CROW'S NEST (Piecing Grid)
first pub. in Beth Gutcheon's
"Quilt Design Workbook" (1976)
PARADOX is a fairly new pattern, originally published in the Quilter's Newsletter magazine (see Maggie Malone's 5,500 QUILT BLOCK DESIGNS #900). With notable exceptions, like FLUTTERBYE or LOTUS BLOCK, or HALF MOON etc., most patchwork quilt designs are simple geometric abstractions, even though they evoke pictorial titles. Design names like PARADOX are uniquely challenging to work with, however, because they present an abstraction of an abstraction. Nevertheless, how about this delightful definition of PARADOX, cited from the American Heritage Dictionary —
PARADOX: "A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true: the paradox that standing is more tiring than walking."
The small triangles in the corners facing toward the center of the diagonal are well-known quilt design emblems for birds in flight, for instance, BIRDS IN THE AIR. But if there is to be a paradox, what then is the context? One answer might be, that if the triangles were moved to the empty center, the pattern would transform into a design called CROW'S NEST, as illustrated left. See also Barbara Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT DESIGNS #1674. The "nest" then provides an excellent counterpoint — so that the birds are paradoxically both in the air and on the sides of a nest.
In addition, as mentioned elsewhere, pieced patchwork designs are, in themselves, comparable to a jigsaw puzzle, and thus often attract enigmatic names. Other examples at this site would include:
OLD MAID'S PUZZLE
WONDER OF EGYPT