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Propeller shapes

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Click on a left-column graphic to see a whole-quit mockup. To google the site, click the graphic in the upper left corner of the page.

Spiderweb
Spider Web
The Spider Web

Ruth Finley published this block in her 1929 book Old Patchwork Quilts. The block shares a name with several others, notably a six-sided scrap block that resembles either a Log Cabin or a string block, depending on how it's constructed. (It's a string block if all the fabric strips are sewn onto a separate backing; it's a log cabin if all the strips are sewn to each other.)

To see two whole-quilt mockups of Finley's Spiderweb, click on the icon at left.


Electric Fan, No. 2
Electric Fan, No. 2

Electric Fan, No. 2 is block #42 in the 1906 booklet Practical Needlework by Clara Stone. The graphic at left is traced from a photo of the original. Oddly enough, it is a five-patch (5 by 5 squares).

Ordinarily, a block requires an even number of squares in its grid to have a center point. Here, however, it is the width of the small dark triangles at upper right and left that determine the grid size. The center point comes from the lines drawn from the corners of those triangles. Weird, huh?

The two darker triangles pose some interesting possibilities for quilt layout. Click on the block to see one. For the first Electric Fan, click here:

Connecticut


Block Island Puzzle


Kaleidoscope
Connecticut
Shoemaker's Puzzle/Block Island Puzzle

It's never been clear to us how the word "Puzzle" could be attached to so many relatively simple blocks. Still, by any other name, Connecticut was, and is, a puzzle. Perhaps it is because in a whole quilt, the block forms the same pattern as Priscilla. To see Priscilla, click here:

Block Island Puzzle

Block Island, thirteen miles south of mainland Rhode Island, has been a stopping point for Captain Kidd and a final port for five large sunken ships, and is now the site of a yearly week-long sailing regatta and its attendant hullaballoo.

Nonetheless, someone managed to sit down long enough to invent a quilt block for it. That block was published in Quilters' Newsletter Magazine as its #66, according to Barbara Brackman. Brackman cites Hearth & Home for the names of the Connecticut block, above. Like Connecticut, Block Island Puzzle has a parallel in a four-point star called Crosssed Canoes. To see that block, click here:

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope showed up in 1973 in Holstein's The Pieced Quilt. It has no quarter-block seams. Otherwise, it's identical to Connecticut.

Semi-Octagon
Semi-Octagon
Will o' the Wisp/The Windmill Blades

The oldest of this block's names is Semi-Octagon, from the mid-1930s, when Carrie Hall included it among her collection of quilt blocks now at the University of Kansas' Spencer Museum of Art.

Will o' the Wisp (a "delusive or elusive goal," per Merriam-Webster) came along in 1945, in Farm Journal & Farmer's Wife. Finally, the Kansas City Star came up with The Windmill Blades in 1954. It's drawn on a 12 by 12 grid.