Wampum Quilt Block Pattern




Wampum quilt block

Wampum quilt block

I made the Wampum quilt block without having the first idea what wampum means.  I’ve now looked it up and found that wampum are ‘small cylindrical beads made by North American Indians from shells, strung together and worn as decoration or used as money’.  Ah, that would probably explain all the half square triangles.  It’s a simple nine patch block and I’ve made it here as a 12″ square.

Cutting requirements for the wampum quilt block

2.7/8″ squares:  three dark blue, six light blue, nine white

2.1/2″ squares:  six light blue

4.1/2″ squares:  one light blue, two light blue

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Making the wampum quilt block

Use the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  Place a white square with either a light blue or a dark blue square, right sides together.  Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units which are now 2.1/2″ squares.

Wampum quilt block layout

Wampum quilt block layout

Lay the patchwork pieces out in rows as shown.  The central column is made with two dark blue and one light blue 4.1/2″ squares.  The first and third columns are made of a series of four patch units made using a 2.1/2″ light blue square, one dark blue/white half square triangle and two light blue/white half square triangles.  These are placed to form a larger light blue triangle with the dark blue triangle on the top left of four patch unit in column one, but on the bottom right of the four patch units in column 3.

Sew the 4 patch units together first

Sew the 4 patch units together first

Sew the squares together within each four patch unit first.  These will now be 4.1/2″ squares, so the pieces can be sewn together across each row.  Sew the rows to each other to complete the wampum quilt block.

Basic wampum quilt design

Basic wampum quilt design

For quilt ideas I tried sewing nine blocks together first and came up with a quilt that is passable but not terribly interesting.

Wampum quilt with rotations

Wampum quilt with rotations

Then I tried rotating some of the blocks and came up with a quilt that I felt was far more interesting.  In this quilt the blocks have been rotated in the first and third rows but not in the second row.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

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Comments

  1. That’s got a ton of possible layouts. Love the colors too. Thanks Rose, another great pattern.

  2. Interesting fact about the origins of the name .And interesting how different it looks after rotating some of the rows. They’re both very beautiful.

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