There are many blocks which have names related to things or events in the Bible. Today’s block, God’s Eye, would be one of the them.
Others would be Jacob’s Ladder, Crown of Thorns, Joseph’s Coat, Ruins of Jericho, Star of Bethlehem and many others. Quilts with Biblical names can be reassuring to those that are devoted to God and quilts have often been used as burial shrouds and it is comforting to families to have their loved one wrapped in a quilt with a Biblical theme. Many other quilt blocks with a square eye in the middle have been called “God’s Eye.” The yarn “God’s Eye” is a popular kids craft where two sticks make a cross and then different colored yarns are wrapped around the sticks concentrically.
The block is made up of a 4 x 4 grid, with smaller 4 x 4 grids contained therein. The smaller grids are composed with squares and half square triangles. Although there are many pieces in this block (88), it would still be a fairly easy block for a beginning quilter. This block is usually composed with four colors, 2 lights and 2 darks. Below is an example of a 16 block quilt made up of God’s Eye blocks.
This quilt can be very striking when made from scrappy fabrics, such as the quilt below.
Stay tuned for next week’s block, which will be the Log Cabin, a great block for a beginner to learn to quilt.
Happy Labor Day. I hope everyone is enjoying their time off with their families.
This week’s block is the Jacob’s Ladder. It has a Biblical reference as it refers to the story of Jacob found in Genesis 28: 10-12. The block also has many other names such as “Road To California, “Double Hour Glass” and “Covered Wagon,” suggesting that they were popular with the early pioneers headed west. Here is an example of what the block historically looked like.
Notice that the block is a nine patch construction, which was discussed in a previous post, containing 5 four patch blocks, also discussed in a previous post, and 4 new blocks that are called half square triangles (HST.) See example below. This block is documented as having been made into a quilt at the beginning of the 20th century. It was originally made with two contrasting colors, a light and a dark. The block often has another name, ” Underground Railroad,” associated with it, but it has not been documented that this block existed around the time of pre Civil War, when the Underground Railroad was happening, and may have gotten the name later as a remembrance.
This is an excellent block for a novice quilter as sewing the HSTs together is easy as you just have to sew two triangles together. It can be a little tricky to get those points on the end to match up, so one of my favorite tools to create the Jacob’s Ladder patches is my Accuquilt Fabric Cutter. It precision die cuts the pieces so they are perfectly cut. On the triangles, it cuts off the dog ears (the points that stick out) so that the ends are easy to align. Here is a link to the Accuquilt website, where you will find the fabric cutters and lots of fun dies. http://www.accuquilt.com.
Two “Go! Dies” that could be used to make this block are the 2.5″ square and the 2″ finished half square triangle. You will notice that the dies are two-tone, making it easy for you to place the fabric on the die. Then you place a plastic mat over the fabric and run the die, with the fabric and mat on it, through the cutter. There are manual and electric fabric cutters. Here is a picture of a “Go! Fabric Cutter” and the square and triangle dies. (Click on the thumbnails to make the pictures larger.) They are frequently on sale.