QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT

QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Moda's Baltimore Blues. It's not all blue.

Friday, December 6, 2013

How I Use BlockBase: A New Pattern?

Barb Fife used Jelly Roll precut strips
to piece this quilt from my Morris Apprentice print collection
from last year.

I wanted to find a name in my BlockBase program
for PC's. But when I looked it up I couldn't find the exact design.


It should be right next to BlockBase #1110, a four-patch made of two rectangles, but the published names only show a kind of stairstep shading arrangement rather than a pinwheel. All the published 20th-century names have to do with stairs.

Endless Stairs
London Stairs
Winding Stairway

I used a variation of Endless Stairs in my Grandmother's Choice sampler last May.


Endless Stairs by Becky Brown


And there are plenty of variations with three strips in each of the four-patches all numbered 1111 in BlockBase.

Barb said she tried the stairstep idea but preferred rotating the squares around to make a pinwheel. With the dark and white contrast it works quite well, creating a tessellated design where it's hard to figure out the block at first glance.



Did Barb invent a new pattern?

It's hard to believe no one ever did this simple design before---or at least published it with a name. But since Barb invented it she gets to name it. She's thinking about Spinning Sevens and planning to work out a pattern to sell.

UPDATE: I figured somebody had to have published this interesting shading. Mary Says Sew sez Jackie Robinson in her Tessellations book published it as "A Tess Called Edna." So I am giving it the BB#1110b
and crediting Jackie. If Barb publishes hers we will have two names.

6 comments:

Mary Says Sew! said...

Jackie Robinson calls her variations of this, "A tess called Edna" when it's done in two fabrics, and "Edna's Puzzle" with colors/values gradated. They're in her 1996 book, TESSELLATIONS.

"Edna's Puzzle" is on the back cover, so you might find an image of it online.

Jenny said...

i just used this exact block in my most recent quilt! didnt know it was 'unnamed'!

Barbara Brackman said...

Mary Says Sew:I knew somebody else and probably several somebodies had tried this. I guess we can give it a number. I put the update on the blog.

Amy said...

The Temecula Quilt Company of Temecula, CA sold a pattern and kit with this pattern last year. They called it Civil War Windmill.

Lois Wilhelm said...

I own your books as well as Block Base and love having the resources so handy! Have you considered updates to Block Base? If you have, can I purchase just the update for my Block Base program?

Thank you!!
Lois in WI

Anonymous said...

In the photo above of "A Tess Called Edna", the pattern looks like a hounds tooth plaid. Got to love a plaid!