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Thread: question about quilt patterns and pattern names

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    question about quilt patterns and pattern names

    Hi Friends,

    My question is, is there any such thing as standardized quilt patterns?

    I've been looking at photos of quilts on the internet. But for example, among all the quilts I've seen with a pattern called either wedding ring or double wedding ring, there is a lot of variation.

    Like for example, of course each ring is made of many smaller pieces. But I've seen some which have something like 20 little pieces, while others have up to 48 (not counting the circle intersections).

    And the place where the circles intersect is often what I would call a 4 patch (one square made up of 4 squares). But really a true circle can't have 4 flat places. Some of these quilts seem to use something more like rounded rectangles, rather than true circles, and that's how those quilts accomodate the flat places.

    But then I've seen other quilts where the intersection is correct for true circles, and I would describe the shape of those intersections as 4 slightly warped diamonds (pointing outward), which appear to almost be shield shaped. And they don't share any sides like the 4 patch - they only meet at the bottom tip of the shield. (I can show examples, if you need it.)

    So, I guess if you're making a quilt for yourself, you can make it any way you want. But I wonder if there's any such thing as standardized patterns? I wonder if there might be some quilting organization which maintains standard pattern definitions?

    Like for example, to be able to call your quilt pattern by a certain name, does it have to contain specific elements? Or like if you enter a quilt in a contest or competition, do they sometimes give a strict definition for how the pattern has to be made?

    Or are new and unique variations of patterns, considered to be more imporant or desirable, than containing standard elements?

    Thank you very much for your patience with me. I still would appreciate any comments, if anyone can help me to understand about quilt patterns and names.

    All best,
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-30-2017 at 06:19 PM. Reason: remove comments about moderation

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Hi Brynn - I don't have an answer for you but I do understand the confusion. I signed up to take a bargello class ($60) and the quilt we made was nothing like the bargello quilts I had seen on the web. They said well it is a bargello but with a twist -

    Hope you find the info you're looking for.


  3. #3
    Super Member Kassaundra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Rural Oklahoma
    The simple answer is no there is no "standardized" pattern. Nearly every quilter likes to add his or her touch, something they like better, thinks works better, thinks looks better, can do easier or better etc.... The variations are endless. There are some old patterns saved or found that have survived, and they would be considered by us to be "classic" or even "standard" but I suspect in their day they were just variations too and they happened to be the ones that survived to our day.
    "Never cruel, nor cowardly, never give up, never give in."

    Let's take care of the Earth, it is the only planet that for sure has Chocolate.

    Sonic screwdrivers, fez, bow ties, and Stetsons are cool.

  4. #4
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    i dont think so.

    some blocks are known by several namea.

    some block names have several differerent designs/ blo ks associated with th3m.

    there are sevdral books availableae that illustrate "established/old" block pattdrns.

  5. #5
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Don't know if this is what you are asking. The names of most blocks are not copyrighted. As far as I know, there are no hard and fast names to quilt patterns -- Barbara Brackman compiled The Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns that documented hundreds of quilt patterns. It is not uncommon for her to list more than one name for a block because the blocks may have been developed in different parts of the country they got different names. Looking in current magazines, I see blocks that I know by one name that are referred to by different names. Some quilt names do not even contain the names of the blocks. I name my quilts anything I want -- I made a quilt I called floating stars and I did a search on the name and there are a number of quilts out there by that name but none of them look like mine.

    Hope this helps.

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Think of it this way ..............

    We each make a chocolate cake.
    They are all chocolate cakes, but they may all be quite different.
    We all have our own way of making our cake unique.
    Plus sometimes there are regional tweeks to recipes.

    Likewise, when it comes to quilt blocks and quilts.
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Ok, thanks for everyone's comments.

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