn't a commercial pattern source for all these that work so well from the 1930-1960 era.
Here's a variation.
Sort of like this fan, just alternated in rows.
Again, it's hard to believe I haven't found a commercial source in the 1930s for the pattern above.
Green Snake by Susie Ponds
Surprisingly there is an Encyclopedia and BlockBase number for this one that seems so folky. It's #3350 and was in the Kansas City Star twice, once as the Rainbow quilt and once as The Drunkard's Trail.
In Alabama it's called Green Snake.
The Alabama quilters have solved the arc problem, getting the line to undulate in snake-like fashion.
See two more Alabama Green Snake quilts in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum by clicking on these two links to the Robert & Helen Cargo collection:http://cdn.firespring.com/images/770aef18-2e1b-4dac-b8e1-3307cd6f6820.jpg
"Green Snake Quilts" (2000.004.0090) by Mary Maxtion and (2000.004.0101) by Lureca Outland
Here's another one, a black snake I guess.
Click to see a link that shows how to draft a snake:
I made one in the mid 1990s.
I alternated two blocks each with a different curve.
There are several new commercial snake patterns out there.
Karen Stone has a Rattle Snake and below is Denyce Schmidt's Snake Charmer
Mabry Benson is showing her snake variation popular with the East Bay Heritage Quilters in Berkeley, California, a few years ago.
Snake Trail pattern from
Raggedy Stitches in AustraliaClick here for information on the pattern:
Read Pepper Cory's post on her Quilt Flap blog
The snake she shows from eBay is very scary.