Piece Road to California using traditional piecing.
The 2022 Quilt-along focusses on colour and tone values. Blocks are in two sizes: 12″ x 12″ and 6″ x 12″. The first Block Patterns will be ready to download shortly. Contact me to join the Thursday group in Menlyn Pretoria by sending a WhatsApp message to 0824167690. Class fees are R150 per class. The quilt finishes at 72 x 90″ (180 cm x 230cm).
“And he dreamed and behold a ladder set up on the earth and the top of it reached the heavens and behold the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.”Genesis 28:11-22
Jacob’s Ladder is a very old quilt block pattern, dating to before the American Revolutionary War. It is classified as a pioneer quilt pattern.
Jacob’s Ladder was first discussed in writing in a 1915 book called Quilts : Their Story and How to Make Them, by Marie Webster. It was the first authoritative book on the subject, making the claim that this pattern got its name from the Bible story of Jacob sleeping and receiving a vision of a ladder that led all the way to heaven.
This pattern is also known as ” The Road to California” “Stepping Stones”, “Covered Wagon”, “Road to the White House”, “Tail of Benjamin’s Kite”, “Wagon Tracks” and “Underground Railroad” depending in which area it was used.
The first publication of the pattern was in 1884, as Jacob’s Ladder. There are over a dozen variations in number of colors and values or sizes. The oldest version is done in only two colors.
In 1922, as part of the Ladies Art Company of St Louis, Missouri’s booklet Quilt Pattern Book, Patchwork and Appliqué, featured three variations. Number 207, which features a four patch at the corners and a full square on two diagonal corners in Number 237. In Number 239 the corner pieces are consolidated to form Road to Oklahoma.
I used two shades of red plaid in the red memory quilt and I scrambled the four patches to create a checker board of colour on the intersection of the blocks.
The Snails Trail block is based on the Square-on-square block with 5 layers, combined with a Four-Patch. The Four-Patch is inserted as the center block. By changing the colours the Snails-Trail is created.
A block that is sometimes confused with the Snails Trail is Monkey Wrench. Can you see the difference? Monkey Wrench is based on a four layered Square-on-Square. The Four Patch in the center is now turned on-point.
And then there is the Pig Tail Block. It is based on a six layered Square-on-square block. It doesn’t have a Four Patch in the centre.
When you combine four Snails Trail blocks, the pattern is called Virginia Reel.
Snails Trail can also be combined with other blocks to create interesting secondary patterns. Combining Snails Trail, Monkey Wrench or Pigs-tail with Storm-at-Sea, the illusion of curves is further advanced.
It is almost impossible to believe these quilt patterns are made without curved piecing.
Monkey Wrench was first published in 1922 as part of the Lady’s Art Quilt pattern. Snails Trail was first published in 1928 in the same collection. The first references were made to the Virginia Reel in 1930.
Other patterns that use Snails Trail and or Monkey Wrench are:
- Romantic Trail by Tammy Vanderschmitt
- Let’s Dance – published by Beaquilter
- Sea Scapes by Shirley Sickenger
- And the scrappy friendly version Tornado, published by QuiltingDaily.com
My last design for the day is a design that might pass for a modern quilt using Pig-Tails and Storm-at-Sea. Using 12” blocks with 4 ½” sashing these finishes at 95” x 95” for a big queen.
I call it Dragon Star.
In hand or machine appliqué, stems are one of the most consistent elements and make or break your design. Even and well placed stems and vines build a strong foundation for the rest of your design. Therefore it is important to give some attention to the skill.
The teachers of JQG collaborated as part of the National Quilters Day 2021 by making a short demonstration video. I chose to show how to cut and make bias strips. We are busy with the Fireworks Mystery quilt with a multitude of stems.
In hand or machine appliqué, stems are one of the most consistent elements and make or break your design. Firstly, even and well placed stems and vines build a strong foundation for the rest of your design. It is therefore important to give some attention to the skill.
If the stems you need are straight, you can cut the strips length wise on the grain of the fabric. If you have bends, scrolls or waves, it is better to cut your fabric on the bias. This can be a daunting task if the stems are 1/4″ wide.
In this video I show how to fold the fabric and and cut the strips for appliqué stems and vines. In conclusion, I then demonstrated how to thread the bias maker and iron the strips to the fabric.
A bias maker is a very useful tool. Cut your strips double the size of the bias maker. These are normally colour coded, for instance the green one for 6mm or 1/4″ and yellow for 12mm or 1/2″. Pin one end of the strip to the ironing board and iron carefully, in even motion.
If you are interested to meet me for a face to face class please contact me.
Quilt classes for beginner quilters teaching various quilt techniques and blocks. classes for beginners. Due to Covid-19, space is limited please book early.
This introductory classes for beginner quilters are taught over 10 classes, one every second week . Contact to find the next available course.
- Machine piecing
- Hand piecing techniques
- Paper / paperless foundation piecing
- Curved piecing
- Machine appliqué
- Hand appliqué
- Sashing and borders
- Quilting and binding
The price is R150 per class. Buying this product is for the first class and registration purposes. Classes start at 9:00 and ends at 12:30. Coffee and tea will be supplied.
The price doesn’t include fabric, thread or any sewing notions. All patterns will be supplied in downloadable files, in grey scale. The quilt can be made in any color scheme.
A list of quilt supplies will be send before every class.