Wednesday, January 25, 2017

T Blocks 3: Tessellating T's Free Pattern

A T block quilt from about 1900

I showed some T quilts from the late-19th century last year.

Variations on BlockBase #1392

When I got ready to post my favorite I realized it wasn't the same pattern as the others.
It's my favorite because it tessellates so nicely.
In other words, a single motif covered the surface with no gaps.
It's all T's.

Here I've drawn it up in EQ7
in my Baltimore Blues fabrics.

It really isn't a conventional block pattern.
It is two rectangles alternating in strips.
It took me a while to figure out because it is a strange repeat. The block is a plain rectangle B set with a narrower rectangle A that is pieced (and flipped.)

First I drew it by hand. Then I drew it in Photoshop.
Then I figured out how to draw it in EQ---
as a rectangular block with a pieced sashing.
Then I had EQ7 draw the patterns.

I decided it would be best to use a proportion that made the most of precuts.
Layercakes for the plain rectangles B---cut rectangles 9-1/2" x 5".

For Piece A: Cut strips 3" wide and use the template to get the 40 degree angle.

Rotary Cutting for Piece A from EQ7

Template for Piece A from EQ7

To Print:
  • Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11". 
  • Click on the image above. 
  • Right click on it and save it to your file. 
  • Print that file out 8-1/2" x 11". The cutting line at the top should measure 3".
  • Adjust the printed page size if necessary.

However, with all my figuring I can't figure out how to get enough pieces for each T out of a single LayerCake (10" square).  You need two sets of Layer Cakes.

And you'd have a lot of left overs.
Is that the worst thing that could happen?

UPDATE: GypsyQuilter who is a lot better at spatial relations than I am has this to say in the comments:
Make the pattern "on  a smaller scale in order cut the pieces from a 10" square of fabric. Say 2-1/2" or even 2" wide pieces instead of 3"?"
Here's what I say
"DOH!" which is Simpsonese for "What a dunce I am."
I guess I won't submit this to the Moda Bake Shop Blog.


  1. I'm saddened that the meaning of the T quilt patterns has almost been forgotten. It's not just an interesting design. The T stands for Temperance, a hugely important social movement in the 19th century. American women's involvement in organizations such as the Women's Christian Temperance Union was a precursor to the passage of both the Eighteenth (Prohibition) and Nineteenth (Women's right to vote) amendments to the constitution.

  2. I really hate to throw a monkey wrench in the works Barb, as you've already done so much calculating; however, could the block be made on a smaller scale in order cut the pieces from a 10" square of fabric. Say 2-1/2" or even 2" wide pieces instead of 3"?

  3. Thank you ever so much and I think you should submit your block/quilt pattern to Moda back shop as it needs to be seen by as many people as possible.
    My grand daughter is turning 16 in 2017 just a few months and I have for the longest time wanted to make her a "T" quilt the tessellated pattern would be perfect
    Do you think the angle could be 45 degrees ? Because that would be easier for me to cut and piece I'd have to first figure out measurements but that done piece the cut pieces in the same fashion as joining binding strips together
    Okay I have to get me graph paper out I have nustbunder 2 months
    Thank you ever so much
    On the wet (yippe) left coast

  4. Love this version! My blue and white "temperance" quilt is the traditional tilted tessellating Ts. I love it too!

  5. Colleen- I thing the angle should be 45 degrees. It's been a while since I drew this but that's what I recall.

  6. This is going to be another one that sticks in my mind, like the Toad Stools :)

  7. A fun quilt and would be interesting to make. Thanks for sharing the pattern with us.

  8. Since I am a bit dense, if the size is reduce to 2-1/2, does the length then have to be shorter? Trying to visualize without graph paper. I guess I need to get one of those E quilts.

    Dott, Love the Baltimore blues

  9. Barb, thanks for the interesting pattern!
    I arrived at this quilt a slightly different way. I made my block consist of 1 plain rectangle 4.5x9 and 1 of the arms 2.5x9 making a block 7x9 I placed these on an EQ quilt set for 7x9 inch block. I dropped in my blocks then rotated and/or flipped.
    I was left with one column along one (the left side in my case)side without arms so I used a border on that side at 2.5 inches, and made a block to fit and dropped those in. You can see it here: https://cathyquilts.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2017-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&updated-max=2018-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&max-results=1&zx=2194c2cc55fd872d

    I rarely use the various pre-cuts, so didn't approach it from that angle.
    I do think you should submit your pattern to the Bake Shop, it would be a quick easy quilt and a good way to use up scraps.

    PS, I love your Baltimore Blues!

  10. I so wish I could figure this out! I want to make it for my daughter.

  11. I'm planning to make this as a surprise for son-in-laws (tall Texans) using a bunch of plaid shirts they were discarding - but I stashed in my car! I like the original quilt -- and want to stick with that scale. THANKS! for posting this!