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2x2 Checkerboards

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The Jewel Quilt

The Jewel Quilt

From a 1954 Kansas City Star, The Jewel Quilt is unusual in having 4 large diamonds that do not meet in the center. Those diamonds are the most striking shape in a whole quilt of this design. Click on the block to see a mockup.

We include a second mockup in the colors recommended by the Star: red, blue, and green. It's ugly as sin. Click on The Jewel Quilt graphic to see if you agree.


Thrifty

Thrifty

Another design unique to the Kansas City Star, Thrifty (1939) was a scrap block. Every piece except the ones in dark red, left, were supposed to be "figured," or print, fabric. Click on the block to see a whole-quilt mockup.

Thrifty is similar to the block Pennsylvania, which we've described as an Irish Chain variation. Thrifty's checkerboards, however, create a different effect. Click on this small block to see a Pennsylvania quilt mockup:


Square & Half Square



Chinese Coin



Friendly Hand

Square & Half Square
Chinese Coin/Swastika

Our primary source for this block is the Kansas City Star's Square & Half Square (1934). It was a design, the Star said, that "Little girls of colonial days frequently pieced, as it was simple and pretty in colors." We have no idea why the Star thought so, but there you have it.

The name Swastika was in an issue of the Household Journal, per Barbara Brackman.

Chinese Coin

Chinese Coin was first published in Prize Winning Designs, ca. 1931 (according to Beyer's Quilter's Album). It was presented as a windowpane quilt with double sashing: i.e., there was a border around each block with a square in each corner.

If quilters used the block as is, there would be a 4-piece square the same size as the Chinese Coin center itelf, alternating in every other block. Hard to picture? We've shown 2 settings as whole quilts. Click on the block to see them.

Many quilters would have treated the block as if the center (the Chinese Coin pattern itself) was an offset square, creating a simple windowpane. We've shown a mockup of that too.


Friendly Hand

Indiana Puzzle

Square & Half Square was also published in a configuration that squished the blocks together so that each checkerboard was in effect shared with the block beside it. We've covered this block with other "swirl" blocks, which it resembles as a whole quilt. Click here for more information:


Water Wheel
(Cabot)

Water Wheel

A block by Nancy Cabot of the Chicago Tribune (1936). Nancy Cabot was the pen name of Elizabeth Leitner Rising. Her block designs were published daily in the Tribune for 5 solid years, and then less often until about 1945. In all, Jinny Beyer tells us, more than 2,000 blocks are credited to her.

Quite often, the Cabot blocks are similar to other blocks already in print, but Cabot put her own spin on most of those designs, such as flipping the block and adding a third color, as she did with Square & Half Square to create Water Wheel.


Water Wheel
(Farm Journal)

Water Wheel

The Farm Journal published this block, although we're not sure when. Brackman's Encyclopedia is our source.