Monday, September 20, 2010

Unknown Patterns

It's a good day when I can find a quilt pattern in my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
This quilt that looks to date from the early 20th-century is # 1504c. Ruth Finley in her 1929 book called it Steeplechase.

I like my ducks in a row.

Or my geese in a row as in this late 19th-century quilt.
The problem is...
Those ducks and geese are hard to corral. I cannot find the above design in my Encyclopedia.

It doesn't really upset me.
I actually like to come across an unknown design. And there are lots of them out there.

Pauline sent snapshots of these two pink quilts. She couldn't find them in my Encyclopedia and neither can I.
They are a lot like Nine-Patches in there, but not identical.

Why are the patterns unknown? Or unindexed?

  1. The maker may have made them up or adapted them.

  2. They may have been published in a magazine that I didn't index.

  3. They may have never been published, but handed around from quilter to quilter.

I imagine number 3 is the problem with the green and red geese variation above. Because it's not really a patchwork block (the block is plain, the sash is pieced) it never fit nicely into the magazine format or my block ID format. Here's another similar construction sent by Gail.

It looks like it's constructed in blocks....but nevermind. It's the kind of thing that drives me crazy. You guys figure it out.


  1. Now I don't feel so bad ... I have spent all day scouring through half a dozen books looking for the name of the nine patch block. And that is one of dozens I would love to name. Perhaps I will just call them Tom, Dick, Harry .....

  2. It is great to know that quilters have always tweaked blocks, patterns to suit themselves. I know I have seen a quilt and thought I would remember what it looked like and find out I changed it when I redrafted it. Thanks for showing these. Bonnie

  3. Thanks for the laugh on a Monday morning! It's good to know that quilt makers are so ingenious, that you can't "corral" the designs.

  4. Aren't those the quilts that you just say "a variation of.."

  5. Interesting post! So many names of patterns to track down. Stepplechase, listed by Ruth Finley, is known in East Tennessee as Chicken Gizzards - IF the pieces that are the diagonal large piece in black print in the photo are string pieced. In fact, most around here just refer to the entire pattern, string pieced or not, as Chicken Gizzards 'type'. What a name LOL.
    Julie in TN

  6. Thanks for sharing these designs - I am taking a class where we are focusing on designs using triangles -I think Flying Geese and the like are in my future!

  7. I think this was done in rows, not blocks. Becky

  8. I believe I just saw the 9 patch on quiltindex.org. Listed as Crazy Nine Patch in West Virginia on page 160.

  9. The pattern known as steplechase is also called hearts and gizzards and one of my favorites. I made this in pink and white with small pink dots.