Quilters of the Past – Designing Blocks
In the past, quilters often used what they had on hand to create patterns.
One method was folding paper to create geometric designs. Many had bibles and they were used to trace around in order to get right triangles and rectangles. Rectangles could be used to cut fabric shapes, or they could be folded and cut to make other designs.Dividing squares in half several times in the same direction formed narrow strips to turn into templates.
Dividing a square into 3 equal parts in both directions created the well known Nine Patch block. Many geometric shapes could be formed using paper folding.
Plates, saucers, and other dishes were used to draw circles of various sizes.
Check your local quilt shop for books on early pattern designing. Don’t forget to search your local library, too.
Quilts and Quilters have fascinating histories!