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There are hundreds of quilt patterns and so are their block names. These names are derived from almost every aspect of society. Sometimes, you may find quilt blocks with different designs or patterns, but bearing the same name. You may also discover quilt blocks with similar patterns, yet having a different name. Now, why does this happen? There must be some reason for it.

History

The first known quilt block pattern, that found a place in an American periodical in 1835, was the honeycomb or hexagon pattern. There was a strong association between the quilt blocks and the lives of the women who made the patterns. This connection is clearly seen in the names that the quilt makers gave their patterns. They can be found with names signifying homes and family life, environment, religious beliefs, and political or national events. There are names taken from geometrical shapes, such as circles, squares, triangles, and diamonds. A lot of names have a strong biblical influence or are inspired by stars, sky, and heaven.

Quilt makers would name their blocks by the names of their choice, and those names were carried on further, and are still in use. It would happen that a particular quilt maker named her pattern by some name, which was used by another quilt maker in a different city for a different pattern. Sometimes, an existing pattern was named by a different name, as the quilt maker was unaware that the pattern was already named. This makes the nomenclature of quilt blocks very confusing and cumbersome. However, slight variations are made in the old quilt block names or they are renamed altogether to avoid the confusion. But many traditional names still exist and are used by many.

List of Quilt Block Names

Biblical Names
  • Jacob's Ladder
  • Job's Trouble
  • Job's Tears
  • Joseph's Coat
  • Wonder of the World
  • World Without End
  • Christian Cross
  • Cross and Crown
  • Bethlehem Rose
  • Heavenly Puzzle
  • Tree of Life
  • Tree of Temptation
  • Carpenter's Wheel
  • Children of Israel
  • Crown of Thorns
  • Devil's Claws
  • Devil's Puzzle
  • Garden of Eden
  • Golgotha
  • Ecclesiastical
  • Morning Star
  • Caesar's Crown
  • David and Goliath
  • Solomon's Puzzle
  • Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
Life and Nature-Based Names
  • Garden Maze
  • Autumn Leaf
  • Spider Web
  • Rolling Stones
  • Ocean Wave
  • Flying Geese
  • Birds in the Air
  • Blazing Star
  • California Oak Leaf
  • Cats and Mice
  • Cherry Basket
  • Daffodils and Butterflies
  • Fan and Rainbow
  • Field Daisies
  • Everybody's Favorite
  • Flower Basket
  • Girl's Joy
  • Hen and Chicken
  • Hour Glass
  • Little Beach Tree
  • Memory Blocks
  • Olive Branch
  • Prairie Rose
  • Spider's Den
  • Tea Leaf
  • Wheel and Star
Names Based on Geometrical Shapes
  • Apple Hexagon
  • Art Square
  • Box Blocks
  • Circle Within Circle
  • Cube Lattice
  • Diamond Design
  • Eight-pointed Star
  • Square in a Square
  • Triangular Triangle
  • Variegated Hexagons
  • Chain and Square
  • All those Squares
Other Names
  • Alabama Beauty
  • All Tangled Up
  • Aunt Sukey's Patch
  • Autograph Quilt
  • Bachelor's Puzzle
  • Blackford's Beauty
  • Children's Delight
  • Chimney Swallows
  • Eight Hands Around
  • Swing in the Center
  • Clay's Choice
  • Whig Rose
  • Fifty-Four-Forty or Fight
  • Dutch Rose
  • Drunkard's Patchwork
  • Drunkard's Path
  • Ferris Wheel
  • Four Frogs Quilt
  • Garfield's Monument
  • Golden Gates
  • Harvest Rose
  • Hearts and Gizzards
  • Home Treasure
  • Lady Fingers
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Missouri Beauty
  • Mollie's Choice
  • Orange Peel
  • Pincushion and Burr
  • Rainbow
  • Snowflake
  • Swarm of Bees
  • Sweet Gum Leaf
  • Tick-Tack-Toe
  • World's Fair Blocks
These were some of the popular names for quilt blocks. I'm sure you must have got a clear idea how varied these names are!