Sunday, February 27, 2011

Playing Catch-up with this Roman Stripe Quilt block

I have been so busy with sick kids, husband and even I got it bad enough to put me out of commission for a while- but I was still quilting- just not well enough to post anything- So I guess that it is about time huh??

This is a beautiful quilt that was a joy to quilt.  The pieced work was done by Nancy Arehart.  The colors are what I think are great.  This quilt keeps the traditional "black" in as the grounding color- but adds a very vibrant "spunky" flare of fresh bright jewel tone colors.  This pattern inspired me to look a little deeper into why this block received this specific name.  I couldn't find much out about the specific design- for instance why it was named this "the Roman Stripe" but I did find out some other interesting things.

Early block designs allowed quilters to use very small scraps of fabric- as to save and reuse all fabric that was saved.  Some of the earliest blocks were made up of 4 squares of fabric sewn together (4-patch) or 9 squares of fabric sewn together (9-patch) in many different variations.  One of the earliest 9-patch blocks was the Roman Square, also known as the Roman Stripe.  Although the directional design of the quilt blocks may vary, they all relate and may have derived from the roman square.  

I always think that the names for the quilt blocks are interesting.   They can reflect the historical time period of the United States, or the names can reflect something that was a strong influence to the quilters of the past.   For some blocks biblical influence is apparent, such as Jacob's Ladder or Job's Trouble.  The hardship of the pioneers can be seen from blocks with names such as the Rocky Road to California or the wagon wheel.  Or simply the quilt blocks were named from everyday life, with names like Churn Dash and Log Cabin.

Many quilt block patterns have several different names.  One quilt block pattern in the eastern side of the states is most likely to have a different name when in the Midwest or far-West.  Sometimes old names were changed for commercial purposes.  It is wonderful to learn about the history of quilt making because each generation of quilters will add its own variations to an old art form.

1 comment:

  1. That quilt is so pretty! And I LOVE the flowers you quilted! You AMAZE me!