Sunday, June 22, 2008

Just What Can You Do With Squares?

You could impress everyone with how many tiny squares you can sew together. Or better yet you might make a charm quilt with every square a different fabric

By the Victorian Era inexpensive mass produced cotton made such quilts quite affordable to make. Scraps could be used and in the case of charm quilts women could trade bits of fabric with one another to increase the variety in their stash.

The goal for many charm quilts was 1,000 patches. But some postage stamp quilts included a few thousand squares as small as 3/4 inches. These larger quilts usually repeated fabrics, some in a planned arrangement and others at random.

But, of course, you could expand your creativity by creating an elaborate design or picture with squares. By the beginning of the 20th century postage stamp squares were usually arranged in a structured design. The quilt to the right made by my great grandmother is a good example of this.

In the 1920 and 30s designer, Anne Orr, created patterns made up of one inch squares based on cross stitch patterns. Quiltmakers have created amazing pictures made up of squares. Charles Pratt designed and made both mosaics and realistic scenes.

To see examples go to postage stamp quilts in the Quilt Index

(photos by Judy Breneman)