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One Block, Many Looks

It is amazing how just one block can produce so many different looks. In this wonderful antique quilt from the collection of Julie Hendricksen, the unknown quiltmaker formed 81-Patch blocks in multiple ways.

Deliberate Diagonals

In this block, a red print is used in every other square. When the quiltmaker ran out of red print, she filled in the remaining squares with a black floral, deliberately placing them to form a diagonal row and four corners.


Diverse Fabrics

Diagonal rows of the same color bring a scrappy block together, even when the fabrics are diverse.

Radiating Squares

Even though this block is scrappy, the quiltmaker arranged it in an orderly fashion to make radiating squares of mostly matching pieces. Note the interesting brown honeycomb print, which is paired with a pale pink floral stripe to form the second square from the outside.


True checkerboard blocks (made from only two fabrics) save time because they can be strip pieced.

Pale Checkboard

A checkerboard block made in paler colors of tan and pink has a softer look than the previous block.

Frame it Up

Outer rows of dark prints around medium or light prints in the same colors can create a frame. In this case, the quiltmaker chose to frame the block in dark blue and brown.

Blue With Brown

While similar to the previous block, this block contains browns and blues that are more similar in value to each other.

Pretty in Pink

Five different pink prints and plaids form every other square in this block. In the gold and navy blue stripe that forms a diagonal row in the block, some of the small squares are pieced, indicating these may have been cut from a garment.

Woven Effect

A regular arrangement of colors can result in a woven effect.

Disappearing Pattern

Pieces of similar value and scale make a subtle checkerboard pattern.

Pink Brings it Together

This block features deep pink combined with seven different plaids and stripes and three florals arranged in diagonal rows of matching pieces when possible.

Checkerboard with a Twist

A quilt made entirely of blocks in this layout would produce a secondary design.

Interesting Color Combos

In addition to the interesting patterns formed in the blocks, the fabrics in this quilt are intriguing. Collector Julie Hendricksen says, "Most of the quilts I own are from the late 1890s and combine pink with shirtings and indigo. This quilt combines pink with green, brown and cheddar."

Fabric Inspiration

According to Julie, the fabrics date from 1840 to 1870 and this quilt has proven to be a wonderful source for studying old prints.

Fabric Inspiration

A simple grid pattern is hand quilted on the entire quilt with tan thread.

Get free instructions for making a batik version of this 81-Patch quilt.


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