Women living on the American frontier simplified an ancient emblem of good fortune into a quilt pattern that consisted only of two triangles.
Fly Foot is another name for this condition. The swastika, which was thought to be an ancient symbol representing the sun, became a popular device after it was carried over from Germany.
The Whirling Swastika was a symbol that was painted on barns in Pennsylvania German communities. Hexfiess, also known as witches’ feet, is a motif that was traditionally painted on barns in order to ward off evil spirits. The locals gave the design its name.
It is fascinating to observe how the interpretation of a symbol shifts throughout the course of time. In later periods of history, the swastika came to be interpreted as a symbol that portended ill fortune rather than good luck.
Basic Instructions to make this block
When you’re making a quilt, one of the most entertaining aspects of the process is that you’ll frequently come across patterns that appear to be rather difficult. When other people see your quilt, they’ll stare at it and try to figure out how you made it.
One of the repeating patterns is this. It is really simple to construct, despite the fact that it appears sophisticated, and if you use the appropriate colour and value combinations, it has the potential to be very effective.
When you disassemble the block, you’ll notice that it’s four patches wide and four patches high. Then, taking a closer look, we can see that each patch is simply composed of two half-square triangles arranged in opposite directions.
To make this block, you would simply make 16 half square triangles. One side of each triangle would be made from a light fabric, and the other would be made from a dark fabric.
Using fabrics with a high contrasting value helps make this block effective. In the picture below, you can see what it would look like if you used two slightly different red fabrics.
Although you can still see the design, it is less obvious.
Making the Block
First, decide how large your blocks will be. This may sound really obvious, and you are just ready to take off. Excellent!
Now, let’s look at how many patches there are in the block and whether you want your patches to be easy to cut and sew. If that isn’t a priority for you, then, by all means go ahead and make this block 9 inches square!
However, I like simple math. So the first thing I look at is how many patches there are. Then I think about how large or small I would like to make the patches.
If they are too small, they become difficult to handle. If the patches are too large, the quilt may require more quilting since the areas of fabric without a seam will be larger, and without quilting, they may gap.
I tend to work with either 2 inch patches or 3 inch patches. In the case of this block, using 2 inch patches would create an 8 inch block. And using 3 inch patches would create a 12 inch block.
Now I look at how large a quilt I would like to make and how many blocks I want to make.
If you are making a twin size quilt, you would want it to be at least 39 inches by 75 inches. If your blocks were 8 inches, you would need 4 across and 9 high (36 blocks), and then you would also add borders.
If you are making a queen size quilt, it should be around 60 inches by 80 inches, thereby requiring 7 blocks across and 10 blocks high (70 blocks), and you should add borders to that.
For 12 inch blocks (39 inches by 75 inches) on a twin size quilt, you would need 3 blocks across and 6 blocks high (18 blocks), and then add borders.
And for 12 inch blocks on a queen size quilt (60 inches by 80 inches), you would need 5 blocks across and 6 blocks high (30 blocks) — and then add borders.
Then it is just a math calculation to see how many patches to make. Each block requires 16 patches, all the same — half light and half dark.
Once you have sewn all of the half square triangles together, lay the patches out according to the design and then stitch them together. Once all of the blocks are finished, you are ready to sew the quilt together.
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