I've been thinking about challenging pieced blocks lately and I remembered what a challenge this Snail's Trail pattern is. Many years ago I made one for a niece born in Indiana. Indiana Puzzle is another name for it and I liked the negative/positive aspects of the design. Mine was red and green as I recall.
The block has several names and variations.
Ruby McKim called it Monkey Wrench or Snail's Trail in the 1920s.
Quilter's Newsletter called it Indiana Puzzle in 1976, which must be where I got the idea. Other names are Journey to California, and Whirligig Quilt.
#2398 in BlockBase
It's not that hard to make---especially if you put a four-patch in the center and piece it on a paper foundation. Variations include more squares inside of squares inside of squares.
#2398 with shading
It's not that hard to make. It's hard to set it right and get the illusion.
Following that shading around in a circle gets confusing if you have a little spatial relations problem.
Note errors at left and on bottom.
This one's folded but that top left corner has a problem.
You can't just set the blocks side by side
You have to rotate every other block.
McKim and others suggested an alternate plain block and that makes it even harder to set---if faster to piece.
This is NOT the way to do it. It looks like lizards.
You have to rotate the rows and alternate the colors.
That requires a lot of heavy concentration for me.
The illusion is based on what we call a hound's tooth check, an old weaving pattern.
A pattern that is still popular.
Here's an outfit by the late Alexander McQueen.
Carol Gilham Jones played with the pattern to great effect.
I think this one is from the 1980s.
If you are interested in making the design there are many new patterns and how-tos available. Do a web search for the three words quilt snail trail or quilt monkey wrench. Here's a challenge from Electric Quilt.
And links to a few examples.
See Susan's very first quilt!
A great black and white example from the 1920s in the Quilt Index
I should loosen up and just go with it as Mary Maxtion has done. Click here and scroll down to see her pink and black version
and one in red and black at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum