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.


  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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

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