Monday, November 27, 2017

A Scrappy Chintz Quilt: Odd Pattern

This pattern in a scrappy chintz quilt from about 1830-1850
is "Unknown,"
(a tragedy for us pattern classifiers.)

I saw the quilt in an online auction.

It should be on this page of BlockBase
with similar blocks. 
Many of these triangle designs are called Railroad Crossing.
The main similarity on that page is
the 4X design with 2 primary diagonal seams.

And then two sizes of half-square triangles.

I drew it up in EQ7.
Because few people used the term railroad in the 1830 & '40s I
am calling it "A Ride in the Cars."

In 1846 Emily Dickinson took the train from Amherst to Boston but that's not how she phrased it:
"I had a delightful ride in the cars, and am now getting settled down, if there can be such a state in the city."
A paper cut-out card of Queen Victoria and the
Royal Family in the cars in 1842.

You don't want to set it as an all-over pattern
because  you get this more common 9-patch looking design.

If you rotate every other block to the side it looks like the original.

A Ride in the Cars
Quilt with 12" Blocks
64 blocks = 98" square

And if you shaded the center blocks in pink you'd get
the medallion-like look that quilters favored before 1850.

The EQ7 drawing is for a 12 inch block.
Here are the cutting instructions for 1 block.

Cutting a 12" Block

A - Cut 5 squares 5-1/4". (3 light/2 dark) Cut each into 4 triangles with 2 diagonal cuts. You need 18 triangles.
B - Cut 1 dark square 13-1/4".  Cut into 4 triangles with 2 diagonal cuts. You need 2 triangles.

See Barbara S.'s version here:


  1. Love the look of this pattern, especially in your Lately Arrived from London fabrics. . .wish I had yardage of those wonderful fabrics.

  2. Oh my! I do love the look of this one!

  3. Love how this pattern looks, but not sure if I could make it without stretching out all of those triangles. Wanted to let you know that you have a small mistake at the bottom of your page. You said the B square should be cut also at 5 1/4", instead of 13 1/4". You do list it correctly up above, but I had to enlarge that picture to see it. It wasn't too confusing, but I spent a few seconds wondering how 2 5 1/4" squares could make the 2 sizes. No big deal! Thanks for all the patterns. I have your encyclopedia and browse through it from time to time looking for a pattern name.

    1. Thanks Joyce for the free lance editing. I'll fix it.

  4. Huh. If I were classifying this block, I'd have totally bypassed the Railroad Crossing section. I think the plain triangles and the proportions of the pieced triangles are leading me and my eyes down a totally different path.