Friday, February 4, 2022

Lightning Strikes


The Connecticut Quilt Project found this dramatic blue and white quilt
that seems to be one of a kind, made about 1900.

The owner who bought it for documentation knew nothing about it. She called it Streak of Lightning.

"What do people in Connecticut know about lightning?,"  asks a Kansan.

I have little to do lately but spoil the dog so I though I'd try to figure out the pattern repeat.

With little success.
Strips aslant?

Rotated--- one sees squares but how are they connected?

Usually if you go to the corner you can see the repeat block.

Well, I give up.

Lots of ideas.
Virginia says strips like bargello. Wish we could see the seam lines.

Meghan sends a picture. See her comments.

I pondered Meghan's solution and worked out something in EQ8.

It's one triangular block alternated with a blue, unpieced, half-square triangle the same size.

Set in strips

The triangular block is not in BlockBase+ but there are
many similar square Kansas Troubles/Sawtooth blocks like this one #3168
you could use to draw the pattern.

In fact (Doh!) I have a similar quilt hanging on my office wall right now.

Thank you, Meghan and everyone else who worked on it. We should probably
call it Connecticut Puzzle.

And here is another, easier to see the repeat. Almost the same
triangular block.

Karla worked on it and came up with a block repeat...

Was reading a review of a new book on the history of games,
which mentioned that humans have played games and puzzles for quite a while
as a respite from real-world, harder-to-solve problems.
That's why I like quilt patterns.

Update: Here's another, pretty early from a Freeman's Auction.
Slightly different arrangement of the sawteeth.


  1. Maybe strips, joined at 45-degree angles and put together like a bargello?

  2. Maybe not having as much lightning makes it that much memorable? I'm thinking the blocks are on point? Not square blocks?

    On that last photo, if you drop a line straight down the 2 blue points at top left, they seem to align with the blue points from the other direction...darn it where's my graph paper!?!?

  3. Aha! I don't know if it's what that quilt maker did, but it seems to work on paper -
    I'm going to use Batman for the triple pointed bits, and Peace for the double points where the stripes change direction.
    Drop a vertical line down between the Batmans, those seem to all line up.
    Now drop a line down the middle of the Peace, they will not touch. The columns will not be the same width.
    Now use your start of sawtooth borders and draw those in.
    Draw a horizontal line across each block splitting Batman and Peace in the middle. Now you can either do quarter square triangles and make square blocks. Or add the sawtooth borders to sides of HSTs and have diamond-ish shaped blocks if you don't mind Y-seams?
    I hope it makes sense, if not, I can email a photo of my thoughts.

  4. Your dog is pleased that he/she will have more playtime now! I'm a sucker for puzzles and this fit the bill for today.

    When I enlarged the photo from the quilt website it looks to me like white half-square triangles border the edges of slightly larger triangles and make a square when combined with a blue half-square triangle.

    I also think I can see where the print of the blue fabric doesn't quite line up.

    Of course, I could be imagining all that!

    The photo I used is here (https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEhIkFHyGvzPL9RvPmiZQqDCcuLO-QUG4AZn9jCZB4dm8DjXUxdhjo3ZAYwMgbgIdz-Dx7QCCj6HJH4Fg8HL4io8LqPqhtaDL_VgfJk0bdK58THSbsTx0ee6gu3FiE0Xp6P_44Vwi_yavQ_kGdUwhkIi9MyXhX5BXaTBb4MFZQiKKOpz5JZzY-9SO7dezQ=s593)
    To enlarge it I clicked on it, then held down the mouse and use the mouse wheel to enlarge the image. I use a desktop so that won't be helpful if you don't.

    And I agree with JustGail that the blocks are set on point.

  5. You're a braver man (woman) than I, Gunga Din. :)

  6. It's a Delectable Mountain variation, the blocks are triangles on a half-drop repeat.

    Imagine dropping a seam line down the middle of the white zigzag, just touching the dark points on either side. This will give you alternating white triangles, each with a smaller pieced border on the short sides (the jagged bits of the mountains). Taking those away, now you have a dark zigzag that can also be seamed up the middle from triangles.

    For actually assembling the quilt top, the maker would have pieced strips of alternating white and dark triangles, and then attached the strips with like sides together.

    1. (I've sent an email with annotated photo to help explain)

  7. I love anything in blue and white. This one looks especially intriguing. Thanks so much for figuring out the pattern.

    San / Gypsy Quilter Designs / North Carolina

  8. Sew interesting what many mi ads can do to solve this problem.