Sunday, August 17, 2014

Richmond: Free Quilt Pattern for Richmond Reds

"Richmond," pieced in Richmond Reds
by Becky Brown

Becky, who used to live in Richmond, Virginia, wrote she couldn't resist making up the "Richmond" block in my new 19th-century reproduction line called Richmond Reds. The Moda collection has a good variety of dark and light calicoes to give a period look to her block.

Twelve 8" Richmond blocks set side by side.
The block was given the name in Hearth and Home
magazine about a century ago.
With a 6" finished border the quilt will be 36" x 44"

Instructions for the border:

Quilt from the early 20th century. The setting squares
of light calico or shirting have faded with hard use.

The idea of using a print rather than a plain white was a standard look for everyday quilts from about 1870-1930. The lighter prints can be viewed as contrast, background and neutral.

Pine Burr about 1870-1890

Patchwork patterns in the magazines and newspapers certainly influenced taste. Light calicoes were advised in the Prairie Farmer's homemakers' column in the year 1886.

"Patchwork Pattern
Mrs. H. E. Snow contributes the specimen of patchwork given...It is to be pieced of two colors of calico, a light and a dark, or may be of medium shade and white. The plain illustration needs no description."

This quilt with its light calico background from about 1890 may have been inspired by Mrs. Snow's design in the 1886 magazine.

Another Prairie Farmer pattern contributor during that year was "Elder's Wife" who advised setting quilt blocks with "light calico of small figure" for practical reasons.

"As a rule, quilts are more useful as outside covers if set together with light calico of small figure, than if white were used. Especially if there are children, the white very soon gets soiled and makes much hard work in the washing..."

By "outside covers" she means a spread to top the bed clothes.

Back to the pattern for "Richmond".....

I could tell you as Mrs. Snow did in 1886,
"The plain illustration needs no description,"
but there might be sobs in the comments.


So I will direct you to the pattern for an 8" in my Civil War Quilts
blog that Becky did a few years ago:

And also tell you that it is # 1654 in my BlockBase program for PC's, where you
can print out a pattern any size.

Here I've had BlockBase print rotary cutting instructions for a 12" block.


I said: "It needs no description!"

Just be glad it's not 1886 and Mrs. Snow is not writing this blog.


  1. LOL loved the pictures and the instructions.


  2. I am excited about this lovely line. Trying to wait patiently...it isn't going well. Glad you have a bigger heart than Mrs. Snow when it comes to directions. :)

  3. That looks beautiful in the Richmond reds and I also like the blue and green together. I need to go through my stash and start organizing colors and types for future quilts.


  4. Hmmm, if blogging had been around in Mrs. Snow's time, I'd wonder where we'd be today. Great pattern by the way with or without small background prints.

  5. You are hysterical. I love the photo of the crying lady! I feel her pain. LOL! Your Richmond Reds are just beautiful.