Quilt Notes: QUILTER'S DELIGHT makes a lot more sense as a name for this pattern than the alternate CHARIOT WHEEL. Both were published by Nancy Cabot in the Chicago Tribune, this version on July 10, 1937. The logic of the design name is explained by Cabot, in the sense of the simplicity of the pattern, therefore a delight, or, "so easy," as she says:|
"This simple pieced pattern is one of the first blocks which beginning quilt makers like to attempt, because the patches are so easily set together. When the pattern first was made it was copied from an old homespun design and it carried out the color combination of the homespun piece by using the blue, white and yellow. The the entire quilt was composed of pieced blocks and set together to form an all over design."
The tiling pattern, traditionally called the "all over," requires the outer rim of the design to be reduced by one half, so that when it merges with itself it gets back to the right size. See below and here's how the individual tiling block is constructed. The adjustment is needed because the beauty of the design is built on a ratio of 1 to 3, and that's what truly gives this pattern its unique persona. Nancy Cabot says that it is a variation on
HOMESPUN BLOCK, which is interesting because it uses this same ratio, and where a line around a shape becomes of shape in itself. The vintage "Squares and Ladders" linen fabric used for the illustration upper right has similar dimensions, and could be worked with as an interesting quilt design all on its own (see swatch left).
Jinny Beyer has a special section in her QUILTER'S ALBUM OF PATCHWORK PATTERNS (pp. 268-269) devoted entirely to designs drafted on a 17 x 17 (or 34 x 34) grid, all fascinatingly different, but not as easy to piece as this one.
For more designs at this site employing only squares and/or rectangles see:
ODDS AND ENDS
ON THE SQUARE
PUSS IN THE CORNER
OP ART DESIGN