<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Flying Geese block information who
FieldGuidetoQuilts.com
Jacob's Ladder variation

Flying Geese blocks

Email us for permission if you want to use anything on this site.

Copyright © 2017 by

Click on a block to see a whole-quilt mockup.

Wedding Ring


Odd Scraps
Patchwork


Handy Andy
Wedding Ring
Georgetown Circle/Memory Wreath/Nest and Fledgeling/Old English Wedding Ring/Single Wedding Ring/Rolling Stone/Thrift Block/Wedding Knot/Crown and Thorns/Mill Wheel/English Wedding Ring

When the Kansas City Star republished a block, we aren't surprised. But the Ladies Art Company? On the left are two blocks redrawn precisely as the LAC published them in 1897. Really. Identical block patterns with the color values flipped.

And for that, the LAC got first dibs on naming this oft-published block, which some might call a Shoo-Fly variation. (We don't; the colors obscure any hint of a cloverleaf.)

Of the many names above, the first two are from Carrie Hall's 1935 Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America; the next three are from the Kansas City Star.

We owe the last, English Wedding Ring, to Jinny Beyer, who graciously gave permission for us to cite her Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns (2009) on this web site. Beyer found it on an undated Nancy Page column.

To top that off, the only difference between this block and Handy Andy, below, is that the eight squares in Wedding Ring are four rectangles in Handy Andy. In a whole quilt, that change makes all the difference. Click on any of the graphics at left to see.

Handy Andy


This block is from Ruth Finley's 1929 book Old Patchwork Quilts. Only one other block goes by this name. It came along in 1973, in The Perfect Patchwork Primer (Gutcheon), and is only somewhat similar. We hope to add the block soon.

In a whole quilt, the block creates a windowpane. For an explanation of windowpane quilts, click here:

Corn & Beans



Corn & Beans

This block was old when the Ladies Art Company published it in 2 colors in 1897. At least, when it was published in the Kansas City Star in 1930, the paper said that this Shoofly variation and "most of the 9 patch blocks" are of "unquestionable colonial origin." (Corn & Beans is based on a 6- x 6-square grid.) The block at left follows KCS designer Ruby McKim's color placement, although she used gold instead of dark red and green and white for the rest.


Corn & Beans
KCS variations


The Star also the published 2 variations pictured here.

It's not obvious where the colors were placed. The blocks at left are our best guess.

Hovering Hawks
Hovering Hawks
Triple X

Finley wrote that Hovering Hawks "was the name most expressive to one who has lived on a farm and watched these birds of prey circling over the chicken-yard..."

If the contrast in center pieces is modest, the block can look a lot like The Anvil block. Click here to see it:

The "Make it!" icon links to instructions for a three-color version.

Double X
Double X, No. 1
3 & 6, Double X, 9 Square, Tennessee, The Cat's Cradle

The LAC introduced this block in 1897, but the usual suspects took a crack at renaming it: Nancy Page (Tennessee, 1934), Farm Journal Quilt Patterns (Nine Square, 1935), Nancy Cabot (Three & Six, 1936), Carrie Hall (Double X, 1935), and the Kansas City Star (The Cat's Cradle, 1960).

Wandering Lover
Wandering Lover

One of the few blocks that includes its own frame, Wandering Lover was published in 1895, according to a source cited in Jinny Beyer's Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns in 2009 (Breckling Press).

Finley (1929)wrote that in the 19th century it was not uncommon for a loved one to travel to find work, or join the military, and literally never be heard from again. Thus, the frame has a poignancy: The designer wants to keep her wandering lover safe at home.
Jacob's Ladder variation
Jacob's Ladder variation
Jacob's Ladder

Quilt researcher Carrie Hall, who collected hundreds of blocks in the 1920s and 1930s, found this variation of Jacob's Ladder and stitched up an example for a collection that now resides in the Spencer Museum at the University of Kansas. It was published in Bettina Havig's Carrie Hall Blocks in 1999(American Quilter's Society). Click on the icon to see a whole-quilt mockup.
Birds in the Air
Birds in the Air


Birds in the Air
(Finley)

Birds in the Air
Flying Birds/Flock of Geese/Flight of Swallows

Newspaper columnist Nancy Cabot published this block in 1937 as Flight of Swallows, according to quilt historian Barbara Brackman; the other names came from Ruth Finley's Old Patchwork Quilts (1929).

Finley's illustration was a photo of quilt made in the pattern, and it is clearly a scrap quilt. We've shown an example at left.


If you grew up during the Cold War, this block may look a wee bit familiar. Perhaps this symbol is the reason:


The Little Cedar Tree
The Little Cedar Tree

A quilter from Missouri sent this block to the Kansas City Star, which published it in 1940.

Combine it with half-square triangles and you have a Flock of Geese block. Click here to see it:

Winged Square

Winged Square
Golden Gates

Finley called this block "among the most attractive of the four-patch flock designs." That is, she saw this as a nine-patch block made up of four-patch squares.

"Gorgeously beautiful quilts of these blocks graced the dowry chest of many an old-time bride," Finley wrote. There's no reason why that can't be true now too. Our "Make It!" icon links to a tutorial.


Broken Window
Broken Window
A Window of Triangles


The Kansas City Star published A Window of Triangles in 1959, saying it came from a reader in Colorado. The reader in Colorado said it was sometimes called Broken Window.

Call it deja vu all over again. The Star had published it as Broken Window in 1937. Like Winged Square, it's on a 6x6 grid.

Primrose Path
Primrose Path
Straight and Narrow Trail/Trail/Bismark

This block is another find by Ruth Finley, who included it in her 1929 book Old Patchwork Quilts. She noted that it is "very likely the [primrose path] 'in dalliance trod.'"

That quote's from Hamlet, aka capital-L Literature. Says Ophelia: "Do not, as some ungracious pastors do/Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven/Whilst, like a puff'd and reckless libertine/Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads/And recks not his own rede." Aren't you glad we told you that?

Nancy Cabot presented Primrose Path in 1933 in her newspaper column, writing that the block dates back to 1820 and that the pattern came from the great-granddaughter of the original quiltmaker. Our information comes from Candace Moore's "Moore About Nancy" web site:

We can only conclude that if Nancy Cabot said the block is from 1820, then it must be from 1820.

Moore provided the first two alternate names above. Hearth & Home magazine called it Bismark, according to Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. According to Jinny Beyer, Nancy Cabot published it under that name in 1938. That's all we know.

The block's long rectangle makes an attractive lattice. If you wanted to, you could use different colors for the triangles at each end and create a nice little grace note at the intersection. Look closely at the alternate layout on the mockups to see. Just click on the icon to go to that page.
, and is