What's Under My Needle?

I love getting inspiration from the vintage/traditional blocks from decades ago. Jack's Chain is one of those. I took an older file from my computer (from when I worked for Quilt Magazine) and tweaked it for use with 2-1/2" strips. I needed to resize the center hexagon and surrounding triangles. So glad I have Adobe Illustrator as my software!

So, what does Jack's Chain look like? Here is one block (digital).

Jack's Chain Block
And the vintage, newspaper pattern? It was first called Rosalia Flower Garden in 1939.

Jack's Chain/Rosalia Flower Garden
The traditional blocks made for this quilt are never this large. But because I wanted to use 2-1/2" strips, it obviously grew! I used some vintage Kaffe Fassett fabrics (ie, over 10 years old) along with some newer prints for my prototype block.

Jack's Chain Block: 23-1/2" x 23-1/2"
The light gray is a Windham fabric called Mary's Blenders. The green/purple triangle fabric is an Emily Taylor/Riley Blake fabric. Maybe I should stay with the light gray for the center hexagon? Not sure yet. That's why I create prototype blocks before I even think about writing a pattern!

I have been cutting and stitching more 9 Patches that will go with another bold KF print. What do you think? There are two blocks in each print.
More 9 Patch blocks (6" finished)
And the fabric I hope to use in the center hexagon:

9 Patch Blocks with a luscious KF print
No pattern yet. I have to work out the kinks! I sewed the full block all by machine. I stitched a circle with the 6 Nine Patch blocks and 6 triangles. Then I interfaced the center hexagon and appliqued it over the large hole. It works, but I think I'm going to try using a dreaded y-seam on my next block.

I'll keep you posted. While most folks wouldn't be enamored with such a LARGE block, you have to think of it this way: You get to your finished quilt a lot faster with big blocks!


  1. This is really cool! I love looking at the old patterns and trying them out, and your new "take" on this oldie is great. Looking forward to seeing what you do with these....

  2. Oh, my aunt did this block/quilt last year in 30's fabrics - she cursed the entire time she worked on it which just cracked me up.

  3. I am a beginner quilter, but I find larger blocks a little easier. It is hard for me to hold onto small pieces like 1" squares. I like the 9-patch blocks with the KF fabric in the picture above.

  4. I always like large blocks! That could be an interesting design. It's one that's long interested me.

  5. Wow, it`s a great design.Can´t wait to see your quilt.Have fun!

  6. Hurry up with the pattern...I so love this..

  7. Great idea, to use 2-1/2" strips for the 9 patches. I came looking specifically for how to increase the size for the Jack's Chain. This may be my answer! Thanks for the idea! Now, if I can just figure out the size of the triangles and hexes. It'll be a good project for my brain.


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by Debby Kratovil Quilts! If you had a question and don't get an answer from me, please feel free to email me at: kratovil@his.com