I would love to make an Oak-and-Reel quilt, since it's so pretty and such a good show-off piece for applique work, as well as having so many interesting 19th-century examples extant. Popular patterns from the 1920s and 30s are also fun, especially Dresden Plate and Cathedral Windows. After waffling about various patterns and almost deciding on Robbing Peter to Pay Paul, I fell back on a simple one which I have admired since girlhood: Single Irish Chain.
This webpage shows examples of the many variations of the Irish Chain. Mine is down towards the bottom, the double ninepatch set on point. A double ninepatch means that instead of alternating ninepatch blocks with blank blocks for the entire length of the quilt, the ninepatch blocks are formed into larger ninepatch blocks which are then alternated with very large blank blocks. Setting them on point means that instead of squares the entire way up and down, the quilt blocks are set as diamonds and finished at the borders with triangles. The diagrams on the website should be self-explanatory.
I strip-pieced this quilt in about a week and a half, against other distractions. Strip-piecing is a quick way of finishing a quilt top. Instead of making ninepatches out of nine actual little squares, with all the cutting that method would require, long strips are sewn together and then cut into rows. Once this is done, it takes only two seams to assemble a ninepatch instead of eight.
|Long strips are sewn together and then cut into "rows." Shown is red-white-red. I also made white-red-white.|
|two finished ninepatch blocks|
|a completed double ninepatch block, to be alternated with a white block of the same size|